Marin IJ Readers’ Forum for June 22, 2022

Gun Rights

MMWD needs 10-year ban on swimming pools

I implore Marin Municipal Water District leaders to please share one reason why there is not a moratorium on filling existing swimming pools and spas during this time of drought (“MMWD weighs future of water conservation incentives,” June 11).

Requiring a cover does not do enough to eliminate evaporation. A 10-year moratorium on new installation of spas and pools should be a priority.

— Lynn Yetter, Fairfax

Desalination plant work must begin right now

I am writing in regard to the article published June 11 with the headline “Water-saving change considered.” Once again, Marin Municipal Water District officials are considering changes that, I believe, will, in the future, do little or nothing to conserve water.

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Why do MMWD leaders continue to stare at the option of building a desalination plant without taking action? There is an abundance of water right in our bays and in the ocean, yet MMWD officials refuse to accept this reality. We cannot and must not ship in water from another county. There is no real guarantee that such water will be available when needed and the costs of such water to customers of MMWD is prohibitive.

We are already paying high water costs. It seems to me that MMWD officials want to add more. Water district leaders need to accept that desalination is the only real answer they have. They must act. All the conservation incentives in the world will do nothing to end our current situation.

MMWD officials should stop fiddling and start the work needed to create a desalination plant.

— Eric W. Overholt, Sausalito

Property tax holiday good use for county’s surplus

I have a suggestion for the Marin Board of Supervisors as they prepare to budget millions on new spending (“Marin supervisors poised to review $717M budget,” June 12). I have been a Marin homeowner for 29 years. During that time, Marin property taxes have been increased every year to the maximum rate allowable by law.

Since the county coffers are flush with money that includes higher property and sales tax revenue, along with $25 million from the American Rescue Plan, how about a property tax holiday? Freeze this year’s property taxes at the amount paid last year.

— Steve O’Keefe, Novato

Cal State Maritime should partner with Romberg

I read the Marin IJ editorial in support of Tiburon’s Romberg Center with interest (“Tiburon’s Romberg Campus a real value to marine studies,” June 13). As a nearby resident served by Sanitary District No. 5, I am well aware that a few years ago, San Francisco State University decommissioned the septic system at the Romberg Campus. It is now hooked up to our sewer system. I am concerned that these maneuvers are a play to sell the property to developers.

I have my own solution for preserving the campus. Since this is one of the deepest parts of San Francisco Bay and was used as a coal loading site for large Navy ships, I think this campus should partner with a different state university. Specifically, it should partner with the Cal State Maritime Academy in Vallejo. It has more than 900 undergrads and is the only maritime academy on the West Coast.

lt should be a partial second campus to help develop and continue important marine activities on the bay. The site provides a rare opportunity to educate, preserve and help the bay environment. What a perfect second location for a thriving academy to make the center more viable.

— John Carapiet, Belvedere

There is no chance to fix Congress right now

Normally, I disagree with frequent Marin Voice contributor Todd Hooper. But for three-fourths of his recent commentary (“Congress is broken and Huffman should help try to fix it,” June 11), I find myself in agreement.

The extreme members of both dominant political parties are the most vocal in pushing ideas that don’t help bring us together. However, suggesting that Rep. Jared Huffman try to be part of the solution by bringing Congress back from the extremes on the right and left is a good idea if only his view of the universe were the same as mine.

Unfortunately, in my universe, the extreme Republicans in the House of Representatives must include all who voted against impeaching former President Donald Trump. There are many of them and finding common ground, given that vote, is a puzzle. And so that is why I doubt that this will happen.

It is highly likely that the midterm elections will result in a Republican takeover of the House. In the future, it may be led by Rep. Kevin McCarthy. As the past year and a half has shown, aside from those few Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, the main drive of the party has been to gain power and do so even if it means forsaking whatever dignity and independence they have by paying fealty to Trump. McCarthy is probably the best at this, as he has sold his soul and principles to put himself in line to become speaker.

Given this, how does one even start on an agenda to try to tackle some of the major problems facing the U.S. in the short and long term. The majority of the current Republican House members have no proposed solutions, whether it is in addressing climate change — which enhances health problems, issues with food security and leads to natural disasters — or the issue of national security. They lack solutions for issues of income inequality and all of the significant problems that brings.

Instead, they just say no to anything Democrats propose. The Democrats may be fractured, but at least they develop legislation to try to address these issues, even if it is a progressive overreach. The system is broken. Reaching across the aisle right now and after the midterms is a pipe dream — sad but true.

— Steve Ziman, San Rafael

California almonds are taking too much water

I am writing in response to the Bay Area News Group editorial published in the Marin IJ (“Gov. Newsom should develop backbone to curb ag’s water waste,” June 14). The editorial shared that, to grow and harvest one almond, it takes a gallon of water. That is disturbing.

I know the first priority of our elected officials right now is to ban assault weapons, but this has to be a close second. If Gov. Gavin Newsom ever wants to be taken seriously in addressing California’s water crisis, now is the time to drastically cut the almond harvest.

Let’s find out how much the almond growers contribute to his campaign and then test his mettle. Now, pass me a bowl of peanuts.

— Steve Fabes, Sausalito

Assault weapons have no legitimate civilian use

We must outlaw military weapons for civilians.

I’m 87 years old. I grew up with guns for hunting and target competition. In school and in my time with the U.S. Air Force, I was on rifle and pistol teams. I was a member of the National Rifle Association for a while, but I dropped out because of that group’s interest in having military weapons in civilian hands.

These weapons are designed for sustained rapid fire with large capacity magazines. They are meant to create maximum mayhem quickly and they do not have a legitimate civilian use. Such weapons must be reserved for military and law enforcement. Make them illegal for civilians to keep or use.

— Brian Stompe, Novato

Six-word stories are a challenge every month

I want to thank Marin IJ Lifestyles Editor Vicki Larson for the challenging six-word stories published every month. When I’m trying to sleep, bored or angry, I think about the assignment and it occupies my mind. It gets my mind off troubling things like breaking news, leaf blowers and bullies.

It did not take long for me to create a list of 20 possible submissions to describe the best advice I have been given. To be honest, I think the best advice comes from Larson. Thanks to the IJ for lifting my spirits and inspiring my mind.

— Mary Lock, Woodacre

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