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Letters to the Editor
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Less dams, reservoirs, more global warming

Editor, Ceres Courier,

In the last 12 years, over 400 hydroelectric dams and their associated reservoirs have been dismantled in the United States of America. While China is building dams all over the place, the United States is tearing them down. Why?

The reason given for the destruction of our dams is to restore wild rivers and endangered salmon and other species. In short, it's to restore the environment to its original natural state. But global warming is a reality. The primary cause of global warming is the burning of fossil fuels. The associated rise of sea levels and unstable weather patterns are caused by heat and burnt gases trapped in the earth's atmosphere. The global ice sheets are melting off of continental land mass and thus are adding water volume to the sea. The willful destruction of hydroelectric dams and reservoirs contribute to global warming, not diminish it. Because electrical power consumers have to then buy their power from fossil fuel powered plants. There has been no new nuclear power plants built in the United States in 30 years.

The destruction of the reservoirs causes increases in surface temperatures, a decrease in water quality and an increase in reliance on subsurface water sources, which often contain chemical contaminates. Thus there will be an increase in cancer rates.

People like to gather around reservoirs for recreation. They like to camp. It's one of the cheapest forms of recreation today. Destroying reservoirs forces campers and boaters to concentrate around other natural and man-made lakes. People have to drive further and spend more on gas and such to restore endangered salmon species. One has to remember that international corporate-controlled fishing fleets over-fish the oceans and decrease the numbers of endangered salmon species returning to their natural spawning streams and rivers. By increasing salmon hatcheries and encouraging more commercial fish farms, fewer species of salmon will go extinct. Creating artificial water channels which bypass natural streams down stream of hydroelectric dams should end damage to spawning areas and see more returning fish. Also, increased efforts by environmentalists to move the large salmon beyond reach of dam turbines will insure species survival. One has to wonder if the wholesale destruction of America's clean and paid for hydroelectric industry by the "dam busters" is really for the salmon and natural environment, or if it is really for the international corporate fossil fuel industry.

J Michael Maggetti

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Cereans can't afford rate increase

Editor, Ceres Courier,

As a long time resident of Ceres I read with great interest the article in the Courier about Phil Scott's view of water meters.

Having served on many of the financial decision making boards in the city, school district as well as the county, I am aware of how the process works.

The city is faced with an unfunded mandate. That is to say the feds and the state are mandating that Ceres perform a task and they are unwilling or perhaps unable to fund the demand. We are discussing an issue which has both a long-term and short-term burden which is substantial on each and every Ceres homeowner.

Public Works Director Phil Scott is unimpressed at the fact of the potential burden which is about to be imposed upon the homeowners of Ceres as he sees the issue of one as a legal way to enrich and expand his department as well as an opportunity to possibly reduce water consumption in the city.

Mr. Scott proposes that each and every home and business have a water meter. (To date only a percentage of homes are required to have meters under the law). It isn't the metering that is of concern, it is what is designated as usage. Mr. Scott desires to have a relatively small amount of water to be metered at the "base rate," from there one can acquire additional water as it is used at an additional costs. The end result is that the homeowner will continue to get water but the total economic impact on the homeowner will easily triple or quadruple the monthly cost that must be paid. To put it into numbers, the cost for water could easily increase to $75 per month plus administration fees and the cost for the metering will have to be added to the bill. The total impact per month per home could easily reach $85 to $100 in the summer and about two-thirds of that during the winter.

Our director's comment that the present system is unfair, as some homeowners use more water than others simply does not represent the view of how government should run. Using his logic, large families should pay more in taxes to support schools or even worse, those who earn more or who own businesses should be the only people who are allowed to vote.

Mr. Scott's problem, as he described it, is relatively simple. His department has been devastated by the reduction of in the city's work force. He is using the water metering issue to fortify his department and engorge it with revenue. As a profit center he will be immune from further staff reductions. In as much as he will be managing more people he will deserve more income.

Although water conservation is a worthy cause it is a short-term solution. We can no longer "mine" underground aquifers. Our soil contains too many contaminates. This community has had many discussions about the use of surface water vs. well water. In the short run, well water is cheaper to acquire, but it is a wasting asset. I would hope that our TID representatives take this opportunity to take a leadership position in representing us and assist in providing drinking water to the city of Ceres. Today the citizens are simply tired of hearing why this problem is too difficult to solve. We need action now. We need solution oriented representatives rather that a slate of good old boys.

About the only thing that Mr. Scott is correct in is that we probably are charging too little money for today's water. Today is is a bargain. Yes we have had a modest increase but in the face of reality an additional $10 probably would not really hurt anyone. If Phil Scott's view of the world persists we will all have a very substantial multifold increase which would make an additional cost today of $10 look "dirt cheap."

Lastly simply stated if an upstream government body wants something done they should pay for the mandate. The city of Ceres simply has to tell the state and the feds that we simply cannot afford to spend $2,000,000 over five years to make them feel good.

I would hope that his letter will spur some to action. We need to hold our City Council accountable for the activities of their employees. If they do not fully understand the impact that this boondoggle is going to have on the city then perhaps they should step aside. The average homeowner simply cannot afford an additional $1,000 plus per year for a service that already exists.

Edward C. Persike,


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Letters to the editor will be considered for publication but must be signed with the author's name, address and telephone number. Letters should contain 250 words or less and be void of libelous statements. Letters should be sent to: The Ceres Courier, P.O. Box 7, Ceres, CA 95307. Letters may also be emailed to