Letters: Water policy | Medicare model | Spanish representation | Radiation fears | Mideast conflict

Letters: Water policy | Medicare model | Spanish representation | Radiation fears | Mideast conflict

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Policy drives state’s
water problems

Re: “Stricter water use restrictions on tap” (Page A1, Sept. 1).

There is no shortage of available water to more than satisfy all of California’s yearly needs. The problem is regulatory: A large percentage of California’s available fresh water must be allowed to flow into the ocean, unused. This is due to environmental lawsuits.

The other serious problem we face is the lack of adequate storage. The voters showed their approval for new storage in 2014, passing Prop. 1. Unfortunately, there has been no new significant storage project in about 50 years, during which, our population has doubled. Environmentalists have long fought dams as they “change” the environment.

California is no stranger to drought; it is a recurring reality of our state.

Mark Fernwood

Home insurance should
follow Medicare model

Re: “Anxiety builds as coverage dissolves” (Page A1, Sept. 4).

The profit motive of the free market may work great optimizing commodities, but homeowner insurance is a scam; nothing is optimized by the competitive interchange of the market except monopolistic profit-maximizing collusion.

You pay money against catastrophe and then they deny coverage or threaten to cancel you. A tree fell on our house, causing more than $17,000 in damages; our insurance company warns of cancellation/raising rates. The homeowner insurance industry’s problem is, in fact, the profit motive itself and should be canceled and replaced with a nonprofit, Medicare-style homeowner insurance trust, with premium rates around what they are now. The point would be to insure against catastrophe without profit. Funding could be through an income tax credit/deduction, and yes, it would be compulsory via the tax code, though sweetened by the credit/deduction.

Ideally, rates would be lower since the incentive to not cover and maximize money retention is obviated. Fraud should be severely punished with a fine and incarceration.

Jack Knutson

Spanish speakers need
health care representation

The non-English-speaking population is haunted by a lack of adequate medical care.

Spanish-speaking workers are one of the lowest-represented groups in California and their concerns are generally ignored. They are unable to voice their opinions due to language barriers and lack of representation.

California has one of the biggest economies in the world. One can argue that non-English speakers form the foundation and backbone of it, yet their health care and families take a toll when they become injured on the job. Many non-English speakers work in construction, factories and agriculture, but are unable to receive adequate medical care.

I am writing to bring light to the fact that California should enhance its efforts to provide proper support and services to the hard workers of California. Policies need to be implemented to enhance their access to proper care.

Sebastian Wahab

Science should assuage
radiation fears

Re: “Nuclear power could save our air but threaten water” (Page A7, Sept. 5).

In LZ Granderson’s column, his fear of tritium from Fukushima getting into the ocean is totally unfounded.

How dangerous is tritium? Chemically, it looks just like water. Moves through the body quickly. The radiation it produces is normally stopped by the outer layers of the skin. Its half-life is a short 12 years.

Let’s look at the radiation dose in, say, 10 gallons of Fukushima water. This amount of pure water drunk quickly would kill you due to “water intoxication.” The body’s electrolyte system couldn’t handle it. But, looking at radiation only, you get about as much by eating one banana.

Don’t let fear overcome science.

Cliff Gold

Palestinian intransigence
keeps Mideast in conflict

Re: “Israel’s Libya gambit fails to find resolution” (Page A12, Sept. 3).

Amer Araim points out that when it was disclosed that the Foreign Ministers of Libya and Israel met, it was a scandal, He wrote that the Libyan was forced out. That is true, but not the whole

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truth. She fled the country in fear for her life. The hatred for Israel and Jews is so great in parts of the Islamic world that even talking to an Israeli could cost you your life. For the record, there are no Jews in Libya now. They all fled persecution, mostly to Israel.

Israel now has diplomatic relations with several Arab countries that understand that Israel is not their enemy. Libya had the chance to join them. It could have been beneficial to both countries.

Israel has negotiated with Palestinians in the past, but the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel as an independent Jewish state. That is the reason there is no peace.

Gilbert Stein