Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019: Modesto’s unsightly gateway, tent city, PG&E bonuses

Why does Modesto present itself like this?

I have observed for 50 years the most disgraceful site: the entrance to Modesto from northbound Highway 99.

The trailer park and wrecking yards have no business being allowed to persist. I have spoken to deaf ears about how we could construct a high wall similar to the one at the Pelandale exit, or preferably, relocation. With such blight, how can we attract commercial development and present Modesto as the all-American city we were in 1972?

Charles Dunning, Ceres

Long live Modesto’s tent city

The only place that will be open when the Modesto Outdoor Emergency Shelter closes is the new Salvation Army emergency shelter, with too few beds, and folks are concerned about not having enough room or protection for their pets and belongings, and privacy.

Please consider keeping MOES open until enough viable and legally acceptable alternatives are in place, and MOES residents have been given a chance to pursue them. Do not put them out in the cold throughout the holidays and indefinitely. It was a miracle to get some of them to even stay at MOES. Change happens at the speed of trust, and in closing MOES too soon, you may lose trust. You will also revert back to having them camp where you don’t want them, and wasting law enforcement resources dealing with complaints.

My emails to decision makers go unanswered. Withholding information from folks is not the way. If there is no info to share, MOES should be staying open until there is.

Maryann Spikes, Modesto

Turlock and Modesto Fire should unite

Turlock is going bankrupt. The current City Council did not create this situation, but they have not acted to prevent it during the past year. Significant and expedient action is necessary to avoid having state agencies step in and make devastating spending and budget decisions that will seriously affect safety and the quality of life in Turlock.

Police and fire salaries and benefits are the major part of the city budget. No realistic cost reduction scenarios will spare them completely, but the status quo cannot continue. Consolidation and resource sharing must be considered.

A merger with Modesto Fire recently saved the Oakdale Fire Department. Turlock has been approached by Modesto Fire to consider a similar proposition. This offer must be given serious consideration.

Delaying or doing nothing will accelerate the path to insolvency. Failure to agendize and act on this critical financial issue would be irresponsible and lead to the worst possible outcome: Turlock added to the list of failed California cities and a community that is less safe and we are no longer proud of.

Brad Bates, Turlock

Lavish PG&E executive bonuses

Pacific Gas & Electric executives, have you given much thought to how the power shutoffs are adversely affecting Californians? No power equals no work equals no pay. How many small businesses and citizens may be forced to file bankruptcy?

Although PG&E is in bankruptcy court, they are recommending company executives be given almost $11 million in bonuses. Easy to see where the company’s priorities are.

John Knigge, Sonora

Don’t split up PG&E

California is governed by idiots. Politically motivated, hypocritical, economically ignorant idiots.

Our electric companies are regulated by the Public Utilities Commission, appointed by a Democratic governor and confirmed by the Democrat-controlled Senate. The PUC approves rates these companies are allowed to charge, and those rates have to be high enough to recover costs. No company can stay in business if it continually loses money. So maintenance and repairs often get shorted for lack of funds. If the PUC were the slightest bit competent it would insist that rates be high enough to ensure the safety of the system. It often does the opposite.

When the inevitable happens, companies are fined millions, as if the predictable disaster was their fault. Now some self-serving fools want to break the integrated power delivery system into small chunks. That may have the effect of reducing rates in isolated, densely populated areas, but since the overall system must somehow continue, rates will skyrocket elsewhere. Does anyone really believe that a fractured, government-run mishmash of small entities will be cheaper than an integrated, privately run system? Madness.

Douglas N. Brower, Ballico

Highway 132 bypass questions

StanCOG representatives have stated repeatedly at Policy Board meetings and other venues that the community adjacent to the (Highway 132) expressway would be frequently advised as to progress and time lines. So why was there no public notice about the golden shovel ceremony Oct. 18? Some of us would have loved to have some notice so as to attend. Also, all documents on the Caltrans District 10 website regarding this project haven’t been available for over four months. The files are all earmarked as being remediated and will be available soon. Is this what we have to expect going forward?

David R. Abel, Modesto

Editor’s note: Modesto officials say they went door to door in the nearby neighborhood with invitations to the ceremony.

Consolidated Fire poorly managed

Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District put an assessed value tax in place over 20 years ago. It has increased 3% annually. The warning sirens for increasing pension and healthcare costs have been going on since the 2007-’10 recession. So this was no surprise.

What is surprising to me is why they are closing a station. “Negligent” and “incompetent” come to mind. This same fire board has fired numerous fire chiefs for no apparent reason and lost the contract for services with the city of Oakdale. One of the reasons was Oakdale asked for a seat on the board and was refused. Oakdale contributes $3.4 million to SCFPD for fire services yet has no say or vote. Oakdale should have had that seat since conception.

This fire board continues to show their incompetence and should all be replaced.

Dan Hinshaw, Oakdale

Why don’t Republicans get it?

Stop it! The impeachment inquiry is not about undoing his election. It is about his misconduct since his election.

Steve Ringhoff, Modesto

Administration dishonors U.S. vets

What would motivate the sons and daughters of World War II vets to vote for and continue supporting Trump? What could possibly make this atrocious act acceptable? P.T. Barnum said it best: “A sucker is born every minute.” Trump added his 2 cents worth by saying his followers certainly are not the sharpest knives in the drawer but they are loyal and will do anything he tells them. That explains the how.

A group of not-so-sharp knives can easily be suckered by a big time snake oil salesman huckster like Trump. But that still leaves open the question why these once sharp knives would betray not only the memory of our WWII veterans but their own birthright. Perhaps Trump supporters, enjoying 2 1/2 years of Making America White Again, have found that Trump’s dictatorship outweighs living in a melting pot of various races, creeds, and religions we once called America.

Thankfully our WWII veterans are not here to witness this shameful betrayal of our democracy.

Brooks Judd, Turlock

CA fees and taxes are insane

Governor Newsom since Jan. 7 has signed over 700 bills. A majority will increase your taxes on goods or services, or state or local taxes.

For example, look at your telephone bill: property taxes, DMV fees and on and on. Recently Democrat Newsom demanded a investigation on gas prices in California. Newsom, let me help you out and save us a bunch of money. Democrats have imposed 83 cents on every gallon of gas due to state excise tax, cap and trade tax, plus an additional 8 cents from Brown for low-carbon fuel tax and state tax. Nationwide, gasoline goes for $2.61 but in the Valley we pay over $3.73. Tags for my 2011 Toyota were $166, up 11% from last year.

When we the taxpayers start paying for free medical, dental, housing, food and education for all the illegals that Newsom is letting in, I have no choice except to move out of California, and I have lived here all my life.

Steven Casey, Manteca

Climate change is real, folks

Re “Climate change deniers are the sane ones” (Letters, Oct. 27): The irate writer in his scalding criticism of the scientific method failed to note that less than 10% of the mid-1970 papers on climate predicted global cooling. Most predicted future warming based on CO2 emissions. There was some concern about cooling in Europe due to trillions of gallons of glacial melt mixing into the north Atlantic and shutting down the Thermohaline circulation. This has not been seen and current global climate models assign early 20th Century cooling to aerosols.

Fossil fuel consumption, agriculture, deforestation and changes in the planet’s albedo (reflected sunlight) are currently acting in concert to warm the planet. Denying that hundreds of millions of tons of carbon pumped into the atmosphere every year will not have an impact on climate is worse than simply denying science or believing that scientists are insane. It is supporting the status quo and believing everything will be fine in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The president’s refusal to acknowledge climate change and steer the country in a direction to head off potentially devastating effects of climate change is irresponsible and puts our children, grandchildren and national security at risk.

Jerome Handley, Turlock

Fraudulent duct service warning

I recently was scammed by a couple of duct cleaning people. Having recently lost my husband, I hired two men to clean my duct work. Just be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure they have an A+ clearance.

Toni Olson, Turlock