Letters to the Editor

Rampant growth has hurt valley

A Modesto native, I remember the quality of life we once had. For some time, we've had too many fiscal failures and one controversy after another. The core issue now is growth and farmland preservation.

An Aug. 29 letter claimed Denny Jackman's Stamp Out Sprawl initiative is ineffective by quoting from the California Department of Finance that "87 percent of Stanislaus County's growth since 1990 has taken place within its cities." Hmm. A report from the American Farmland Trust, quoted by Brad Barker said: "Between 1990 and 2000, 81 percent of all land developed here (in Stanislaus County) was on high-quality farmland." And Sen. Jeff Denham, R-Merced, was quoted saying California is losing 50,000 to 100,000 acres of farmland per year. How can that much growth take place within the cities while at the same time we are losing so much farmland?

We are the poster child for a helter-skelter pattern of growth that has grievously harmed the environment and eroded a once-vaunted quality of life. Remember, water does not percolate through concrete, and land has a value other than that fixed by real estate appraisers!