Letters to the Editor

Randa Jarrar quiet this time: Letters to the editor, Jan. 10, 2019

Fresno State Professor Randa Jarrar’s harsh words caused a controversy last year when former first lady Barbara Bush died.
Fresno State Professor Randa Jarrar’s harsh words caused a controversy last year when former first lady Barbara Bush died. Fresno Bee file

Glad for certain silence at George H.W. Bush’s passing

I’m thankful that Fresno State Professor Randa Jarrar was able to keep her vile mouth shut this time while our country mourned the loss of our beloved 41st U.S. president.

Mike Garabedian, Fresno

School lockdown was scary situation

I was one of many students who participated in the lockdown that occurred at Clovis North Educational Center on Dec. 11 that was caused by online threats made towards other students, and it was undoubtedly one of the scariest events that I have experienced during my years at Clovis North.

The level of uncertainty that filled the atmosphere that day was troubling to me and my peers alike. However, this event does not come without a lesson. The one thing that we should all take away from this is the possibility that this may be the new norm, where schools must lock down and stop teaching from progressing because the students are at risk from a serious threat.

It is in troubling times like these where we as a society, community, and species must reflect on what kind of situation we have put ourselves into. It is also vital that we take into consideration the possible methods that could be utilized to stop this kind of event from happening again in the future. How much longer until one of these threats turns into a real life-or-death situation? Public discourse is essential to finding a viable solution for protecting students!

Jack Howard, Fresno

Gas or electric to heat homes?

In “Project aims to help keep air clean in homes” (Dec. 8), the authors rightfully point out the hazards of combustion, which will always be a messier proposition than all-electric appliances. On the big energy use items, though (furnace and water heating), electricity is far more expensive. Consider that a gallon of propane is equivalent to 27 kilowatt-hours of electricity. At PG&E’s current “average” total rate of .23316, that’s $6.30. Current (high because winter) propane prices are around $2.50/gallon. Operating efficiency of appliances will certainly vary, but that underlying fuel cost differential ($2.50/$6.30 = 40 percent) has always made gas heat a no-brainer.

Energy use for cooking is typically an insignificant fraction of the household total, so it makes sense to go electric there and get rid of open flames indoors. But I don’t see an indoor air quality risk when furnaces and water heaters are properly installed and vented to the outdoors.

Regarding the bigger picture, I don’t quite understand the numbers – if gas heat from “Homes and buildings” makes up 12.5 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions (half of the 25 percent), what is the number for homes only, maybe half again (6.25 percent)? If those emissions can be quantified and valued, then subsidies or incentives designed to mitigate would be proper and welcome.

I expect the families mentioned in the article (saving $150/month on energy bills) no doubt had many energy efficiency improvements (insulation, windows, etc.) made to their homes as part of the program, so implying the switch to electricity created those savings is very misleading. All other things being equal, a low-income family switching from gas to electric heat is likely to see their wintertime utility bill double or triple.

Gil McCullough, Dos Palos

Border wall just a Trump fantasy

I see that our president has partially shut down the government until he gets funding for his wall. There’s a word for this type of behavior: extortion.

I call on every Democrat to oppose this disgraceful tactic. After all, Trump himself has exposed the truth about the necessity of such a barrier. Recall that shortly before the election he sent thousands of troops to the border, because he kept warning about the “invasion” of migrant hordes, mostly made up of that horrible criminal gang from El Salvador. But guess what? That huge threat must have dissipated, because most of those troops were withdrawn.

I really don’t have any faith in Democratic leadership standing up to this bullying. However, I would love to be proven wrong. Progressives must resolutely oppose any spending for the wall — it is a pipe dream to think it is necessary. Only in Trump’s alternative reality does the need exist.

Stephen Pendleton, Visalia