Letters to the Editor

Shutdown impact: Letters to the editor, Feb. 6, 2019

This January photo provided by the U.S. National Park Service shows vehicle tracks in an area of Death Valley National Park that park staff says can leave a lasting trench. National parks across the United States are scrambling to clean up and repair damage caused by visitors and storms during the government shutdown while bracing for another possible closure ahead of the usually busy President's Day weekend.
This January photo provided by the U.S. National Park Service shows vehicle tracks in an area of Death Valley National Park that park staff says can leave a lasting trench. National parks across the United States are scrambling to clean up and repair damage caused by visitors and storms during the government shutdown while bracing for another possible closure ahead of the usually busy President's Day weekend. AP file

Shutdown through his personal lens

Why should I be upset with the government shutdown? Since the Trump tax cuts the national debt has been skyrocketing; not paying 800,000+ government employees helps reduce the deficit. Not paying traffic controllers doesn’t affect me; I don’t travel. Not paying TSA baggage inspectors and causing long lines and some airports to close terminals; again, I don’t travel. Not paying Coast Guard employees; one of their main responsibilities is to interdict drug shipments from Central & South America; I don’t use drugs. Not paying IRS tax return processors and tax refunds; I’m retired on Social Security; I don’t pay taxes. Not paying farm subsidies; farm subsidies are a form of “corporate welfare” and farmers should have to stand on their own two feet anyway, without government help; so what if I have to pay a little bit more for food? I have enough money, I can afford it!

Not paying employees who process asylum seekers; best to keep those foreigners out of the USA anyway! Harming food assistance programs for the poor? Doesn’t affect me! Putting hundreds of thousands of people out of work and destroying their lives; I’m not one of them! Why should I care? Doesn’t affect me!

Me, sarcastic?

Jim King, Visalia

Break up PG&E, go public for power

Due to PG&E being overwhelmed with its inability to adequately maintain infrastructure and being hit with multibillion-dollar lawsuits, isn’t it about time we start looking into breaking up this monster before it sticks it to the ratepayers with having to pay for tits shoddiness?

There are other public utility districts operating in Sacramento and other more rural areas in Northern California. Maybe something can be done locally to explore the viability of this option ... it’s overdue ... as will be some PG&E customers’ bills if rates are allowed to be raised by the PUC to rescue the “utility.”

I submit also that the PUC should be looked into for their hobnobbing with PG&E officials recently in Hawaii, but that’s another story for later.

W.A. Combs, Fresno

Gotta watch out for your wallet

In the past few days I have noticed several large signs urging the people in Fresno to vote Steve Brandau for Supervisor. If you ever consider voting for Mr. Brandau, I suggest you recall those “fines” you got from the Fresno City Water Co.

Yes, they were forgiven a month later, because you and I raised such a show of protest. Yep, that’s right! That was the brainchild of Brandau and a couple of his cohorts. Keep your hand on your wallet if Brandau is around.

Skip Crew, Fresno

Vote on fate of Electoral College

Some things that affect us all should be voted on by us all. The “poll tax” is one such thing. Should you run for dog catcher or city council person and you earn the highest number of votes, you win. That’s how our democracy works. But if you run for president of the United States and you earn the highest number of votes, you might run into a relic of the past: The 1881 Electoral College that may declare you the loser. This was glaringly evident in the last election.

How many women, for example, voted for the Electoral College? Minorities? You could argue that the Electoral College is needed to protect us from “smooth talkers” who might steal the election or that the populous of a small state like Maine would be swallowed up by the populous of a larger state like California. Fine. Make your best argument and let’s put it to a vote. If that side wins, we should salute it. But if it loses, we must relegate it, along with the Grandfather Clause, to the relics of the past. Place them all in the ashbin of history.

James E. Walton, Fresno

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