Letters to the Editor

Living in Litterville: Letters to the editor, Oct. 11, 2019

The Highway 41 and 180 interchange is shown in this drone aerial photo taken on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018.
The Highway 41 and 180 interchange is shown in this drone aerial photo taken on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. Fresno Bee file

Fresnans sadly live in Litterville

The litter and weeds on all the freeways in Fresno (41, 168, 180) are just as bad if not worse than when they were cleaned up to some extent about two years ago. Cleaning up the freeways isn’t a one time event; it has to be ongoing. Currently there is even a large tent that someone is living in at the intersections of 168 and 180 in the ravine between the two freeways.

Freeways on the coast are free of litter and tall weeds. Cities like Phoenix and Albuquerque have clean freeways without all the litter and weeds we keep perpetuating. Isn’t it about time that we address our freeways and finally say enough is enough and clean them up of litter and weeds once and for all?

After all we could just rename Clovis and Fresno based on the freeways to Litterville and Weedville.

Richard Lacy, Fresno

Column put her world right again

Thank you, Marek Warszawski, for restoring my faith in the Fresno Bee by pointing out that totalitarianism has nothing to do with democratic socialism ( Sept 18).

My good friend of 27 years and I have arguments about this. It appears we cannot discuss anything regarding politics, even an ad such as this (she is a staunch Republican and I a centrist).

When I first saw Elizabeth Heng's ad on the TV I was appalled. Ms. Heng had used disrespectful tactics before, when she ran for Jim Costa's seat. Then the Fresno Bee put an article on the front page ( Sept. 14) re: her ad, which made me wonder if The Bee was now taking sides instead of just reporting the news.

Also that day there was a more newsworthy article hidden in the paper — the story of a family stranded and how ingenious the husband was by using a centuries-old idea to facilitate their rescue. Now that was front page news, not Ms. Heng's hate-filled advertisement or how her PAC came to fruition.

I am no fan of either and I am certainly not defending Ocasio-Cortez. My preference is civility, and above all the truth, no matter which party you are support.

So thank you, Marek for putting my world right again.

Ada Voskamp-Mazzeo, Fresno

Subsidence caused by farmer greed

Kristi Diener states in her commentary (The Bee, Sept. 12) that land subsidence and aquifer degradation is no the fault of agribusiness, but of environmentalism. The facts tell a different story.

The federal water project (CVP) was built in part to aid agriculture during times of drought. Agreements were made that the water would not be used for expansion of agricultural acreage, but that is exactly what happened. This has overtaxed the CVP. Contracts far exceed the capacity of the CVP, even in the wettest years.

We are in a man-made drought caused by greed. Nut tree crops like almonds have expanded, often onto land not served by water projects, therefore requiring the use of groundwater.These crops require year-round irrigation, unlike row crops that can be retired during dry years. Most nut tree crops are exported. The majority of the owners are large corporations and hedge funds.

This is not sustainable. Collapsed aquifers will never again hold the same water. Groundwater regulation will not fully go into effect until 2040. Let’s hope we have some groundwater left to manage.

To learn more about the history of water in California, read “The Dreamt Land” by Mark Arax.

Edward Phillips, Fresno

Lots of Trump’s mess to clean up

She didn’t know it at the time, but Joyce Carol Oates provided an apt description of Donald Trump in Expensive People, one of her early novels: “Messes are made by people who want but don’t know what they want, let alone how to get it.”

Far from being a consummate dealmaker, Trump keeps on breaking things and making huge messes. The Afghanistan peace process, apparently on the cusp of success, now lies in shambles. Our domestic economy is buckling under the weight of his ill-considered tariff war with China. Instead of accepting Congress’ power of the purse, he’s raided the defense budget to construct a portion of his much vaunted wall — and a small portion at that. And the list goes on.

F. Scott Fitzgerald could also have had Trump and his cronies in mind in The Great Gatsby: “They were careless people…[T]hey smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

Steven Roesch, Fresno