Let’s see who really drains the state’s water before fining households


Regarding “Daily fine expected for water wasters” (Home page, December 19): This story does not reflect current reality. Most suburban water users have already reduced their total water consumption. Much of the reason the reservoirs dry up so quickly is due to the cultivation of almond trees.

Almond growers in California added about 340,000 acres of orchards in just three years, from 2018 to 2020. A single almond may require 1.1 gallons of water to grow. Only a few trees could use as much water as some households for an entire year. Add to these facts that 80% of California’s almonds are exported and agriculture accounts for 80% of California’s water use overall. We export our water abroad in the form of nuts.

As our rivers dry up, salmon fisheries crumble and lawns turn brown, almond growers laugh at the shore. Stop sending our water resources overseas and start attacking the real culprits of depleted reservoirs.

Mike Aughney, Sebastopol

The tree is Christian

Regarding “No Christianity in the Tree” (Letters, December 21): Most people call it a Christmas tree, not a winter holiday tree or a Saturnalia tree or a Solstice tree. Decorating a tree in winter may not originally have been a Christian tradition, but it certainly has been over the past five centuries. (And by the way, the decorated tree proscribed in Jeremiah chapter 10, verses 3-5, was an idol that was worshiped, not a holiday home decor item.)

Would you say Easter is not a Christian holiday due to its pagan roots as a celebration of spring fertility? A tree is part of the modern celebration of Christmas, the feast during which Christians celebrate the birth of the son of God, the Messiah (it doesn’t matter when he was actually born, which no one knows anyway). The tree is therefore a religious symbol.

Todd Silverstein, San Rafael

Boudin is offline

Regarding “cracking down on the assaulted race net” (Homepage, December 21): San Francisco faces an epidemic of overdose deaths, open-air drug trafficking, and intravenous drug use. Our mayor, London Breed, had the insight and courage to take bold action to combat it. Our attorney’s response?

“These are certainly not the only tools available,” said Chesa Boudin.

No doubt there are other tools. Is it hard to see that the other tools are not working? Meanwhile, the deaths and intolerable living conditions of residents continue. What is “San Francisco” like?

Ed Moore, San Francisco

Care for the elderly is in crisis

Regarding “Caring for the Elderly in the United States Has Gotten More Difficult” (Open Forum, December 21): Thank you for posting Dave Iverson’s deeply moving article. Iverson himself is a legend in the Parkinson’s Bay community for his two documentaries, “Capturing Grace,” on the revolutionary dance for the Parkinson’s movement, and “My Father, My Brother and I,” on families.

Iverson was the hero of my husband, who recently passed away after 20 years of Parkinson’s disease, several of them with increasing dementia, which luckily Iverson seems to have avoided.

Like Iverson’s mom, but not so long ago, my husband Tim needed my 24/7 care and a growing cohort of caregivers. (Unlike Dave, I was getting older but had no progressive, incurable disease.) We too had resources to draw on and an insistence on paying living wages to valued caregivers.

Iverson understands that thousands – probably millions – do not have these options and that for a growing number of struggling families, desperately needed change is not a move on a political spectrum, but a sheer tragedy our country is facing. and its leaders must cope.

Donna Mickleson, Berkeley


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