Thursday’s Letters to the Editor

Rivers at risk

EDITOR: The state Legislature’s $7.5 billion water plan will earmark somewhat more than $2.5 billion for storage, which almost certainly means diversions from the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

This plan was forged with little public comment. I wonder if the legislators thought through some of the problems. For example, the Klamath River is highly polluted north of Iron Gate Dam due to agricultural runoff. Where it passes through Klamath Falls, the river is brown with yellow foam along its banks. Aeration as the river falls in elevation once it enters California cleans it up somewhat. Diversion of the river from the higher elevation necessary for storage purposes will probably require significant expenditures for water treatment.


Santa Rosa

Pension progress

EDITOR: I am pleased to note that the Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association’s investments have done very well the past five years and particularly well the past two years, contrary to popular belief. The 2013 rate of return was 19.9 percent, and it was 14.8 percent in 2012.

In spite of the two very large financial downturns of the past decade, the overall Sonoma County retirement system’s ratio of assets to liabilities as of December 2013 was 82 percent on an actuarial basis. However, the real status of the system today based on the actual 2014 market value of the assets is more than 90 percent.

Since the Sonoma County retirement system will never have to pay out all its assets at once, the 90 percent funding ratio represents a very positive financial position for the fund.

The county’s contribution rate to the retirement system should begin to drop next year. Perhaps current county retirees may even hope for a small cost of living increase someday.

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