Look north for water
EDITOR: We can’t conserve water if there’s nothing to conserve. Even the early Etruscans knew enough to find reliable water sources and transport it to where it was needed. Since we’ve been counting tree rings in California, we know this area suffers from periodic droughts, some of which lasted 30 years or longer. You’d think we would have made plans for such a contingency.
Back in 1977, there were serious discussions about where to go for water, and that was north. Since we share this drought with other states, obtaining water should be a shared responsibility. Alaska and Canada between them may have a quarter of the continent’s fresh water. Canada’s Great Slave Lake alone could probably recharge the entire Colorado River aquifer.
There are river systems that could be utilized to carry water for much of the distance, supported, of course, by pipelines, pump stations and canals. Such a project would be monumental in scope, but considering the resources we could bring, it would be perfectly feasible.
We have no idea how long the present drought may continue, but in the face of climate change can we afford to wait? Perhaps it’s time to pull together all interested parties and see if we can get a secure source of water for the American West.
Reading to kids
EDITOR: It was exciting to read that digital technology is successfully overcoming the “word gap” in Napa Valley schools (“Digital learning for preschoolers,” Sunday). Low-income children enter kindergarten exposed to 30,000 fewer words than children from high-income families. Using a computer program called Footsteps2Brilliance, Napa schools are expanding word exposure for nursery school children. Hopefully, all Napa parents have access to this technology.
In June, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement prescribing reading aloud to infants and young children. Yes, good old-fashioned reading aloud. Here in Fort Bragg, census data tells us that we have 535 children 5 or younger. Fort Bragg Rotary President Craig Woods set a goal of reaching all 535 children. He called his project “Read Aloud Lights Up Lives.”
Exploring how to promote reading aloud, Fort Bragg Rotary Club members found a website called readaloud.org that urges parents to read aloud to their children for 15 minutes every day.
Let’s all utilize the wonders of technology, but please read aloud for 15 minutes every day to every young child. You give a gift of words, bonding, brain development and curiosity.
Zane abuses position
EDITOR: If there was going to be condemnation from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors regarding Deputy Erick Gelhaus returning to patrol duty without the board being notified, this should have been addressed by the entire board. I feel that Shirlee Zane was completely out of line in co-authoring the Close to Home column in Friday’s paper (“Return of deputy was ‘slap in face’ ”).
The phrase Zane used in Friday’s news article — “Leadership is not about making decisions in isolation: it’s about listening to the wise council of others” — was ludicrous (“Zane blasts sheriff over deputy decision”). Just who comprises the wise council? Certainly not the Board of Supervisors or the Santa Rosa City Council, whose members can’t seem to agree on anything.