Coping with disaster
EDITOR: On Wednesday, I had breakfast with a group of friends, two of whom had barely escaped the conflagration in Larkfield. Their recently purchased home, all the work they had put into it preparing to move in, the carefully selected furnishings, the planting, all reduced to embers. So moved was I by their resilience and high spirits in the face of this disaster that I can barely type these words without weeping. Actually I can’t.
I know that similar scenes are playing out all over Northern California, demonstrating the power and support that comes from connection and community and the sense of what is really important.
It is surreal to sit here in the kitchen, safe and sound, so far, and at the same time be aware of the devastation not many miles away. Places routinely visited, familiar, some beloved, now scorched and lifeless.
It will take a long time for recovery to begin. My friends have the resources to pull through; other folks, not so much. It’s difficult to know how to help. I’ll find some way. Here is something we can all do: be ready for our lives to change drastically, be ready to be radically self-reliant so what help is available can go to those who are truly in need.
I’m packing now, I have plenty of water, portable food, important papers and a few treasured things. A full tank of gas. A plan. Maybe this will pass, and I’ll be left unscathed. Maybe not.
Tracking gun purchases
EDITOR: In all the coverage of the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, one interview really surprised me. Jill Snyder, a special agent of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, told Norah O’Donnell of CBS News that there is no federal law that tracks the accumulation of firearms and ammunition by a single person. The bureau only receives information if a person purchases two or more guns at one time.
This should be the first law enacted by Congress. It would be hard to understand why any member of Congress wouldn’t vote for it. Had a law like this been in place, the Las Vegas shooter wouldn’t have gone unnoticed while he collected his arsenal.
I think Silicon Valley super-program writers could create a program to do this in record time, and they should donate it to the government. I, for one, would feel safer if this law was in place.
My old-style phone
EDITOR: The old rotary telephone and copper landline have been so necessary during the power outage that we had for two days. Cellphones couldn’t be charged and internet service was spotty, but the rotary phone worked. We still could keep in touch with family.
The only issue was that some businesses only have “push one” options. Luckily, a person will eventually answer a telephone call to PG&E.
I would like to see landlines and old rotary telephones remain viable for years to come.
EDITOR: Although the statute of limitations may be the unfortunate determinant in the outcome, there is little question that some combination of chicanery, greed and ignorance were responsible for the illegal juicing of county pensions by the Board of Supervisors.