New tax law favors the rich

To the Editor:

This is my response to a letter published on Jan. 3.

I agree that a tax break for the corporations can create jobs, if that’s what the management uses it for. However, tax reductions for the super-rich (who already are not even close to “earning” their exorbitant incomes) stinks.

It makes no sense at all unless you consider that so doing provides Trump himself a $1 billion windfall. A nice pay-off for one so unqualified to be president to trouble himself to get elected.

I’m not brainwashed, but I think a huge tax break for the super-rich at the expense of the little guy is wrong. “America is bankrupt,” said Trump and already can’t pay its bills due to being short of income.

Thus Trump’s Little Team” (O’Connell/Ryan) rammed through that tax cut presumably to “boost employment.” But why for the super-rich at the direct expense of everyone else? The only way it makes sense to me is that it gives Trump personally a golden parachute to escape the crash that is bound to ensue.

Tom Cole

San Andreas

More on water testing

To the Editor:

It is understandable that Sasha Farkas, a leader with the Farm Bureau and grazing interests, would write a letter to the editor attacking CSERC for sampling water quality. Our non-profit center’s staff respects the views of those who advocate for mining or livestock grazing or other activities that may cause various environmental effects. So we are not surprised by his letter.

However, Sasha’s letter contains misinformation that deserves to be corrected. First, we understand that as an advocate for livestock interests, Sasha prefers to endorse the limited stream sampling done years ago by U.C. Davis rangeland researchers. However, their studies were never done consistent with State Water Board protocols. In contrast, CSERC biologists fully comply with mandated scientific protocols for all water sampling.

Second, Sasha incorrectly claimed that CSERC’s findings “were thrown out” due to violations of protocols. In fact, a single typo in one GPS coordinate number submitted in highly detailed CSERC data to the Water Board resulted in one stream not being recommended by the State for listing as “impaired” (polluted). However, despite opposition by ranching interests, the Water Board staff determined that CSERC’s data was the best available science and justified the Board to recommend listing four forest streams tested by CSERC as contaminated and “impaired”.

In October a new scientific paper authored by CSERC biologists was published in a scientific journal as peer-reviewed science. The paper further documented that violations of water quality standards in forest streams are often closely associated with livestock presence along the sampled streams.

Last, despite cynicism by Sasha, CSERC biologists work to locate contaminated water whatever the potential source of pollution might be – not simply where cow patties may obviously raise levels of fecal coliform in water. We believe that clean water is important to all, no matter their political perspective.

John Buckley

Executive Director

Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center

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