Our Views is a near-sighted one

To the Editor:

The idea that Board of Supervisors chairman, Karl Rodefer, and Supervisor Sherri Brennan, Rodefer’s appointee to head efforts to combat wildfire risk, is comical. These supervisors are among those politicians who for 35 years have resisted climate science warnings that half the forests of California would be lost to global warming during this century.

We’re living with the results of unheeded critical warnings and denial of science. These supervisors never demanded Congressman McClintock end atmospheric pollution to protect our region from a relentlessly worsening climate.

Rodefer and Brennan’s willful ignorance has come home to us as bark beetles killing 130 million pines, as bigger, hotter wind-driven wildfires, and as the growing potential of catastrophic flooding from storms. Our communities, like Paradise, are becoming more vulnerable.

Funding to confront these problems hasn’t come from responsible local taxes that have supported wise planning for years. Plan and raise taxes for the good of our communities? Not a chance. Current efforts are only possible because of new state government contributions.

The Union Democrat and our local radio stations have shamelessly failed to report accurately on global warming. They report symptoms — like wildfires and storms — but disregard causes. No wonder our citizens scoff at science and elect oblivious leaders.

In 1960 Sonora had 61 days of 90-degree weather; in 2018 it had 71 days. Temperatures will rise an average of 2.4 degrees per decade. By 2100 Sonora will have an intolerable 97 days of 90-112 degree weather.

Adapting to today’s challenges without addressing the causes leaves us exposed to what is predictable. We must adapt while simultaneously demanding that Congress applies science to policy to avoid the worst. Rodefer and Brennan are dealing with the symptoms they were instrumental in creating — like a pair of firebugs running the fire department.

Robert Carabas


Words matter

To the Editor:

People who choose to use the word “illegal” to describe “undocumented” immigrants foster ignorance about immigration in the U.S. Let’s look at the facts of immigration:

• The Economic Policy Institute reports 9 percent of California’s working population is undocumented. Imagine losing almost 1 in 10 of our workers in jobs no one else wants.

• The USDA says half the labor on farms is undocumented immigrants. Elimination of undocumented immigrant labor would cause 3,500 dairies to close and spike milk prices 90%.

• Stephen Goss, chief actuary of Social Security says undocumented immigrants paid $13 Billion into Social Security in 2010, which increases yearly. He notes Social Security increasingly relies on those funds as Baby Boomers retire. By law undocumented immigrants never receive those funds.

• The Center for Disease Control and the Census Bureau announced in 2017 that the US birthrate is below replacement rate. We now depend on immigrants for the workforce that will fund taxes for public services.

• A 2018 study in the journal Criminology joins other studies showing states with higher percentage of undocumented immigrants have lower crime rates than states with less undocumented immigrants. A Cato Institute study shows states with increases in undocumented immigrants are associated with ‘significant decreases in the prevalence of violence.’

• FBI data documents from 1993-2016 violent crimes in the US fell 48%.

As to questions why undocumented immigrants don’t make ‘legal’ application to immigrate, presenting themselves at the border stations is legal US policy to apply for immigration. Families are not criminals, and yet they are targeted by separating children from parents. NPR and CNN report 10,000 immigrant children were in US immigration detention in 2018.

Those who spread ignorance against immigrants threaten these necessary and hardworking members of our society, and shame their own immigrant roots.

Barbara Dresslar



To the Editor:

In a letter in the Jan. 24 edition of your paper, a writer states that “Illegal immigrants do not sneak across our southern border.” Unless I’m to disbelieve my own eyes while reading this article I’m also watching a news station out of Sacramento showing surveillance video of approximately 20+ illegal immigrants scaling our southern border utilizing an extension ladder into Arizona. On the same broadcast the Pope touring Panama said border walls are wrong. Yet the Vatican city has a very formidable wall itself.

The letter writer seems to think we shouldn’t have walls at the border to protect our sovereignty and national culture(s).

Having been to Mexico and the Middle East I can understand why many people want to come here for a better and safer life because their own leaders are so vile and corrupt stealing funds sent by our government to make their countries better.

When individuals choose to break the law, regardless of the reason or how they justify doing so in their own minds for their own personal reasons causes civil disorder which affects all citizens.

As a teenager in the early 1980s living outside of Phoenix I recall a news story about illegal immigrants being found in a rental moving truck all dead due to to heat exhaustion. Fact is this has been a crisis for many decades. It didn’t start with the current administration and it won’t end here. Republican and Democratic administrations have been ineffective in curtailing this issue.

We have electrified fences around the nation’s prisons and other places which require security to keep those of us who choose to respect the law safe and from harm.

I will say that I do agree with some of his views but disagree with his blanket statement regarding the border.

Glenn Gamble


Lying laws

To the Editor:

Ref CV 148.5 (a): Civilians can not lie to officials, but officials can lie to civilians? I know, lying to civilians catches a lot of criminals, but is it right? I think not.

Is something morally wrong worth It? “Got to think like a criminal”? I am still struggling with this. Your thoughts?

Paul McNaul

Phoenix Lake

Walls work

To the Editor:

The Democrats claim walls don’t work. History dictates otherwise.

Haidian’s Wall.

The Great Wall of China.

The Berlin Wall.

The current Israel’s Wall.

During their time, they worked.

C. Pesha