Letters for February 25 

Readers sound off on Hetch Hetchy, Crescent Security, and our music coverage.

"Tactical Change for Restore Hetch Hetchy," Eco Watch, 1/21

We're Not a Well

Thanks to the East Bay Express and Robert Gammon for pointing out the hypocrisy of some in San Francisco, particularly some political "leaders," respecting San Francisco's use (and desecration) of the beautiful Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park as its private little water storage tank. Here in Tuolumne County it is a standing joke that SF political big shots view us as a "colony" whose primary colonial function is to assure SF of a source of water.

We've had enough, and we applaud Restore Hetch Hetchy's decision to focus on San Francisco and educate the residents of SF that restoration of Hetch Hetchy Valley will not result in the loss of SF's water rights or the actual water that it takes from the Tuolumne River. The engineers have figured how to get the same water to SF without the need to first store it in a National Park. See HetchHetchy.org/studies.html

And don't believe the ridiculous $3 to $10 billion cost for restoration put forth by the Schwarzenegger administration. They crudely assumed new supplies three or four times the size of what SF now receives would be needed. The groups that have carefully studied the cost issue have said the total cost of reservoir removal and water and power replacement would run between $1 and 2 billion. Even in tough economic times that's a bargain for a second Yosemite Valley, and think of all the jobs that would be created restoring the valley and later catering to the tourists who would come to the area to view the results of the world's largest environmental restoration project.

Kris Sullivan, Sonora

Keep the Damn Dam

I think it's ironic when half truths and or twisted remarks get put down as fact. Did you read the state's report on Hetch Hetchy? I did and it basically only stated that the restoration was "possible" but went on to say that no study had been complete enough to make a valid determination of whether it would be feasible. There is an elephant in the room and that is the water rights, once the water flows into Don Pedro it becomes MID/TID's and they don't have to share! There is also the power loss and the additional power that would be needed to pump water again (reducing its reliability). Add that to the fact that the Tuolumne would not see a substantial increase at the junction with the San Joaquin, it would not help any water supply problems.

The other aspect is — what happens when you "restore" the valley. Do you want another Yosemite with all the RVs, SUVs, cars, and people? Have you ever been to Hetch Hetchy? It's much more pristine now than Yosemite because those things are NOT allowed because there is no way to get a vehicle to the other side so it's much more natural and better maintained than its BIG Brother. One other thing, you keep seeing the one shot where it's akin to Yosemite Valley but once you go around the corner it becomes much less majestic very rapidly.

Now when are they going to take out the rest of the dams, move all the people out of the valley, and create a massive flood plane like it was. OH wait the environmentalists in Oakland and Berkeley don't like that little inconvenient truth, they get their water pumped out of the Sierras too! So stop sending water to San Joaquin Valley farms — they can go back to dust, don't send it to LA, they can all die or move to the east coast — and now don't send any water to San Francisco, so who is left? Oakland and Berkeley, how egocentric. The natural environment is altered in a way that it can't be totally recovered and people are here to stay. The best thing to do is to learn to live with it and help both the natural and human environments prosper without hurting one or the other. There is a lot to be done but we are NOT ready for Hetch Hetchy to be torn down and have all the people on the peninsula be displaced because of lack of water and power.

Michael Miller, Sacramento

"Have Gun, Will Travel," Books, 1/14

Mercenaries with Heart

Crescent Security was a small-time security company that didn't provide enough manpower to do a mission appropriately. It's unfortunate that they are receiving so much free press, simply because they lacked the moral and ethical fortitude to take care of their own employees. The author of this article should do a little research on this topic. We are not "licensed to kill." We operate with strict rules of engagement and well within the acceptable standard operating procedures set forth by the Department of State.

We are former police, swat officers, and military members. We are not heartless mercenaries, as you would have your readers believe. We are simply trying to provide a good life for our families just like anyone else. We just do it in austere and dangerous environments.

Michael Parr, Onaga, Kansas

"The Karma Bandit: Howdy Cloud," Local Licks, 1/7

Bedroom Pickin'

I'm giggling over your review. I recorded straight into my computer and attempted to use a mixing program. Perhaps my skills as an engineer are lacking, but I'm glad you found the lyrics enlightening. I put my soul into it. I've never had a review before. Your review seemed funny and fair, but I thought my pick'n and melodies were shit hot also!

Loyd Skiles, Oakland

"Silk-E Venom," Music, 1/21

I'd Like to be Like Silk

Good article. I enjoy reading about struggling artists like myself. One day, who knows, the world might read my story about trying to make it in the music industry.

Chauncey "Kool Cheez" Anderson, Emeryville

Miscellaneous Letters

Three A.M. Came and Went; Impressions of Oakland

Guided by electric rails strangers in twisted stupors stumble headlong into the night. Frost bitten fingers fumble at buttons and bra hooks, laser guided genitals set to search and destroy, fog enveloped crustaceans crab walking towards the tide, all set to the soundtrack of Felix's incoherent rhapsodies spinning in the near morning. Oakland is young and naive, struggling to make it past puberty. On weekends round midnight, waves of youthful violence pulse through the streets until morning when calm is restored, the temper tantrums spelled out in lead at last put to crib.

I have known more serene sunrises in Oakland than in any town I've ever spent sleepless nights in. Over the lumbering dock giants that hoist hundred ton crates into metallic behemoths who sail confidently through tempests, up above the vaulted ceilings of Our Saint Churches, the naughty sun sneaks towards its zenith. At first her light is azure and hums like a Grecian lullaby. Hangovers soothed, all sleepless nights resolved. When seven comes around the corner heavy bronze rays fall like ice blocks onto the city and the boiling process begins anew.

Soon Oakland will boil over, the rapid water will spill over onto the heat source and douse it. Only her most beloved children will remain, starting with Felix, and also the prostitutes on San Pablo and Fortieth, who in the apocalypse will mount their idols and become sirens. In Downtown doorways there are the shopping cart refugees from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Appolonia, Sumeria, and their waning flames will reignite when for two months the darkness does not abate. The Acorn Gang, Ghosttown, International Blvd, pistols will ejaculate lead without incitement, the slugs will patiently lie in wait for their marks, and the asphalt will be pregnant with blood. The AIDS clinics will close and their patients will search for cures in the mud and gravel just to finally find the answer in empty graves. Jack London Square will secede and the merchant battleships will drag her out to sea.

I am not from Oakland, but by and by I have been seduced. I write poetry to her in my head, I sing her songs of worship with the setting of the sun, I lie awake just to make sure that the sun still rises. I run my fingers across her veins and count the bursted capillaries. Then some nights I fall asleep as soon as my head touches the pillow and I dream of my hatred for this city, and I see that it will not live to see the apocalypse, it will just wither away as it has been since the Second World War, when the Apaches came down from the hills and laid waste to the night.

Andrew Jones, Oakland

Save the Comics

Since I moved to the Bay Area in late 2001 I have seen you go through quite a bit of change, and most of it positive. I literally cheered when I read that you'd gone independent. (One can only wonder what my fellow BART passengers thought at that point.) Yet never have I written a letter to your editorial staff — until you removed my beloved cartoons.

I know times are tight, but I just believe there must be some other way. Syndicated cartoons are one of my favorite reasons for picking up the EBE, they are the manna that one does not get from the SF Chron and it's daily blogwort of crap.

Certainly, I will continue reading the EBE as long as I'm local, but without my beloved cartoons I fear I may pick you up less and less.

Save the Comics, EBE!! Cut some fat, trim some copy, but please keep our beloved comic strips!!!

Tyler Burton, Oakland

Corrections

Our January 21 food review of Banyan14 incorrectly stated the restaurant's Oakland address. It's 578 14th Street.

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