February 22, 2024
East Bay Times Letters to the Editor for Aug. 29, 2023

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PG&E should invest in
tech, not tree-trimming

Re: “PG&E wildfire strategy needs careful scrutiny” (Page A6, Aug. 9).

PG&E should never have targeted tree removal for their primary wildfire response. For years safety and environmental activists have asked PG&E to install fast-circuit reclosers and insulated lines, as trees only cause a minority of incidents. Back in 2019, PG&E ex-CEO Bill Johnson admitted that seasonally strong horizontal winds made tree trimming ineffectual.

The larger question centers around PG&E’s foreseeable mistake of spending $2.5 billion on this unproven and ineffective tree-removal program. Regulators and shareholders should be crying foul on five years of wasted resources.

Regulators should also insist that PG&E discontinue the ongoing $500 million tree-cutting near gas pipelines where no tree has caused a gas accident.

The time is over for PG&E’s knee-jerk criminalization of our beneficial trees. PG&E should use this money, and their vast advertising budget, and instead invest in the latest gas and electrical technology to keep our state safe.

Michael Dawson
Co-founder, Save Lafayette Trees
Lafayette

Ethnic studies will
not unite our youth

Re: “Students finding their voices in ethnic studies” (Page A1, Aug. 26).

Worldwide racial and ethnic history reveal that human nature is deeply flawed. E pluribus unum, an American ideal, struggles against the worst in human nature. It’s the foundation of our unique American culture. However, the ethnic studies curriculum allows each California local educational agency to adopt an ethnic studies curriculum based on the community’s ethnic and demographic makeup. Where are the school districts whose predominant ethnic makeup is Armenian, Sikh or Jewish?

Districts are encouraged to “closely scrutinize” curricular materials to ensure they don’t promote “bias, bigotry, or discrimination,” but who follows up? How to deal with inappropriate curriculum or teachers?

Mara Cavallaro said, “Ethnic studies demands that we talk about the histories of oppression and how they manifest today,” which suggests ethnic studies will result merely in “grievance studies” tailored to the ethnicity of school districts. But uniting our youth as Americans is essential to successfully face the unknowns ahead.

Julia Lutch
Davis

Trump mug shot is
a sign of desperation

Re: “Trump’s mug shot: ‘Not comfortable,’ but has potential of a big fundraiser” (Page A4, Aug. 26).

Former President Trump’s feeble attempt to embolden his supporters and frighten his enemies with his ridiculously juvenile “mug shot” indicates his desperation.

In spite of donors still throwing money at his campaign and MAGA voters sticking with him, the four significant indictments against him gravely threaten his political survival. President Biden struck the right note when asked for his reaction by a reporter: “I did see it on television. Handsome guy.

Ruby MacDonald
El Cerrito

California must support
other states’ Dem voters

The most astonishing event at the GOP presidential debate was that three-quarters of the candidates for the highest office in the land stated they would support Donald Trump as the nominee for president, even if he is found guilty of any of the felonious charges filed against him.

This is simply gobsmacking when one realizes that 13 states, all deep red and Trump-supporting, have over 4 million convicted felon residents who are not even allowed to vote by their GOP-led state governments.

But these “patriotic” candidates would support Trump holding the highest office in the land, after attempting a violent (felonious) coup. This is just further evidence that these folks are not, and never were, the “Moral Majority.”

We Californians must not just vote here, but must support voters in blue-leaning states to ensure these candidates’ “Dear Leader” is not allowed anywhere near the reins of power in America again.

Doug McClelland
Brentwood

There’s no faking
evidence against Trump

Donald Trump’s supporters say that all these charges against him are false and politically motivated, but we all saw, with our own eyes, Trump incite and inspire the insurrection from Twitter to Facebook to the Ellipse. How can anybody say the charges are false when we all saw it with our own eyes?

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We all heard the audio of Trump threatening Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find 11,780 votes for him. We heard it with our own ears. How can Trump supporters say that the charges are politically motivated?

Trump’s efforts to subvert the election were extensive, well-documented and largely in public view. It’s a masterful job of gaslighting when you can convince people that they didn’t hear or see what they heard and saw.

Frank Grygus
San Ramon

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