Letters to the editor for the week of 12/4/19

Guidelines for letters

All letters must contain an address and phone number. Only one letter per week per person will be published; only one letter per person per month regarding the same topic will be published. Feather Publishing does not print third-party, anonymous or open letters. Letters must not exceed 300 words. Writers responding to previously published letters may not mention the author by name. The deadline is Friday at noon; deadlines may change due to holidays. Letters may be submitted at any of Feather Publishing’s offices, sent via fax to 283-3952 or emailed to [email protected].

Water resources

A century ago the town of Portola had pioneers like Charles Gulling, who were utilizing water resources for community development. In the last 50 years the California Department of Water Resources has used our watershed primarily to supply water for downstream communities and agriculture. Our communities are disadvantaged. DWR has used the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to divert water stored at the Davis and Frenchman Reservoirs past our city to the Oroville Reservoir. We have to rely on allocations from the Davis Reservoir for our surface water resource. Many of our springs are no longer in service. Our wells do not meet current arsenic standards. We may be facing seasons of drought again.


The City of Portola now owns and manages the Lake Davis Water Treatment Plant below the aging Grizzly Dam with a six-mile pipeline. The city pays the county for an allocation to pay for maintenance of the State Water Project, its development and our water rights. SWP faces waters shortages and potential flooding from upstream dam failures. It is time for the city to become assertive and economically self-reliant. Water contractors face the expense of the Oroville spillway repair.

Portola is the only sub-contractor at the SWP’s point of origin. We are not compensated for our natural resource and live with allocations. We pay for them whether we use them or not. They can be reduced in times of drought. It is time to reconstruct our past local water project and relocate our water treatment plant to a water project beneficial to our community development. Our treated water resources can economically serve our water customers, and other local water districts. It will have a positive impact on the SW. The wild and scenic river should be downstream!

Larry Douglas



Social Security COLA

Speaking as a retired, senior citizen, just because our expected years of life dwindle, that does not mean that our cost of living does as well. We still need adequate and affordable, life necessities; yet according to the yearly CPI, which determines our yearly cost of living (COLA) amount, it would seem we’re expected to, eventually, just fade away. By law, our yearly COLA must equal the yearly CPI, (consumer price index) and, consequently, should be increasing accordingly, so, I took a look. There have been seven Presidents in office since 1974, not counting President Trump. Taking the actual amount of COLA’s per year and dividing by the number of years each president was in office, I found the overall Social Security COLA increases:

1974 – 1977, 4 yrs., 5.08 percent, President Ford

1978 – 1981, 4 yrs., 10.48 percent, President Carter

1982 – 1989, 8 yrs., 3.95 percent, President Reagan* (matched the CPI)


1980 – 1993, 4 yrs., 2.10 percent, President George H. W. Bush

1994 – 2001, 8 yrs., 2.19 percent, President Bill Clinton

2002 – 2009, 8 yrs., 2.72 percent, President George W. Bush

2010 – 2017, 8 yrs., 1.35 percent, President Barack Obama

It’s no secret that paychecks, seemingly, get smaller as prices get higher, but read the CPI for yourself to see how the COLAs are being figured, I did, and I still don’t understand it. In reality, everything seems to be going up in price, but, according to actual COLAs, with very few exceptions, it’s a sliding formula, in the wrong direction.

Nansi Bohne


Our best-selves

I found it interesting that in last week’s paper, your editorial asked for civility in our discourse and then in this week’s paper, there are two letters that continue the vitriol. I feel very worn down by the state of our nation’s public discourse; including right here, in the Letters to the Editor. Censorship, even of nastiness and deliberate falsehoods, just seems like a slippery slope to avoid. So, what to do? First, I want to thank several letter writers who have civilly countered misleading statements and poor behavior.  And one thing upon which I think we can all agree, is that we live in very frustrating times.  That’s how nasty and incendiary talk radio got started: Expressing people’s frustrations and broadcasting anger that like minds can relate to and then magnifying it. The echo chamber is very self-reinforcing. “My viewpoint must be right because that guy on the radio said it so well.” But the echo chamber is also isolating and lacking a sense of community further frustrates. Too much time in the echo chamber also makes us lazy communicators. It’s more difficult to listen, comprehend and thoughtfully respond rather than wait for someone to stop talking so we can spew our own talking points. I would like to suggest we have compassion for each other. We’re all frustrated.  But rather than call those we disagree with clever demeaning names, perhaps we could think about what we’re putting out into our community and the world — is our speech creating the kind of world we want to live in? Or is our speech contributing to our collective misery? The holidays may present many opportunities for us to practice listening and enjoy banter with all kinds of people. Let’s present our best selves.


Leslie Mink


A Fairy Tale by Frank

Once upon a time, there was a rich, powerful, benevolent guy, he built this huge residential project on a perfect, beautiful piece of real estate. It was so nice you might even call it a paradise. There was only one catch, the people were warned not to ruin the place or he would return one day and ruin them.

Well a few of the people were responsible, but the majority started to trash the place. They even polluted the soil under it. It got so bad the air was dangerous to breathe and the water was unfit to drink. Actually it got to a point where life for living beings would not be possible.

Well there is a happy ending to this tale. The owner, a guy who was unable to lie, came back one day and boy!! was he ticked off. He got rid of all the greedy slobs and saw to it that the few responsible folks were able to repair all the damage and restore things to a pristine condition and they lived happily forever after.


I must admit I plagiarized this story from another book, it was a real good book though.

Frank Kortangian