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- One man saw the activities of some local growers and the inactivity of governments as inconsistent with drought. “Why are farmers planting all-new orchards and fields? Take a look at that big area about six miles east of 145 where there is a huge planting of whatever is going in there. Almonds or whatever. If there’s such a water shortage, why are they permitted to go ahead and plant all these trees, vineyard, or whatever’s going in there? Look around the county, look around the Fresno area. Why are these farmers planting all-new orchards and vineyards?
“So my question is do we really have a water shortage or is it that people are thinking more about dollars than they are running out of water? Something to think about. Where are you state officials, county officials, and city officials? Think about it.”
- A woman also shared her concern about those wasting water but she focused on those in the city, particularly some homes on the east side of Schnoor St. “We’re really in need of water so why are we letting the people ... [waste] water. Every single day we see water running down the gutter. I can’t believe them. People have suggested we double the rate but it doesn’t do any good, they can afford it. They can still waste the water... They say they can’t shut it off; they need it for survival, for bathrooms, for showers, to cook. But why are they wasting water? I don’t understand.
“Maybe someone can take pictures and can send them to Gov. Brown... We pass by there every single day twice a day and see water running into the gutter. Please don’t waste the water. The farmers need the water, the crops, the animals, the trees. Please stop wasting the water. If not for yourself, for the rest of the country or state, which is in dire need of water. Thank you.”
- A female caller felt the state’s priorities should shift from bullet trains to water. “You drive to L.A. or you drive to San Francisco, it’s very simple. Or you fly. We don’t need to spend all the money in the world for high-speed rail... All the money ... that Gov. Brown wants to spend on high-speed rail, we need to be put ... so we can get water from the delta. The smelt and the salmon can go on out to the ocean. We need water. Us, as farmers, need water desperately.
“And it’s very funny that ... bishops are advising us to pray for rain, but Gov. Brown says, ‘I’m trying to go beyond that.’ So what now, Gov. Brown is God? He can do more than pray? ... We have no water, we have nothing. The high-speed rail needs to hit the road and forget it because we are going to lose more jobs ever if we don’t have water. We won’t eat, you’ll pay [higher] prices ... for meat, dairy products, everything without water. High-speed rail, adios. We need water and we need money to get water out of the delta. Goodbye, smelt. Goodbye, salmon. As a farmer, we need water. Goodbye, Gov. Brown.”
- Offering a contrary opinion, an online reader reacted to Mark Smith’s article Friday on Valley residents rallying in Sacramento to demand action on several water issues. “Sacramento can’t make it rain,” he wrote. “This is what happens when you let uncontrolled population grow in a drought area where you plant crops.”
- A different Internet reader expressed her affection for the annual Old Timers Day parade, which struggled for funding in 2013. “It would be a sad thing indeed to not have the one thing that brings the community together.. And it’s not Walmart or the Welfare Dept,” she wrote. “Or the hospital.”
- Another lady called to praise an opinion essay on a Catholic religious order that is resisting the government’s attempt to force it to provide insurance coverage for contraception and abortion-causing drugs. “I’m calling about the article, the commentary by Thomas Purcell dated Thursday, Jan. 16. It was a beautiful article and I thank you for publishing it. Little Sisters of the Poor have very strong values and our government is trying to abuse them. I pray that everybody will read the article and understand where our private views are being attacked. Please, please read the article. Thank you.”
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