We need to build Temperance Flat Dam
There is no water shortage. What we have is a shortage of water storage.
To emphasize this point - last week at Friant Dam, they began releasing 6,000 cubic foot of water per second to make room for runoff due to potential flooding. That is the equivalent, per day, of Bulldog stadium filled to 12,000 feet high.
Every year, there is an average flood release from Friant of 500,000 acre feet - the equivalent of Bulldog stadium filled to nearly 100 miles high.
The storage capacity of Friant Dam is 520,000 acre feet. The proposed Temperance Flat Dam would more than double the storage, and allow us to capture the water that is now released every year for flood control. This can be used to recharge the underground aquifer through interconnected recharge basins.
The yearly loss of this water means that jobs, food, community health and prosperity are flowing down the river out to the ocean. This leaves our already disadvantaged communities at a greater disadvantage.
It is likely, with the new presidential administration, that federal water policy will be reexamined and changed in a manner favorable to our region. We need to build Temperance Flat Dam to preserve our water, recharge our ground water, and protect jobs and our future.
David Rogers, District 2 Madera County Supervisor
One of the measures on the California ballot in November 2016 was Proposition 61. If the measure had passed, it would have allowed state government agencies to be able to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry, which the Veterans Administration is able to do.
Bill Atwood stated in his editorial in the Sierra Star, dated Oct. 27, 2016, “As soon as ‘Socialist’ Bernie Sanders endorsed it (Proposition 61), I know I was right to oppose it.” Mr. Atwood would do well to focus more on those interest groups who financed that campaign to defeat the measure.
The “Vote No” campaign received $109 million from the pharmaceutical industry. Among the major contributors were: Merck & Co. Inc. ($94 million); Pfizer Inc. ($94 million); Johnson & Johnson ($93 million). For a more complete list visit: marketwatch.com/story/drug-companies-spend-109-million-to-block-vote-to-lower-drug-prices-2016-11-06.
The money paid for advertising designed to mislead the public used fear tactics. The public was told that if state agencies were allowed to negotiate prices with the “Big Pharma,” the drug companies would be forced to raise prices for veterans. But the Veterans Administration is protected by federal law.
Big Pharma’s real concern was that if state agencies could negotiate drug prices, Medicare and private insurance companies would seek to do likewise. The public needs to be aware that Medicare is prevented from negotiating drug prices because the Medicare Part D bill passed by Congress in 2003 was de facto crafted by the pharmaceutical lobby. Price negotiation is very much a part of the free enterprise system, but “Big Pharma” is not so much free enterprise as it is a cartel.
One did not have to be a fan of Bernie Sanders to vote “yes” on 61, but a “no” vote was a vote in favor of “Cartelism.” Thus, as soon as I learned that Big Pharma was behind the no vote, I knew I was right to vote “yes” on Prop. 61.
Hopefully, we’ll have another chance to bring more power back to the people in the not too distant future.
James Bailey, Oakhurst