Appropriate energy costs
EDITOR: Victor Suard and Jane Bender are misinformed (“Rooftop solar fees,” Letters, Oct. 4 and “Stop solar fees,” Letters, Oct. 5). The so-called fees the CPUC supports will be applied to those electric bills associated with rooftop solar under the net-energy-metering (NEM) program. This so-called “fee” is to ensure those without solar are not the only electric customers paying for reliable, round the clock service.
One’s rooftop solar system only produces power for about 22% of the time in Sonoma County because of nighttime, cloudy days, smoky skies, or whenever sunlight is blocked. Everyone must pay their fair share for the transmission line management, vegetation management, power line burials, and more. Quite simply put, the under-collection of a utility’s fixed costs (which has been rising rapidly) from those with rooftop solar will be shifted even more to non-solar customers.
The free ride is over for Victor and Jane, hence the appropriate allocation of costs to deliver electricity to the home.
Pay teachers more
EDITOR: Ron Kristof’s fine article (“Rebuilding America’s teacher corps,” Oct. 3) cites the teacher shortage including causes such as COVID-19 illness and many resignations after only a few years of teaching.
How to solve this problem: pay the teachers more. Increase salaries substantially, say by 50%. That much? Americans respect money, more money, more respect. We will attract better people and more people into teaching by paying substantially more, not just the amount districts currently offer.
Just pay the 50% more salary to people who work directly with children in classrooms, from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade. You can also improve learning by having smaller classes, so each student gets more attention and teachers have less stress and stay in the profession longer.
For taxpayers, this might cost a dollar or two more a month. The price of an ice cream cone with one scoop and no sprinkles.
Few women in Sports
EDITOR: When I look at the sports section in The Press Democrat, I’m left to think that sports are a predominately male endeavor. How about rectifying this disparity? Now that would be fair. Give half your coverage to women.
States of happiness
EDITOR: To Gayle Kozlowski’s letter (“Texas: A great state,” Oct. 5) commenting that Santa Rosa is going down the socialist path, and it’s a path that will eventually lead the people who live in Santa Rosa to ruination, as compared to Texas: Looking at the happiness index per state in the U.S., California ranks around fourth, and Texas ranks around 38th.
Then, I am reminded of the stories in the paper about local people here who were burned out of their house, got all kinds of insurance money, could have moved to anywhere in the country, investigated long and hard about trying to find a better place to live, and still ended up buying a house around Santa Rosa instead of moving to someplace like, say, Texas.
EDITOR: Let me see if I understand this. The Republicans are angry because the Democrats are proposing programs they were elected for. They include wildly popular investments in technical and “human” infrastructure all of which register sizable majorities in national polls.
The cost of doing what Democrats said they would do has been negotiated down to $3.5 trillion. Republicans are refusing to govern and risk defaulting on our national debts to force Democrats to request specific dollar amounts for the debt ceiling so that the public will confuse the cost of past expenditures with current spending and harm Democrat’s electoral chances.
Bush tax cuts cost a trillion dollars. Trump tax cuts the same. Now, Republicans quibble about national investments and child care.
As default looms, Republicans have blinked, but not participated. They don’t appear concerned with creating a stable, prosperous country.
Meanwhile, two Dem grandstanders, (Sens.) Manchin and Sinema, hold the president’s entire agenda hostage, ignoring their 48 colleagues, demanding huge program cuts but refusing to say which programs. This is not negotiation; it’s blackmail.
If I understood these dynamics correctly, the obvious next questions should be: “What kind of people are these? Why are they in office?”
Push for green solutions
EDITOR: Here we go again! Oil on our shoreline from Huntington Beach to Dana Point. Beaches closed for weeks to months. Seals covered in oil. Dead birds and fish. Wetlands degraded. The smell of oil permeates the air.
Our climate is in crisis. Let’s do everything we can to implement green energy. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) must promote solar energy, not side with the utilities. Remember, rooftop solar does not cause oil spills, does not destroy our pristine coastlines, does not injure or kill marine life and erode habitats.
It’s time for Governor Newsom to stand up for Californians by weighing in on the CPUC’s continued support of utilities instead of doing what’s best for California and the climate.
We don’t need more fossil fuel plants. We need more alternative green energy sources to save our planet. We have the power to end this devastating cycle. Let’s use it!
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