Letters to the Editor

Water rates affecting residents

I have recently written a letter concerned with the drastic water increases that have been thrust upon the residents of Santa Fe Irrigation District. These rates increases will be impacting the older, retired residents especially hard. These folks are often on a fixed income. After living here for years, they do not want to be forced from their homes because of a utility cost, which is increasing at many times the rate of inflation.

Therefore, I would suggest a number of things:

1. Any new development/home being build should be assessed a hook-up fee. This hook-up fee, which could be included in the mortgage, should be applied towards SFID’s Capital Expenditures/Capital Improvements.

2. In addition, water rates should not be based solely on a tiered usage, but also when homes are purchased. The water rate should than be indexed for inflation. .

3. A “Senior Discount” should be granted for our older neighbors. They are given this consideration at a wide variety of other venues — why not the water utility?

4. If the water sources increase disproportionately for higher allotments, this especially underscores that newer residents and newer homes should pay more. These are the users that are driving much of the increase in demand.

Whether we live in Solana Beach, Fairbanks Rancho or Rancho Santa Fe, none of us want to be forced from our homes because of this utility cost, which has far outstripped inflation.

Roadways are considered seriously and often in their ability to handle increased traffic in the San Diego area. It is far past time that water be considered in the same light in an Environmental Impact Statement.

As a final point, when will all San Diego municipalities start considering water availability as a key “infrastructure” item? As I see large developments in La Jolla, Escondido, down near Interstate 8, I shiver wondering when.

Curt Jaeger,

Rancho Santa Fe

 

Doing good in the world

Last night I read Celia Kiewit’s Community Commentary: “Power to the People.” I was so incredibly disheartened by her rant.

This morning I woke up and read the story about Pacific Ridge School student Katie Meitchik and Syrian art therapist Massa Abujeib of the nonprofit Kids for Peace (“Student organizes fundraiser to help start art therapy program in Syria,” Dec. 9).  Meitchik and Abujeib are examples to all of us of the real Power of the People.  Those who spread light into a darkened and complex world with compassionate actions.

Sarah Garfield,

Encinitas

 

Taking Encinitas forward

I congratulate the newly installed city council and mayor, and look forward to years of Encinitas moving forward.

I also thank the past city council for their hard work in making Encinitas the wonderful city that it is.  I especially thank the past city council for their progressive action to work toward the reduction of green house gases, which contributes to climate change.

Your work to direct the city staff to re-write the climate action plan to include measurable, binding goals for the city is a great improvement to the past plan.  Also having the city take a net-neutral stance for green house gases, planing to have solar panels installed on city buildings, and looking to reduce tailpipe emissions will help the city reach those goals.  I especially want to thank council-members Muir and Shaffer for taking the leadership role for Encinitas and neighboring cities to explore a community choice energy (CCE) option for our power.

I look forward to the new council to continue exploring, with our neighbors, the feasibility of developing a CCE. With a CCE in place, the city and residents will be able to buy clean power from green sources and will also be able to sell excess solar energy produced at a more reasonable price.

With a better selling price, I can see the city not being a net zero energy producer, but a net positive energy producer generating revenue from the sun.  Part of this revenue could be used to pay down the initial investment faster, and part could be used for future green projects.

The city could incentivize private transportation companies such as Uber or Lyft to come to Encinitas with electric powered self-driving cars. With a subsidy, these companies could provide clean transportation for resident’s from their doorstep to shops, restaurants, or shopping centers, reducing personal auto usage, reducing traffic and parking congestion and also reducing tailpipe emissions.

There is much to be done, and it is looking more like we can’t rely on the federal government.  If climate change is to be dealt with, it seems like the lion’s share will have to be done at the state and local level, and I have full confidence that our new city council will do the right thing.

Edward P. Wade,

Encinitas

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