Spiller Rd. project just more sprawl

Dear editor:

Re: “As many as 300 homes planned above landfill,” Herald, A1, Jan. 22

I find the announcement of hundreds of houses in the hills above the Campbell Mountain landfill (actually a dump; the land was already “filled”) profoundly depressing. 

Sendero Canyon is also urban sprawl, but at least that land was already pretty much trashed before houses were built there. The land above the dump is still wild, and, contrary to the arrogant attitude of us humans, it is fully “developed” and occupied, by a huge variety of plants, mammals, invertebrates, soil organisms, lichens, mosses, and other living beings. 

Virtually all of these will be destroyed or displaced by housing and with nary a thought to what has been done.

I have news for the developers and the city; there is no such thing as an “environmentally friendly” road, especially one on which hundreds of vehicles will run 24/7. 

Roads are death for wild creatures, disrupt travel routes for many, and for some small creatures can completely stop their ability to move through the landscape. Pavement increases the temperature in summer and water flow spring-fall especially in steep terrain. Roads allow even greater access to the remaining wild lands beyond them for “recreation” including ATVs and dirt bikes, which do enormous damage to the land and add to the disruption of wild creatures’ lives. 

And in case anyone is inclined to trot out the old chestnut that “we have to balance the environment (everything but us) against human needs (mostly wants)” here’s a statistic to mull over: Ninety per cent of the Earth’s biomass is taken up by humans and our domesticated animals; that leaves 10 per cent for the billions of other species (Harari. Homo Deus, 2016). If this statistic were reversed, we might legitimately talk about “balance;” at present the argument is merely an excuse to get what we want.

Allowing urban sprawl is one of the more egregious examples of active inaction. More cars driving up and down to town, more undoubtedly oversized houses requiring all the services along with more confrontations between humans and wild animals in which the latter almost always lose, etc.

Oh, and a single road access to housing that will be in a fire interface zone. The insanity continues.

Eva Durance


Strangers’ help much appreciated

Dear editor:

Sincere thanks to a lady and two gentlemen willing to take time to help me get out of a difficult situation Sunday afternoon, Jan. 13.

I was riding my electric wheelchair along Fairview Avenue. I stopped to press the walk button at the lights. Having to go off the sidewalk, the wheels on one side were off the ground. As I struggled to correct the problem these kind folks came to my rescue. 

Their willingness to help is much appreciated. Although I didn’t get their names, thank you. 

Joan Morgenstern


Email hack not really that hard

Dear editor:

There are always two sides to a story.

One side has sneaky Russian technical wizards, in the middle of the night, hacking into the Democratic National Committee. The other side is the direct evidence contained in those hacked John Podesta emails. 

The emails clearly show that Podesta was computer illiterate. Hacking emails requires a user’s ID and a password. Podesta’s user ID was john.podesta@gmail.com. Who would have guessed? And his password: a modification of the word password. Oh my goodness, we just hacked the Podesta emails.

At least twice, Podesta asked advice on what he should do with phishing emails. It gets worse. Podesta left his IPhone in a taxi. He didn’t use a passcode for his iPhone: no security. Dumb and dumber.  

Maybe, one day, the national media will cover the “other” side of the “hacked email” story. 

David Gregory


Politicians ought to sing the blues

Dear editor:

In 1956, Guy Mitchell recorded, “Singing the Blues,” which went something like this.

“The moon and stars no longer shine, the dream is gone I thought was mine.

“There’s nothing left for me to do, but cry-cry-cry over you.”

Now if proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the public has a new political show to follow after curtains and eyebrows were raised concerning the possible crimes committed by people who may end up singing the blues inside the honey wagon!

I believe if found guilty, no matter who they think they are, they should pay back all money, cost of trips, gifts, booze, etc., even if it means losing their home and friends in high places! I hope they don’t use the plea of a guilty cop, who participated in the death of an innocent, who wants to sue because he now suffers PTSD!

Maybe in time all political pork proven guilty can form a choir and sing the blues together!

Let’s just hope this Legislative fiasco doesn’t end up costing thousands just to get an acquittal as in the Senator Mike Duffy case, who is trying to sue. Just for once it would be nice to see political thugs and creeps get their asses kicked and put behind razor wire, which is way past due!

Tom Isherwood


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