LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted by on Oct 1st, 2009 and filed under Viewpoints. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

TO CV WATER SAVERS

Dear Water Saver,

Do you remember the old English nursery rhyme that was a childhood favorite?

Mary, Mary quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockleshells,

And pretty maids all in a row?

Now what do you think made Mary contrary? Maybe a shortage of water for her prized garden? Probably not; Mary lived in England with an abundance of rain but we live in sunny, hot, southern California with a definite and continuing limited water supply! CVWD customers, unlike Mary, are not contrary but are very supportive of CVWD water restrictions and helped CVWD save 15% of our water since September 2008. However, customers regularly ask me when I see them at Ralphs, in Montrose or other places in the community if I would help support an expanded three day watering schedule to three days a week like our neighboring communities of Glendale, Pasadena and Burbank. They particularly note that part of our area, the Glendale Annex to the west, and Montrose to the south, already have a three day program.

I proposed to the water board to revisit our watering schedule at this time. After an in depth discussion on the merits of three day-a-week watering cycle the CVWD again decided to hold to the two day a week watering program.

CVWD’s initial decision for two days was the first made in our area; the board, staff and management carefully studied the potential of drought severity last year along with the warning by the Metropolitan Water District and the Foothill Municipal Water District that unless usage for our district was curtailed by at least 10% we faced sanctions that would increase the price of water. We decided on the two day a week schedule for a start.

CVWD decided this at an open regular meeting of the CVWD board of directors, which was open to Mr. Erickson as well as every community member. The CVWD regular meetings are the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 7 p.m. at the district office board room. Our committee meetings are announced at that open forum and posted on the district bulletin board outside the district office which has 24 hour access. Interested community members can and do come to the meetings. The CVWD board is completely made up of community members. There is not a BA, MA, PHD or Engineering degree requirement for membership on the board. You must be 18 years old, and a voter within the district boundaries. The board, with its five members, reflects your voice and concerns to the CVWD management and staff. All board members devote many volunteer hours making sure they look at all the facts and that your voice is heard.

CVWD will revisit the watering schedule for our area in the spring, after the expected winter rains. Please come to board and committee meetings to interact with your community-based CVWD based board of directors.

Thank you again for conserving our precious water resources!

Charles K. Beatty

Member, Board of Directors

Crescenta Valley Water District

NO EXCUSE FOR

STATION FIRE

There is no excuse for the Station Fire. It takes a tragedy sometimes to point out our shortcomings, lack of planning, bad decisions. We knew the forest was a tinder box, we’ve known that the state is experiencing increasing numbers of such fires.

I think it is a good thing that most of us are being optimistic about the ultimate recovery of the forest. Full recovery may take decades. With our forests nationally burning down at an alarming rate, we need not only that optimism, but a far more proactive approach to protecting our natural resources.

We seem to have a peculiar mindset about forest fires. So often in the last couple of weeks comments have been made that it is just nature taking its course, and it is a good thing that all that old brush got cleared out. Well, all the trees and trails and animals got cleared out as well. Hundreds of squares miles worth. Nothing “natural” about this man-made fire. A Los Angeles editor on Sept. 1 commented that “except for the evacuations and the lives and buildings lost, this would be considered one of the more environmentally acceptable fires.” This said in the context of nature taking care of itself, of wildfires being natural to the area.  If lightning had caused this fire, that would be natural.

Surely the arsonist needs to take responsibility for his (or her or their) actions. But we make a mistake blaming only the arsonist. We are also culpable. We could do more to protect our natural resources. Not even considering all the collateral expenses, what could have been bought with the $88+ million already spent on putting out this fire in terms of aircraft and rangers, of manned ranger stations as we used to have, and perhaps satellite observation of activity in these vulnerable areas? Surely we have the technology to put something together that is better than what we currently rely on.

What can we do as residents to protect our forest lands? Do we need to insist that it become part of a state and national agenda or strategy? Until we demand that our state and national forests are truly protected through not only legislation but our own personal efforts (supporting such events as the National Public Lands Day), it will all just burn down again. And again. More lives will be lost, both human and animal. More property will be destroyed. More communities will be disrupted and lives forever altered.

The fire was first reportedly contained Wednesday night Aug. 26. Later it was described as “fairly well contained” according to an L.A. Times article on Sept. 27. During the night the fire expanded, and ultimately the fire grew well out of control. How did this happen?  How did it happen that the fire was initially considered manageable? How did it flare up without the equipment at hand to quickly contain it? How is it that it took until the third day to really get in all the necessary equipment, by that time much too late?

These are the questions that many of us have had, and fortunately those questions are starting to be answered. Better strategies and jurisdictional coordination need to be developed, more effective methods of putting out fires established, and necessary funding for mutual aid systems provided so that this does not occur again. Because if this Station Fire scenario is repeated, and the winds are blowing, this entire Valley, the animal sanctuaries, and Mt. Wilson will be toast.

Nancy Comeau

Glendale

LCWC HELPING TO
REBUILD THE FOREST

The La Crescenta Woman’s Club has been sending donations to the U.S. Forest Service for its Penny Pines program since 1961. This program funds the planting of seedlings on national park lands. In the case of gifts received from organizations and individuals in the Crescenta Cañada Valley, the gift is applied to land in our own Angeles National Forest.

In 1961, Grace Weltch, then president of the LCWC, enrolled the club in the program. Other presidents down through the years, such as Kathleen Parenteau and Frida Yager, have had a special interest in the Penny Pines program and have ardently promoted it among the club members. Mrs. Yager said that the club’s gifts have contributed to the reforestation of over 300 acres over the years.

Sadly, that was then, and this is now.

The trees which grew from those seedlings are gone, along with the signs designating the donors.

In light of the devastating and still active Station Fire, which has affected hundreds (thousands?) on both sides of the San Gabriel Mountains, The Woman’s Club is especially pleased to announce that its 28th contribution is going out to the Forest Service this month.

Has it ever been needed more? Formerly, individual plots of land denuded by fire, disease, or insect infestation required attention, and the majority of the forest remained green, in contrast. Now the table has been turned. The whole blackened forest, with only an occasional plot of green, needs to be reseeded and nurtured back to health. We’re told that it could take years to complete.

It is our forest. It belongs to all of us, and the La Crescenta Woman’s Club is extremely happy to be able to help.

Gloria Lee

Publicity Chair

La Crescenta Woman’s Club

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