Letters to the Editor Aug. 2

Let's protect our future
Most of us are not thinking ahead about the state of the world in which we live. Most of us are fully occupied making ends meet, and/or preparing for our personal and family futures.
Meanwhile, our world is warming dangerously. Unfortunately, most of us are uninformed of this warming process and its lethal nature. 
We see weather, around the world, changing, becoming more severe, and we know that these changes are driven primarily by global warming.
The county of Ventura is deep into its development of its General Plan that will guide the county from 2020 through 2040. There is no question that this new General Plan must include rigorous response to global warming. Many county residents are currently engaged in contributing to this new plan.
A critical part of the new General Plan should be to establish a Climate Crisis Mobilization Department to oversee all county agencies advised by a Climate Crisis Mobilization Commission with diverse stakeholders and scientists to accelerate greenhouse-gas emissions reduction by every means.
Let us look ahead as individuals, and as a county, and act decisively to reverse climate change and to protect the futures of all people!


Every gallon of water counts
You would think as supposedly supportive Ojai is for conservation of natural resources, residents would be more mindful of their diversion of water from its natural plain of runoff! They are currently installing more paver-covered area adjacent to Bonnie Lu’s downtown and diverting it directly into the street drainage, a direct path to the ocean! 
So much for trying to solve the water shortage! What is wrong with a dry well to replenish the water table! Every gallon counts! Not to be underestimated!


Neighbors need spraying notice
On the morning of Feb. 22, I awoke to the sound of helicopters. Shortly after, I discovered the neighbor’s tangerine orchards were being crop-dusted. It was not a still day; there was a light wind. I watched the spray drift in the direction of where I live and to adjacent properties. 
I received no notice of this spraying; I had clothes hanging on the line. There was no third-party supervision. Thankfully, no children were present; their physiologies are particularly sensitive to pesticides. So are those with immune deficiencies, asthma and similar health compromises.
Among other chemicals, the choppers sprayed Actara, a neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticide. The active ingredient is thiamethoxam, which is banned in the European Union for its deadly effect on bees. 
According to Actara’s label, it’s not to be sprayed when flowers are blooming. Yet, spring flowers had already begun to bloom here. The label also says runoff can injure nearby waterways. A major stream that borders Highway 33 is just downhill from the spray site. I believe the spraying happened in violation of “safe” practice.
In the midst of an insect apocalypse, when bee populations are especially in steep decline, when our waterways are being pervasively polluted, and when the dangerous effects of pesticides are well-known, why is this kind of spraying permitted? 
The regional “Right to Farm Ordinance” that allows for this spraying discourages “nuisance complaints” such as mine, claiming such complaints discourage “investments in farm improvements” and “economic viability.” In so many words (and more in the original document you can Google), the county is willing to put our health at risk for profit and favor companies that engage in such operations. 
While I understand the need to turn a profit, a “right to farm” cannot include “a right to poison others.” 
I find the existing ordinance and its flimsy, self-serving justifications, atrocious. In my medical practice, I’ve treated pesticide-poisoning symptoms; it’s not pretty. No one should find themselves in the midst of a surprise air raid of pesticides raining down around them without notice and without information for how to protect themselves, and without third-party supervision present. 
I want the “Right to Farm” ordinance changed. I want natural, less-toxic means to be subsidized and encouraged. I want neonics banned, as progressive countries around the world are doing. I want neighbors to be notified of spraying and to be provided an information pamphlet for how to protect themselves, their families, and pets.
If you agree, please sign our petition.


Back to horse and plow?
It's all well and good to go quite green,
Being frightened about this cimate change
But, if so, are you willing to wash on the rocks,
Return to fire, no gas or electric range?
Cut the travels, plane, train or bus
Buy your groceries riding a bike,
No symposiums to lovely Geneva
Stay put and take an Ojai hike.
Instruct China and India too;
It's a world problem, isn't it now?
Maybe just another climate cycle
Back to horse and plow?

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