California is experiencing a near-record water year with the snow pack at 148 percent of normal. Yet Zone 7 Water Agency, a state water contractor that relies heavily on Delta-conveyed water to serve the cities of Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin and part of San Ramon, expects to receive only 70% to 80% of its contracted water amount this year. Central Valley Project contractors serving primarily agricultural lands anticipate just 65 percent.
One might ask why the full contract amount is not available in this year of plenty. Contributing to the shortfall are court-imposed pumping restrictions aimed at protecting endangered fish species in the Delta, along with operational limitations of the state's aging infrastructure.
Following three very dry hydrologic years, the State Project's limitations hurt Zone 7's ability to store surplus water for long-term drought recovery and protection.
The Bay Delta Conservation Plan, being developed cooperatively by water agencies, environmental groups and fish agencies, offers the best holistic solution to achieve the state's co-equal goals of restoring water-supply reliability and protecting the Delta's ecosystem.
Moving ahead with the BDCP, which is intended to become part of the larger Delta Stewardship Plan, is necessary to help ensure that we can take advantage of nature's bounty when it's again available.
G.F. Duerig, General Manager, Zone 7
No on Measure E
Even though I have a grandchild attending school in Pleasanton I am going to vote No on Measure E, the Pleasanton parcel tax. Call me cynical, but I do not believe that another tax will do much, if anything, to improve the quality of education provided by the Pleasanton Unified School District. History has shown that tax increases rarely do what they are intended to do, and the additional funds just seem to mysteriously disappear into the black hole of bureaucracy.
As to the advertised "senior exemption," I hope that all seniors clearly understand that this is not an "automatic" exemption. It must be reapplied for every year. Miss the deadline, or forget to apply, and you pay the tax. I am sure that the authors of this measure are counting on many seniors forgetting to reapply. That is why the exemption is not automatic. You can get the facts and more information at www.pleasantonparceltaxinfo.com.
Please join me in rejecting this tax increase. Vote No on Measure E.
Yes on Measure E
The time has come for voters in Pleasanton to make a decision. We have lost many good teachers as well as staff and administrators. We have increased class sizes and eliminated classes. State funding has been greatly reduced and there will be no raises for teachers and staff for the next year. Join with the League of Women Voters of Livermore-Amador Valley to support our wonderful students and our excellent schools. Vote Yes on measure E.
Chuck Hazen, coordinator
Julice Winter, coordinator
Vivian Thorson, director, League of Women Voters-LAV
Castlewood lockout needs mediation
I am part of a group of clergy and lay leaders in Pleasanton who have been working for over a year to end the lockout of 61 Castlewood Country Club workers and to help bring about a just settlement between workers and management. Thank you for your fine article on this matter in February.
In the past year, we fear we have seen a "hardening of hearts" and no authentic movement at the bargaining table. This stalemate cannot continue. Basic and real livelihoods of workers are at stake, as is the reputation and viability of the club, which has lost business because of a community boycott over the lockout.
Thus, in the interest of ending the impasse and bringing about reconciliation, our group would like to advocate that the Castlewood management and the union agree to mediation and binding arbitration. This seems sensible in a situation which has gone on for so long. It is time to end the lockout and to settle the dispute with some new ideas. These steps we advocate have been taken before in our community with positive results. Why not try them again in this situation?