Tim Hunt's Jan. 26 blog "Renewable solar energy runs into opposition in North Livermore" about Intersect Power's North Livermore Solar Project contains several misleading statements.
First, 75% of the solar power from this project is contracted by Intersect Power to go to San Francisco, with only 25% to East Bay Community Energy.
Second, the project is not species-friendly. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife wrote a highly critical comment letter which said that under state law incidental take permits should be required as well as compensatory mitigation to offset the loss of species resulting from the project.
Compensatory mitigation was also recommended in comments by a number of organizations. The Board of Zoning Adjustments ignored these comments.
Third, the fire risks due to the project have been significantly understated. The project contains highly-flammable lithium-ion storage batteries connecting to the grid via overhead power lines. If the battery control systems fail or high winds blow down power lines, the likelihood of a serious fire is real. The EIR evaluated the fire risk based on average wind speeds of 7-9 mph, an unrealistic number.
Fourth, Intersect's 100 megawatt capacity was based the inclusion of 100 acres owned by the Stanley family, of which 38 acres were to be covered with solar panels. That land has been withdrawn for what the Stanleys claim was abusive conduct by Intersect.
If a 100 MW project is now constructed on the remaining property, a new environmental review process should be completed. If not, then the project is smaller than represented.
Local restaurants skirting COVID restrictions
It's just ridiculous that SideTrack tried to claim they didn't know what was expected of them regarding current county COVID restrictions until they got wind of an inspector arriving the next week!
We have so many fine restaurants in Pleasanton who are following the restrictions (posted publicly for all to know) and struggling to work within those guidelines. If SideTrack is willing to skirt these restrictions, it does make me wonder what other health code violations they're willing to skirt!
I'll make it clear with my takeout purchases which restaurants I feel safe patronizing and am willing to continue to support. I suggest others do the same, at least for your own safety, if being safe on behalf of others is not enough to motivate you ... or SideTrack.
Time to rethink nuclear chain of command
On Jan. 8, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke to the Pentagon about "preventing an unstable president" from ordering a nuclear strike.
Her concern centered on the unhindered ability of any U.S. President to launch nuclear weapons. No one else legally, or practically, is in the chain of command. Anyone who fails to carry out such an order risks severe consequences for breaking the law.
Few other countries place nuclear use authority in the hands of one person. Russia does not; its system requires a second vote in addition to its President's.
Sole authority was considered necessary by the U.S. during the Cold War. However, in the hands of an unstable POTUS, the risk is unacceptable — thus Pelosi's concern.
We are fortunate no pre-emptive nuclear launch has occurred. However, when it comes to nuclear weapons, depending on luck is no comfort. It's time to rethink this decision-making process before catastrophic consequences result.
Thank you, from HERS
Here we are just a few weeks into the new year and we're busier than ever, seeing patients, preparing for our May 8 "Pink Pajama Party Fundraiser," staying informed regarding COVID-19 health and safety precautions, and more.
Yet foremost on our mind right now is our gratitude for you.
Thanks to donations from patients, volunteers, board members, local businesses, faith groups, and so many others, we've received (to date) over $35,000 in response to our year-end/holiday fundraising campaign.
We can't thank our donors enough for standing with us in supporting breast cancer patients in need. These generous donations will sustain our Assistance Programs in the months to come.
If you haven't yet donated and are able to give, it's not too late. Donations may be made via hersbreastcancerfoundation.org. Stay well and safe!
Do your part to help us back on track
I am pleased with how well our organization is coming with the current COVID-19 pandemic. Although we are still unable to operate excursion trains, we are able to perform minimum basic operations and activities to keep our railroad, equipment and volunteers safe.
Our hope is when the Bay Area reaches the yellow tier again, optimistically in March or April, we can announce details for Niles Canyon Railway online ticket sales. COVID-19 continues to affect all our lives. The pandemic and its restrictions are highly likely to continue until infection rates decline. Should Alameda County public health officials report the infection rate is not under control by the end of summer, the PLA may have to deal with not running the Train of Lights for the 2021 season. This would severely impact the organization, especially with regards to the many amazing projects we have underway.
While the organization will survive, we will suffer a loss of momentum that could take years to rebuild. I don't want to see that happen. So, please help us by doing whatever you can to control the infection's spread. Current Alameda County guidelines have extended the stay-at-home order and continue to spread the word to our communities that vaccinations and wearing a mask protects you and loved ones from COVID-19. We cannot do it alone.
Senior Support needs your help
On behalf of our team and seniors, we would like to thank all of our community supporters and exceptional volunteers for your support and dedication during this challenging year!
Donations of essential supplies, PPE, handmade masks and quilts, cards and notes from students, along with holiday gifts to over 200 homebound seniors in the Tri-Valley provided a positive connection during difficult circumstances.
Thank you for your continued support of our programs, which foster the independence of our seniors.
We continue to need volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering and connecting with a senior, please call Pam Silliman with the Friendly Visiting Program at 925.931.5388 or by email, [email protected]
If you have a few hours to spare and would like to drive a senior to their medical appointment, please call Diana Houghtaling with our Volunteers Assisting Seniors with Transportation Program at
925.931.5387 or [email protected]
For more information about our services please visit www.ssptv.org.