KNOWNS AND UNKNOWNS
I read Mr. Lima’s recent opinion piece in the Dispatch and could not help but notice his opinion is predicated on unknowns. The council majority that approved the water assessment report for the North Gilroy Neighborhood District (NGND) waa merely approving a baseline assessment of what would be necessary for the sustainable provision of water if that area is to eventually develop. The water assessment in and of itself does not permit NGND development, rather it documents what developers will have to provide regarding water if development is to occur. Whether we endure a major disaster, recession or drought, you do not stop the planning process for Gilroy’s future. Those that do not plan have no vision for the future. Yet, it does not matter how many homes are planned for, none will be built unless a sustainable water supply can be provided, and that is what the Water Assessment the council considered is all about—ultimately determining what is necessary to ensure a sustainable water supply.
Donald F. Gage, Mayor of Gilroy
POPULATION IS CLIMATE’S KEY
While I applaud Pope Francis for his interest in the environment the problem that’s driving climate change isn’t unsustainable consumption – it’s unsustainable population growth. If we don’t stop world wide population growth then no amount of austerity or technology is going to save us. We need birth control.
It’s simple math. If we cut our resource usage in half and the population doubles we have gained nothing. We live on a finite sized planet with a growing population. That isn’t sustainable.
One of the leading causes of population growth is the Catholic Church’s opposition to birth control. If the Pope is truly interested in climate change he should reverse this church policy. The Pope is in a unique position to impact the climate and it is irresponsible for him not to act. If the Pope reversed on birth control and asked families to limit themselves to 2 children he would have more impact on climate change than anything the United Nations can do.
Marc Perkel, Gilroy
HERE’S TO A GOOD GILROY BIZ
Have you ever asked for a second opinion when servicing your car? I did just that because when H&R Automotive closed, I started taking my truck for oil changes to an unnamed automotive shop in Morgan Hill. This visit, I received an invoice suggesting almost $500 worth of maintenance. I recently learned that Bruce’s Tire is not just about tires, so I asked owner, Eric Howard, to have a look. Less than two hours later, after a free “check-up”, I brought the truck home with less than $100 of necessary treatment and was told the other work can wait another 5000 miles. I appreciate the honesty, reliability and conservative approach to taking my money. I will certainly return.
Mike Mister, Gilroy
NEITHER FREE NOR EQUAL?
150 years ago brave Americans under President Abraham Lincoln fought and died in a bloody war so that all people can be free and equal. We won that war; so why is it that in the 21st Century black people are still neither free or equal?
A gunman walked into a black church and killed 9 good people. His intent as he stated it was to cause a race war. Maybe he’s right – that it is time to have a race war because the Civil War might have officially freed the slaves, but the State of South Carolina still flies the flag of the rebellion that fought to keep black people oppressed. This is the 21st Century and it’s time to end state sponsored hate speech. The Confederate Flag is a message that says the (blacks) better stay in their place, and that’s fundamentally wrong.
Imaging someone making the argument that Germany should keep the Nazi flag as a way to preserve their history and culture? How ridiculous would that be? The Confederate flag is to black people what the Nazi flag is to the Jews. It’s a symbol of slavery and oppression and for the government to fly the flag is to spit in the face of our Civil War veterans who fought and died so that all people of all races can freely and equally enjoy the freedoms and liberties granted by our Constitution.
The basis for racism itself is rather ridiculous. Every person on the planet is the descendants of black people in Africa. We’re all (blacks). So the only difference between us is the frequencies of light reflected off the surface of our skin. In the 21st Century we are going to judge people on that? Makes me question if this planet has intelligent life on it.
Racism takes it’s toll on America. People who are raised black in America learn that the system is rigged against them and that they don’t have a fair shot at living a good life. This leads to poverty and crime and the very kinds of behaviors that perpetuates the cycle of racism. If we ended that then crime would go down and black people could get jobs and be productive members of society and not be in jails at the taxpayer’s expense.
Fortunately there is a new tool to fight against state sponsored hate speech like the Confederate flag that South Carolina and other state cling to. On June 18th the United States Supreme Court in the case of Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans ruled that the State of Texas could say no to a group of people who wanted custom license plates with the Confederate Flag on it. The court ruled that because Texas’s specialty license plate designs constitute government speech, it was entitled to reject a proposal for plates featuring a Confederate battle flag. The court ruled that the government can’t promote hate speech.
If I were a resident of South Carolina or any other state where the state itself flies the Confederate flag I would sue the state based on this Supreme Court decision to get a court to order the take down of symbols of oppression that are government sponsored. We as private citizens can still do and say what we want but the government can not engage in the promotion of racism, and we as a society here in the 21st Century should not allow it. So I would encourage South Carolina lawyers to take this opportunity to file lawsuits and take a step towards full equality. Let’s give the concept that all people are created equal to pursue life, liberty, and happiness the true meaning it deserves.
Marc Perkel, Gilroy