Letters to the editor: May 5 issue

Frequent Miramar flyovers pose risks to Carmel Valley residents and schools

The Miramar website shows that a large percentage of flights are currently routed over Carmel Valley residents and schools. Ten or more flyovers per day are typical amounting to several thousand a year. These aircraft can crash, and our neighborhood and schools are at risk due to the sheer volume of flights passing overhead. In 2008, a Miramar jet crashed in University City destroying two homes, damaging a third and killing three residents. In 2013, a Miramar pilot crashed into a home in Imperial, Calif.

After the crash in University City, residents demanded change and Miramar rerouted many of their flyovers over Carmel Valley instead. Fortunately, there are many alternates to flying over Carmel Valley, including passing over Torrey Pines reserve that would lessen the risks to residential areas and prevent deaths. Representatives at Miramar and in the Mayor’s office recommend that Carmel Valley residents call Miramar at 858-577-4277 and Congressman Scott Peters at 858-455-5550 to ask for a reduction in flights over our neighborhood. We should take action to change the flight paths now rather than waiting to see whether the next crash happens in Carmel Valley.

Kevin Clewley, Carmel Valley

SFID rate proposal flaws

Joe Tash’s April 28 article on the April Santa Fe Irrigation (SFID) District board meeting correctly made readers aware of concerns of two of five SFID Board members: flawed rate study assumptions. The Draft 2017 Budget noted “less than normal availability of cheaper, local water due to the drought.” The 2016 Cost of Service Study (COSS) grossly over-estimated available local water — 3,151-acre feet (AF). SFID now states 800 AF local water available FY16 and FY17, resulting in significantly reduced revenue due to increased water supply costs – buying imported water to sell at local water costs.

The 2016 COSS separated costs of local water from imported water; the first two COSS blended costs of local and imported water. “The local water supply in Lake Hodges is not always reliable due to drought and hydrological conditions” — Jan. 2006 COSS. When the consultant decided to not blend local and imported water supply costs when setting tier 1 and tier 2 rates, that decision, rejecting their previous COSS methods, set this district on a path of dire financial consequences when their local water projections proved gravely inaccurate.

If three board members vote in the rate increase, starting June 1, all tier 1 water supply will be charged at .74/HCF, local water supply cost, but the actual cost to the district to provide that water will be 2.75/HCF for imported water. Tier 2 water supply will be charged at 1.00/HCF; however, with no local water available, the district must provide imported water for 2.75/HCF. Tiers 3 and 4 are not affected, since the COSS anticipated supplying imported water for those tiers.

My estimate of the combined cost escalation for FY16 and FY17, due to only 800 AF of local water available when 3151 AF of local water were assumed, is a supply cost increase of $2,921,381.

Another concern is the “doubling down” with the proposal to reduce tier 1 and tier 2 rates. Fifty HCF billed today are $174.90; after June 1, if three board members vote to approve these rates, 50 HCF will be billed $147.31 - but will only bring the district $78.66 in revenue, due to the cost escalation of $68.65 necessitated by purchasing imported water for tiers 1 and 2, when the COSS assumed low cost local water availability.

I have mailed my written protest. Exercise your prudent judgment and direct the SFID board to go back to the drawing board. District customers deserve a rate proposal not based on the “El Nino of 2016” that wasn’t, but on sound financial principles that you don’t sell tier 1 and 2 water for .74/1.00 that costs the district 2.75 to purchase.

Marlene E. King, SFID Director, Div. 3

What makes a country’s great leaders?

In 1880 my great grandparents crossed the ocean to America with dreams for a life of success. They knew their chances for success were good because America’s founding documents promoted personal freedoms by limiting its government to certain specific powers.

Since then, power-hungry leaders in America have overstepped their boundaries, and the People’s dreams of success have long been fading because government is so big and costly that it must take more and more of the hard-earned money from even children yet to be born.

Every four years, we citizens have a chance to elect new leaders—men and women who have the courage to stand up to a government that disregards the limits of the founding documents.

So what makes a country’s great leader?

A desire to serve country over self, while supporting the founding documents;

A winning personality of modesty, maturity, good manners and clear, honest communication;

An outstanding and upright American, who dignifies their office and respects the people’s right to know their past history—from legal to financial to political to business dealings;

A positive, eloquent speaker who inspires the People to fulfill their dreams of success.

On June 7, California has the chance to elect leaders of character, who have histories of actions aimed at preserving the People’s rights and freedoms within a limited government.

Katharine (Taffy) Lewis, Rancho Santa Fe