.Letters

Sky High Bills

I’m writing to express both disgust and concern that, yet again, the Utility Monopolies put profit before people. This is one of the hottest summers I can remember. If I want to keep my air conditioner on to stay cool and safe, I have no choice but to have a large electricity bill.

And to think that the legislature gave utilities a rubber stamp. It’s disgusting. Their latest hustle to force high bills on us is the so-called fixed-rate Utility tax. This would be the largest monthly utility tax in the nation–by a long shot. And monthly electricity bills will go up for millions of Californians like myself, significantly increasing my cost of living that is already more expensive because of inflation.

Last year, the monopoly utilities reported more than $30 billion in profit. They seem to be doing fine. It’s obvious that these fixed rates are nothing more than a utility tax. That’s a deceptive ploy by PG&E, SDG&E and SCE to protect those profits for their Wall Street investors–all at the expense of California’s working families and our environment.

Ira Kessler

HORSE SENSE

Kudos to GT for publishing the fascinating article by Richard Stockton, “Horse Therapy Rules”, which was published in the Aug. 15 issue. It was an enlightening article which addressed serious subjects such as depression, anxiety, PTSD and how building trust and bonding during close encounters with horses has helped people heal.

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Some of the information was a real eye-opener, such as the horse “mirroring” human emotions even if what the person shows on the outside is not in sync with what’s happening on the inside. Horses are so sensitive, they will respond to the fear, anxiety, turmoil or inner peace of the person approaching them. Thanks to Richard Stockton for writing this informative article with humor and heart.

Nadine Kelley l Portland, Oregon

DOWNTOWN BLUES

Having lived in Santa Cruz county for 55 years, I saw the charm, ruralness, green, tranquility and tempo metamorphose into a less-than-appealing demographic. Paved over begonia gardens, biotically-rich farmlands subdivided, Monterey Bay views blocked by condos, homes and businesses. Asphalt, traffic, noise, fumes and impatience spread. Quirkiness, funkiness, mom and pop-ness disappeared. I could brag, saying, “It takes me 20 minutes to bike from Aptos to Santa Cruz, along Soquel Drive.”

Traffic signals were much fewer then. It was pleasant.

Now, increasing traffic stress, carbon emissions, noise and urban temperatures are all increasing. Santa Cruz city policy-makers are considering 12-story high rises and a parking building replacing the farmer’s market. Bordering Beach Hill, Laurel Street and the San Lorenzo River streets would become congested and carbon intensive.

Gary Harrold l Hilo, Hawaii

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