Water use alters streams' ecosystems
I would like to respond to a couple letters written recently about the water use issues of our area. First, I respect Ron Roth's opinion (see Sept. 3 guest opinion "Trout stream water") and appreciation of preserving our watershed's water via using the TID water earlier. But I wish to point out that this TID water, like our watershed water, has been diverted — from the Hyatt Lake and Howard Prairie area streams, which have their own ecosystems.
I don't think many of us are aware of the impressive diversion canals that channel water in the Cascade forests above us. This is water that would normally flow down Jenny and Keene creeks into the Klamath River, and perhaps it is minor relative to the diversion of water via Klamath Basin farmers, but we still contribute to the problem, which brings me to my second point. Malena Marvin and Craig Tucker discuss the effect of the Klamath Basin dams and their anticiapted removal in 2020 (see Sept. 8 guest opinion "The other side of Klamath dam removal"). Again, Rogue Valley residents should be reminded that we, too, benefit economically from waters that would normally freely flow into the Klamath drainage and instead are diverted via the Howard Prairie, Hyatt Lake and Fourmile lakes' water canals to supply the TID and Meford Irrigation District canals.
My point is that when it comes to water conservation, we are responsible for altering ecosystems, including the intimate watershed that we all look at every day, as well as invisible ecosystems that many of us take for granted.
Home is not so 'green'
The work of Ashland architect Bruce Richey was profiled in an article about a "green" home in the September/October issue of Distinctly Northwest, published by the Mail Tribune. The article appears to be written about the wrong house. What is the ecological footprint of quarrying and transporting granite? Pennsylvania bluestone? Marble for the three bathrooms? All the concrete and water needed for waterfalls, water courts, a lap pool and a hot tub? Yes, the house has energy-efficient features, but how much more energy efficient would it be if the two occupants were satisfied with 1,200 square feet instead of a 5,000-square-foot house so large it evokes "a small village"? They consider this "sustainably built"? Maybe on a planet four times larger. How much smaller would the true ecological footprint have been if they had improved the energy efficiency of the existing small ranch house? But that would not have satisfied these self-proclaimed nature lovers. They "wanted something more" — the very attitude that created most of our current environmental problems. To those who truly love nature, their home is neither beautiful nor green.
Tax sleight of hand
I have no objection to paying Ashland's 5 percent meals tax. However, I recently became aware that some restaurant bills include the tax in their total with no explanation. When I automatically add 20 percent to the cost as presented, I'm actually paying 25 percent additional. Is this a good practice? It seems like sleight of hand somehow ... so who are the restauranteurs to complain?
Political correctness in the Tidings
I just opened the editorial page of the Wednesday Daily Tidings. I wish to respond to two different, but vital issues which pertain to the future of our constituitonal republic. No, America isn't a democracy, but a republic. First are the letters and commentaries addressing nationalized health care. An alternative commentary to the establishment elite is available for public reading via Wednesday's issue of The New American. "Obama's Strategy of Demonizing," by Ralph R. Reiland, can be accessed at www.thenewamerican.com. The New American is a biweekly periodical of The John Birch Society (www.jbs.org) and exposes what the media continually covers up, suppresses and conceals from the American public.
Second is Tom Dimitre's latest anti-gun emotional tirade titled "Guns in the headlines." Actually, I won't give a direct rebuttal to this. Instead, I refer readers to my latest timely letter in Saturday's Klamath Falls Herald and News titled "Private citizens need to protect themselves." My Klamath Falls letter contains this sentence: "The bottom line: The private citizen, not police, is responsible for homeland security and personal protection." This can still be read online via www.heraldandnews.com. Click on "Index," then search for "Dial 911 and Die." A pro-gun bumper sticker states it best: "Criminals prefer unarmed victims."
Meanwhile, I plan on attending the annual Tulelake-Butte Valley Fair this week (wee www.tbvfair.com). I need a temporary escape from the insanity and political correctness which seems to dominate the Daily Tidings.
James A. Farmer
Letters to the Editor September 10
Water use alters streams' ecosystems