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Letters to the Editor: Thursday, August 21, 2014 Charles Kelly | Thu, Aug 21 2014 04:04 PM

Water conservation

The State of California has mandated emergency water conservation measures, asking residents to reduce water consumption by 20 percent.

Golden State Water Company customers can read about the new water usage restrictions and obtain free indoor and outdoor water conservation devices such as low-flow shower heads, drip hoses, hose nozzles, and other water saving devices. 

This information is not printed on the water bill; you have to go to their website www.gswater.com to find it. On the home page are links to the free devices.

Be sure to click on the Conservation and Rebate link at the top of the webpage; you can find rebate programs for the local areas of Cypress, Los Alamitos, Stanton, Buena Park, Garden Grove, La Palma, Rossmoor, and Seal Beach that include cash rebates for installation of water saving devices such as low-flow toilets and the planting of drought-tolerant vegetation.

Check this out before you do any purchasing of devices to make sure you meet program requirements.

This is particularly important before doing new water-saving landscaping as the program requires submission of before-and-after photos.

 Lauren Zack

Los Alamitos

 

A Working Summer: Interning for the Mayor

When people first learned that I was given the opportunity to intern with Mayor Ellery Deaton this summer, I received the same response every time: “You lucky girl.”

They were not wrong. This internship nurtured my interest in politics and provided me exposure to the challenges of local governance.

I leave it rewarded with better skills in problem solving, analysis and critical thinking.

Of equal, if not greater importance, I leave understanding the responsibility to be a contributing member of society and how our city’s government works.

I first met with Mrs. Deaton in mid-June and she introduced me to the processes of local government and the specifics of Seal Beach politics.

Over the summer I attended several council and planning commission meetings. Between them and the individual time with the mayor it became clear how regulated the processes of government are.

I became familiar with audits, agenda driven meetings, the Brown Act, how bills are passed and how water is regulated.

I also learned that politics and government are at their best when they focus on the needs of local people.

Seal Beach’s council spends a lot of time addressing topics raised by its citizens, from coyote management challenges to attracting business to Main Street.

Whether the item is small, such as trying to have hanging flower baskets on Main Street, or large, such as balancing the city’s budget, all are important.

Events such as ‘coffee mornings with the Mayor’ or public comment time at council meetings clearly provide opportunities for direct interaction with our local leaders.

However, I also observed that it could be easier for issues to be raised than solutions found. 

For example, with the ongoing coyote problem where the issue expands far beyond our city’s border, a viable longer-term solution will need to involve numerous jurisdictions and agencies.

As an aspiring environmental lawyer, searching for ways in which humans and animals can co-exist is a passion of mine.

During my internship I was honored to meet many residents standing on both sides of the issue as well as talk to Kirk Gilligan, a biologist at the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge, and Joe Lazzari, a volunteer there.

It is hard to leave this problem behind me, unfinished, but I look forward to staying in touch with Mrs. Deaton to learn how progress is made addressing this situation.

Last, but not least, I want to publicly thank Mayor Deaton for this internship opportunity.

I have never before met someone who works so hard for the people of Seal Beach and to keep our city the wonderful place that it is.

Emma Bishop

Student, Whitman College

 

Error of omission

Regrettably sometimes voters decide to vote for the wrong reasons. Popularity, race - for or against - male versus female, etc.  Age is another reason someone may or may not vote for someone. 

In this instance, The Sun became an enabler.

 In your story announcing the candidates for City Council (“Seven candidates seek three council seats,” Sun Newspapers, Thursday, Aug. 14) you wrote that candidate, “Sandra Massa-Lavitt, 71, is the District 5 planning commissioner.” The candidate “Anne Seifert is health researcher and manager …”

Since your article I’ve heard three conversations that mentioned Massa-Lavitt’s age and “don’t know how old Seifert is.”

A few of us in District 5 feel this was an error by omission and request a editorial correction.  The Sun should have listed both ages or neither age.

Not important? 

Think Ronald Reagan’s second election.  Recently, John McCain and if Joe Biden runs in 2016 he’ll be 76?

William G. Stine

District 5 Constituent

Editor’s Note: District 5 candidate Anne Seifert is 71.

Keep pets indoors

In a recent letter, (“Coyotes in Nature,” Letters to the Editor, Sun Newspapers, Thursday, Aug. 14) a writer exhorted us to recognize the importance of coyotes in the ecosystem and honor that their presence long preceded that of humans who have invaded their home. 

I agree with that sentiment. 

What left me chilled however, was the apparent cavalier and callous attitude with which the writer regarded the loss of her cat, Kobe, likely to a coyote, followed by her admonishment to “blame God” if anyone is to be blamed and just get another one. 

If her cat accidentally got out, then I am truly sorry for her loss but from the tone of the letter I doubt that was the case and am making the assumption that she is one of those who considers confining cats indoors to be cruel and that they should be “free.” 

My personal opinion, one shared by most rescues and shelters, is that expecting a domestic cat to be friendly and outgoing as a companion in a home and yet a wily, instinct-driven animal capable of surviving an outdoor environment, able to differentiate between a safe home and a very much not safe outdoors, is ignorant and cruel. 

Rescuers don’t spend their time, money and sleepless nights saving dogs and cats for them to become coyote kibble. 

Setting aside for a moment the welfare of the individual dog or cat who is as helpless before a coyote as the goat in the movie “Jurassic Park,” it is also ignorant to provide such a ready and renewable food source for the coyotes about which the writer purports to care. 

Having long lived in Colorado and being well accustomed to living with bigger and deadlier wildlife than coyotes, there is a saying that “a fed bear is a dead bear,” referring to how, when wildlife become accustomed to getting food near human habitat they run afoul of wildlife control and wind up being killed. 

Coyotes deserve our respect.  Our companion animals deserve our protection and common sense which we are obligated to provide. 

For both their sakes, keep cats safe indoors and dogs supervised.

Deborah Felin

Seal Beach

The opinions expressed in Letters to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Sun. The Sun welcomes Letters to the Editor, which must be in good taste, and of wide general interest. We will not publish letters we deem inflammatory, contain personal attacks, are political campaigning, or other reasons at our sole discretion.

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