Letters to the Editor


New Two-Thirds REquirement

I very much appreciate the Bohemian devoting a cover to the story about PG&E’s diabolical Prop. 16, and I further appreciate the many helpful and accurate aspects of the article, but I feel compelled to point out a few things.

First, the subtitle of the article is factually incorrect. PG&E’s war on public utilities does not “go to the ballot as the ‘Right to Vote Act.'” Prop. 16 goes to the ballot as “The New Two-thirds Requirement for Local Public Electricity Providers,” a title that far more accurately describes what the proposition is about. It is a woeful mischaracterization of the Prop. 16 title issue to write that Prop. 16 “has also been called ‘The New Two-thirds Requirement . . .’ by Jerry Brown,” as though he just decided to call it that over a cup of coffee with a friend. The correct characterization is that the attorney general did his job and legally struck down the deceptive and Orwellian title that PG&E had attempted to slip past the secretary of state and the people.

Second, the author writes that PG&E is a “contributor to the Yes on 16 campaign” and that “PG&E has donated . . . to the cause and pledged . . . more.” Words like “donate” and “cause” and “pledge” evoke some kind of noble and admirable activity. Let’s not be naïve here. PG&E has not contributed, donated or pledged anything to any cause other than its own, motivated by sheer greed, arrogance and contempt for the voters. There is no “Yes on 16 Campaign” that is distinct from PG&E. Prop. 16 is of, by and for PG&E.

Finally, according to statewide polling on the subject, the question about electricity rates is the most important issue to voters about Prop. 16. In Sonoma County, I would bet that the environment ranks higher as a motivator than in the rest of the state, but on the rate issue, the fact is that PG&E has the highest rate in the state with $4 billion to $6 billion in rate hikes pending before the California Public Utilities Commission. According to the American Public Power Association, public power utilities average 14 percent lower rates than private corporate utilities like PG&E. PG&E has the gall to call public power fiscally risky and frighten voters into changing the California constitution in the interest of a single corporate monopoly.

Don’t be fooled. Vote NO on Prop. 16.

Woody Hastings


Acronym acrimony

I’ve always enjoyed reading the Bohemian.The article written regarding PG&E and the “Right to Vote Act” (“Power Mad,” March 31) was good in that it caused people to stop and think about the issue. However, I’m offended by the use of PG&E’s logo on the cover with such disrespectful internet slang.

I respect freedom of speech, but for those of us who work for PG&E, have seen the sacrifices our co-workers make—sometimes the ultimate sacrifice, especially during disasters—the use of “WTF” comes across to me as small-minded and an inappropriate use of our logo. I’m certain it got lots of chuckles, and if that’s what you were after, then you probably succeeded.

Sindy Mikkelsen

Santa Rosa

Malthusian morality

The argument for extending longevity is essentially one that only really concerns the wealthy and healthy (“Morality Math,” March 24). The philosophical discussion is hollow and self-serving from both sides, as it doesn’t really address that the more old people, living to be 150 or so, the fewer Third Worlders there will be with enough food to eat, air to breathe and room to live. It is far less the divvying up the total amount of happiness than the truly Malthusian issue of overpopulation within limited resources. We’ve got enough here in the North Bay, for the most part; but where is the clean water, air, land, coming from to support all the long-lifers? I have watched the enormous resources that even centenarians take up in end-of-life care. To suggest that the First World should enjoy 150 years of life while the Third World struggles for half of that is unseemly. I’m not advocating for abbreviating anyone’s life; however, purposely extending it, without also genuinely extending clean air, water, food, energy, for the entire world, is unethical.

Harry Fleishman