To conserve water, planning is crucial

Despite recent rains, most of us are faced with seeking ways to conserve water.

Imagine all of us on a lifeboat. Those in front equipped with paddles have a sense of control because they can see what's ahead. The paddles are the tools that steer the boat back home.

Those sitting in the middle are comforted because they trust the ones who are steering the boat. There's some light in front of them; they can even participate and offer help on the voyage home.

Those without paddles, sitting on the opposite end see only darkness and are worried, confused, even panicked because they have no sense of where they are going. They can only hope that the ones with the paddles will lead them home.

When it comes to water conservation, are you in the front, the middle or the back? Decide your position now so you'll have a better idea about which actions to take when it comes to conserving water in your yard.

Bird Morningstar

Concord

Help save Doctors Medical Center

I am a registered nurse in the emergency room at Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo on a mission to save this valuable community asset.

If DMC closes, about 250,000 West Contra Costa County residents will be negatively affected, even if you are not among the more than 45,000 who use DMC yearly. If you have a medical emergency, such as a stroke or heart attack or are involved in a life-threatening auto accident, you need a hospital that is close to where you live.

West County residents are tired of being excessively taxed, so another solution must be found. We must take action and search for options ourselves. Residents could donate funds to DMC. If one-third of West County residents donated $30 monthly, DMC could stay open. Involve businesses and corporations in raising funds to keep DMC open.

Actively participate in hospital board meetings and speak to your elected officials to insist the county keep our lifeline open.

M. del Rosario Sahagun

Richmond

Parcel tax to help hospital is unjust

The proposed parcel tax for Doctors Medical Center is a far cry from justice for our less fortunate.

This tax would take millions of dollars out of our local economy yearly. Richmond can't afford new taxes and suffers from a high rate of unemployment.

The tax likely would decrease the amount of new construction in our city, which only occurs when the rents rise to a point to support new commercial buildings. A 14-cent per square foot tax would be another added burden and economic hurdle.

It's been widely reported by the board of DMC that if the center closes, Kaiser will punish the voters by closing its Richmond emergency room.

It's rumored that Kaiser has earmarked a $200,000 contribution to the campaign to pass the parcel tax this year. Kaiser spent $100,000 on the last parcel tax campaign. Kaiser, which made a profit of more than $2.5 billion last year alone, knows it is less expensive to contribute to a campaign and put the burden on taxpayers than it is to increase service.

Richard Poe

Richmond

Brown Cow's closure is truly sad news

I am so sorry to hear that Brown Cow is closing its factory in Antioch. Their cream-on-top yogurt is better than ice cream and it's increasingly hard to find.

Whole-milk yogurt is real food. The low-fat stuff is not food, since the fat is replaced with sugars and chemicals. What they use as thickeners is better applied as roof mastic to keep the shingles on the roof, not to put in your stomach.

It's unfortunate that when scientists recommended low-fat diets of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and reasonable amounts of high-fat foods, the food the get-rich-quick diet industries marketed to us was artificial high-fat foods made of chemicals, sugar and salt instead.

Now people are turning away from low-fat diets. The marketed "U.S. low-fat diet" is really the salt, sugar and chemicals diet -- of course, it doesn't work.

Liz Fisher

Pleasant Hill

Why do we elect BART directors?

In his Feb. 23 opinion piece, BART Director Joel Keller advocates a ban on strikes for BART, similar to other transportation agencies. Then he suggests binding arbitration might be a good trade-off.

If we are going to have unelected arbitrators decide how to spend public money, why do we bother to elect BART directors -- and pay them to boot?

Harry Larson

Concord