Water a vital part of fracking process

Californians are unaware that fracking of Central Valley or offshore shale beds has something to do with fresh water and droughts.

Companies don't frack with seawater; it must be fresh water.

Fine sand and "proprietary" chemicals (contaminants) are added to water pumped down deep shafts to force the oil or gas out. Only 20 percent of each gallon of fresh water used to frack can be reused. The wasteful process has been around for more than 40 years. Now Sacramento is encouraging fracking without telling Californians the real downside of the process.

Contaminated frack water sits in surface ponds which can leak if not owner-maintained or monitored by regulators. The dirty water is pumped back down below the fresh water table to be stored forever because we don't know how to clean it up yet. What about earthquakes cracking the sides of this storage?

The drought is of indeterminate length. Real future water plans must provide clearer pictures of how fresh water gets used.

Should we tunnel south of the overcommitted Delta water if it's sold to frack instead of grow food?

Jan Howe

San Ramon

Krauthammer is living in the past

Charles Krauthammer's March 3 column, "Putin wants Ukraine back to bolster his 'Eurasian Union,' " indicates to me that Krauthammer is living in the past.

He sees Russia as despotically "dismantling a nascent democracy" -- conveniently forgetting it was a nationally elected leader who was deposed in the Kiev coup. He sees a vacuum created by American inaction -- as if this continent has any real interests in the Crimea.

Early elections were and are proposed in Ukraine, but these constitutionally appropriate solutions originated with Viktor Yanukovych, pressured by the opposition. And it is Vladimir Putin, of all people, who repeats them now.

We do not hear such peaceful rhetoric from Krauthammer. Instead, he blusters that we must send a flotilla to the Black Sea, in "full-throated support for Ukraine's revolution."

Let us be clear: Krauthammer wants $15 billion of our money to buy his own version of this revolution. And he wants war.

Mike Bloxham

Kensington

Should not vilify, just conserve water

A recent letter writer has suggested the Sierra Club be "vilified for their stance on our water storage capacity."

How about vilifying the golfers and country clubs whose thousands of acres of grass require daily watering? Or homeowners with their useless lawns consuming untold amounts of fine drinking water?

Or water agencies around the state that are just now getting around to installing water meters for their customers?

The drought, if it continues, will be catastrophic for the state and its inhabitants, and a problem we all share. Instead of vilifying, we all need to participate in conserving and using water wisely.

David Ogden

Walnut Creek

Measure C's hike must be defeated

On May 6, there will be a special mail-in election in West County in which voters must decide whether to pass Measure C, a 14-cents-per-square-foot parcel tax -- with no sunset.

Do the math yourself on the size of your property. The increase in property taxes would average a staggering $250 a year, depending on the size of your property.

Measure C is yet another parcel tax proposal to lay on the overburdened shoulders of West County property owners -- this time to keep Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo open. Proponents estimate that if Measure C passes it would raise an estimated $20 million yearly for DMC.

Vote no on Measure C. I am convinced that even when the measure is defeated, DMC will not close.

Mike Ali-Kinney

Richmond

What became of anti-war outrage?

While George W. Bush was the president, military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan were reported almost daily. There was an endless stream of outrage and crosses going up in Lafayette.

Here in Benicia, children were on the corners downtown with their parents denouncing Bush and the wars.

Under the Barack Obama White House, more than 1,000 American soldiers have lost their lives in Afghanistan in the past two years. That is more than the total of the nine years before. Thirty died in August alone.

Why are the mainstream media so strangely silent? Why don't I see the protests on the corners or pictures of crosses?

Please tell me, where are all you concerned citizens now?

Cynthia Cerletti

Benicia