Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on September 16, 1987 · Page 4
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 4

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, September 16, 1987
Page 4
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THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL OPINION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBERS, 1987 EDITORIAL The proper perspective It is important that people put the proper perspective on life's events. For example, from all you hear, you would think that nuclear power is one of the truly great threats to life. j Because of this, the reaction against nuclear power in this country has essentially shut down the industry. Yet there is strong evidence that nuclear power may be one of the safest forms of generating energy. For example, burning of coal, oil and gas causes terrible pollution of the atmosphere, including acid rain. These forms of energy cause more health problems than nuclear power. How much of a problem is nuclear energy? The Atomic Energy Commission has said that nuclear accidents will reduce the average life span of a person by .02 days. That is less than half a hour for the average person. Not so, says the Union of Concerned Scientists. These people say that nuclear accidents will reduce the average person's life spai|i by two full days. It is generally agreed that non-accident radiation from nuclear industry will reducjb the average person's life span by iust under 30 minutes. Well, just how bad is this in comparison to some other activities of man? 'Taking a medical X-ray will reduce the average person's life by six days. Drinking coffee will reduce your life by the same amount — six days. Drinking diet colas will reduce yo nr life by the same two days as the concerned scientists expect nuclear accidents to take off your life. But what about the really serious reductions of lifespan? The most serious is for unmarried males — their lives will be 3,500 days shorter than the averaged married male. The unmarried female will live 1,600 days less than a martied female. Cigarette smoking will cut 2,250; days off the average life span of a male and 800 days off of a female. Having less than an eighth grade education trims 850 days off the life of the average person. Being poor costs you 700 days. Smoking a pipe costs 220 days while cigars cost 330 days. Driving a motor vehicle costs you 207 days, walking down the street costs you fin average of 37 days. A dangerous job costs you 300 [days while a safer-than-average job reduces your life span by an average of 74 days. Working in a job that entails radiation exposure, however, costs you an average of only 40 days of life. Natural radiation will reduce your life span an average of eight days. Obviously theise are average figures and some people will experience much greatbr losses than others. However, using the projections of the Union of Concerned Scientists, the|shprtening of life of two days is one of the safest activities man is engaged in. Certainly, if you are the person who is killed by a nuclear accident that will not be good for you. But the same situation exists if you are a passenger of an airplane that falls out of the air or riding in an automobile that is involved in an accident while traveling 60 miles per hour. Yet we haven't heard anyone screaming to stop airplanes from flying or cars from traveling. What is the difference? When electricity was first demonstrated people protested to stop this deadly thing that was going to result in wires that would cause instant death being run across the nation. They didn't understand electricity. The same can be said about nuclear power. People do not understand it. It is probably true there will be nuclear accidents. Some people will possibly be killed. Yet the worst possible death toll from peaceful nuclear accidents will be far fewer than the number of people killed because they smoke cigarettes. When are we going to get our priorities in order and ban the smoking of this terrible weed? Why do we as taxpayers allow our federal government to subsidize tobacco farmers. If you want to get excited about something that will save lives, let's rally about this problem. It will do a lot more to lengthen man's lifetime. LETTERS Letter policy CALIFORNIA FOCUS Southern Cal and its water situation By MICHAEL RICHMOND Coplay Niw« S*rvle* Thanks to a surplus in the Colorado River, Southern California can count on more water than expected from the river for several years, says Dan Underwood, head of the state agency that looks after the state's interests on the river. "It is expected to continue through 1992," Underwood said of the oversupply. But he said the time will come, also in the 1990s, when demand will exceed supply and cuts will have to be made unless steps are taken to augment supplies. Storage in reservoirs on the river is near capacity and the flow in the river itself is averaging about 14 million acre-feet annually. Because of the heavy flow, Mexico also is receiving large amounts of excess water, said Underwood,, who is executive director of the Los Angeles-based Colorado River Board. Meanwhile, consumption by California and the six other Colorado River basin states and Mexico is averaging about 13 million acre- feet, Underwood said. An acre-foot is about 326,000 gallons. He noted that 65 percent of the water used in Southern California comes from the Colorado River. Most of the remainder comes from Northern California. Because of the excess flows on the Colorado River and the fact that Arizona is not yet taking its full share, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has not had its allocations reduced as had been projected, Underwood explained. In his talk, outlining the river board's responsibilities and operations, Underwood said studies are under way to increase the yield from the river by a number of measures, including storing surplus water in underground basias in the Imperial and Coachella valleys. Another proposal is to prevent seepage loss by lining major delivery channels such as the All American Canal, also in the Imperial Valley. And more could be obtained by coordinating the Colorado River system with the State Water Project to allow "banking" water in Lake Mead when the state project has excess supplies, Underwood said. The Colorado River Board was created as a state agency in 1937 to watch over the stale's water interests on the river. Meanwhile, Tim Skrove, a spokesman for the Los Angeles- based Metropolitan Water District, said that the district is pumping as much water as it can from the Colorado River because of the water shortfall in Northern California. But he, too, said it is only a matter of time until California's share of the Colorado River will be reduced. That will occur when Arizona eventually begins taking its full share from the river. At that time, MWD would be cut to 550,000 acre-feet from 1.2 million acrc-fcct. "Every year we can get more than 550,000 is just a bonus for us," said Skrove. He said the continuing high river flows and the delay in Arizona's taking its full allotment has provided the MWD with a "grace period" which has been a little longer than expected. Meanwhile, water demands continue to increase, Skrove said. "The Central Arizona Project has already expressed interest in taking all the water it can as soon as possible," said Skrove, who is a media relations representative for the Metropolitan Water District. A lasting blow : To The Editor: \ An open letter to Senator Sam Nunn, ChairmanJ Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Congress; Dear Senator Nunn: * We hear Congress may offer the President aj political choice between the testing and deployments of Star Wars, and the confirmation of JudgeiRobertj Bork's appointment to the Supreme Court. , Both are mistakes with long-ranging cohsequ-J ences that our nation must avoid. They are n< matters for compromise. Thank you for working in Congress to slowdown} the testing and deployment of the Star Wars] program. It would be (and is) a terrible drain on the; federal budget, and most scientists are of the opinion; that it won't work (see publications of the Union of Concerned Scientists). It should be scrapped, .j Since you represent the State of Georgia, you ftiay^ well have short patience with liberal Californfans* who oppose Bork's views on abortion, school^ prayer, etc. I believe in freedom of choice, but even; that is not the primary reason for writing you.:; My opposition to Judge Bork centers on the fact; that his philosophy, plus a life term, may eradicate] our Constitutional liberties (the Bill of Rights). His decisions and opinions show that he does not believe in protecting individual freedoms. What, for example, would Justice Bork have to say about "preventative detention?" What if the President declared a state of martial law in California, as almost happened in April, 1985 (Operation "Night Train," under thc.FEMA)? If that operation had taken place, 400,000 undocumented aliens would have been rounded up and placed in detention camps. How would Bork have voted on their appeals? Will we have to live with fear of incarceration because of national origin or political actions? The appointment of Judge Bork could deal a lasting blow to our constitutional freedoms. I urge you to oppose it. Carolyn t)orn Ukiah MTA courtesy is a reality JACK ANDERSON Send a message to Moscow The Journal welcomes letters from pur readers. However, we reserve the right not to print those letters we consider may be libelous, in bad taste or a personal attack. Letters must not exceed 300 words in lenght and should be typed and double-spaced. All letters must be signed and include an address and phone number for verification. Anonymous letters will not be printed. Addresses will not be printed, but the writer's name will appear. Because of the volume of letters received, some letters may be edited because of space requirements. WASHINGTON — If you could send a message to Moscow — a message that would be read by 40 million Russians — what would you like to say? It is now possible for you to address the Russian people, to offer your ideas on how to improve Soviet-American relations, to get off your chest any feelings you may wish to communicate to the Soviet Union. Here's how this remarkable opportunity has become possible: At a Soviet-American conference at Chautauqua, N.Y. in August, we proposed an exchange of ideas between the Soviet and American people. We offered to turn over our column once a month to Soviet commentator Vladimir Posner if he would arrange for Soviet newspapers to give us equal space each month. We agreed to invite the people themselves to express their views, to speak out, to say whatever they wish — free of censorship, reproach or retaliation. This is no contest, so there arc no rules. It will be a dialogue between people of good will, a free exchange of ideas to promote belter understanding, an exercise in citizens' diplomacy. Please keep your statemenls short and pertinent; there simply won't be enough space for lengthy essays. Mail your statements to Jack Anderson, Post Office Box 2300, Washington, D.C., 20013. Sorry, we don't have the staff to acknowledge each statement; you will have to watch the column for the results. It is also understood, of course, that we have the right to publish your comments, in whole or in part. You are free to write whatever is on your mind. You can explain American values or denounce Soviet values. But we would like this to be a constructive dialogue. We won't achieve better relations with abrasive words and a belligerent attitude. We can't expect to make lasting friendships with a cudgel. Clearly, tension exists between Moscow and Washington. Some day we hope to report that all Soviet-American differences have been resolved and that the millennium has dawned. But at the moment, this is wishful thinking. Unpleasant news still unsettles our lives. Unwelcome shapes and shadows still lie on the horizon. Yet we cannot afford to become sour and cynical. This leads to mistrust and disillusion, which can cause bitterness and hopelessness. We must have faith in the future and be willing to keep on trying. So let us raise our sights, lest they drift ever lower. The Soviet leader, Mikhail Gor- bachev, is attempting to restructure and revitalize the Soviet system. He has introduced new initiatives, new attitudes, new thinking inside the Soviet Union. Part of the new way is the new openness — the Soviets call it "glasnost" — which has made this exchange of ideas possible. Perhaps Americans, too, could profit by taking a new look at themselves. There are problems bubbling up all around us. Yet there is a reluctance to change our profligate ways, to revamp our outmoded methods, to reverse our stubborn thinking, to get off the downhill racer. We hold tenaciously to past ways and old views, not because they're still the best, but because they are familiar and comfortable. So let us begin, why not, by considering a new approach to Soviet-American relations. MINI-EDITORIAL — Ll. Gen. William Odom, head of the super- secretive National Security Agency, which intercepts other nations' communications, held a strange session willi reporters the other day. He scolded die-press for publishing leaks and said he thought some reporters should be prosecuted. But lie refused to be specific about any security breaches that should have led to criminal charges. To The Editor: , ; " I wonder how many of you, if any, arc aware of- ;• the kind of extra special service the Mcndocino • ; Transit Authority provides for those of you who use ; their services — both the buses and Dial-A-Ridc. • ; Now, at the outset, let me say that I have been ; driving a cab for Dial-A-Ride since 1977; therefore, ; ; lest you think I am just patting myself on the back, • • let me say that only we in the organization know the-; extreme length MTA goes to in servicing those who • ; use our services. ',\ Permit me to give you just one example.. ;•, Recently, a lady who lives in the Fort Bragg area, i was returning from a Hawaiian vacation. She; j| arrived in Ukiah and somehow missed her connec-: ; lion with the MTA bus going to Fort Bragg that j. afternoon. «' Guess what? I was getting off work from driving '.. cab at 3 p.m. MTA paid me to take one of our cabs, :» pick that lady up here in Ukiah, and take her to her J home in Fort Bragg. The bus fare is $4.25; that is : what she paid me. I would say the cost of my ;. delivering her was at least $75. ', Because MTA felt (that) perhaps their dispatcher ;• had not made herself perfectly clear in her mstruc- ;' lions when this person called inquiring about the ; Fort Bragg connection, they paid me to deliver her '••-. for the regular fare. ', As for Dial-A-Ride, every day, and I do mean '>'. every day, people call a cab, the cab arrives and the '•; person isn't ready. The dispatcher just accepts it, '•.: (and) sends another cab at a later date. '•; I have been in the work force for 50 years and this j group at MTA, if I may use the phrase, bends over; backward more to serve the people of this county.; than any group or organization I have ever known, i Ted W. Mitchell ', Ukiah J Almanac By The Associated Press Today is Wednesday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 1987. There are 106 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: On Sept. 16, 1810, Mexicans began their revolt against Spanish rule, an event commemorated as Mexico's Independence Day. On this date: In 1630, the Massachusetts village of Shawmut changed its name to Boston. "In 1638, the "Sun King" of France, Louis XIV, was born. '•• In 1 887, music teacher Nadia Boulanger was born in Paris. In 1893, hundreds of thousands of settlers swarmed onto a section of land in Oklahoma known as the "Cherokee Strip." In 1908, General Motors filed its papers of incorporation. In 1919, the American Legion was incorporated by an act of Congress. In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act, which set up the first peacetime military draft. In 1940, Samuel T. Rayburn of Texas was elected speaker of the House of Representatives. Ukiah Daily oarnal MWndOClnO County, California Donald W. Reynolds, Chairman of the Board Thomas W. Reeves, General Manager John Anastasio Managing Editor Deniae Hall Bruce Schlabaugh Advertising Director Victor Martinez Eddie Sequeira Display Advertising Manager Yvonne Bell Claire Booker Circulation Manager /'_!'. Member Audit Bureau ot Circulations LOCALLY OPERATED MEMBER DONKEY MEDIA GROUP Composing Supervisor Press Supervisor Officer Manager —DOONESBURY I'M WHAtP TRUMP, ANP I'M NOT RUNNING fOK PRZSID&fT! 1/A ' I'M JUST A 0IUIONAI& PtVELOP- f£ &(&!C1$ING HIS R/GHT TO FiQATTKAL. BflL- . THOUGH,

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