Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor | Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018

Google best use for Castle’s airstrip

Recently there has been debate on the future of the Castle Development Center, more specifically, the utilization of the flight line. Apparently the 25-year effort to promote air operations is going poorly. Efforts have failed to entice Japan Airlines and UPS to create a maintenance center and commercial air service has never gotten off the ground.

A Navy reserve unit came, looked and left. Pegasus, a company that promised 10,000 maintenance jobs, folded within months.

In short, Castle’s 11,000 foot runway has turned out to be nothing but a vertical tombstone.

That is why Google should take a portion of the airfield and develop their self-driving cars. Google offers high-paying and skilled jobs that are already paying off for the Merced area. Let’s use Castle wisely and put an end to the useless chunks of concrete that do nothing for our community.

Lori Johnson, Atwater

Pass a law to block coal, then sue

Re “States cite climate worries in push to stop US coal sales” (Page 4A, Dec. 13): Judges and courts are to rule on the law, based on law, not on opinions or reports and studies. Yet everywhere we turn, organizations – both governmental and non governmental – call on the courts and judges to issue injunctions to stop legal processes or operations. In this case, it is coal production on public lands.

The legislature is the appropriate authority which should address this case. The people, through state legislatures, should direct legislators to pass laws to effect their goals. Then the court should rule on the constitutionality of the enacted laws. We the people rule this land through our legislators, checked by the court based on the Constitution. To do otherwise is to allow moneyed interests to rule the country – anarchy by the rich.

Melvin Ladousier, Merced

Stop this modern genocide

Two years ago, the indigenous voices of Standing Rock predicted the future. On Sept. 8, 2016, protesters of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe mobilized to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline set to be constructed through North Dakota and into southern Illinois. This pipeline would be crossing beneath the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, as well as Lake Oahe near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. As history has shown, oil pipelines have been a continuous threat to our environment and surrounding communities – especially indigenous reservations.

After years of protest, the Trump administration reversed President Obama’s decision to deny the pipeline a key permit to continue its construction and then expedited its construction.

After ensuring the public its state-of-the-art construction would ensure the cleanliness of the communities and rivers, an 84-gallon oil spill was reported on April 6.

The United States has participated in the systematic destruction and destabilization of indigenous communities by targeting land. We have seen it as far back as The Indian Removal Act of 1830, and now we have seen it at Standing Rock where the National Guard used tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters protecting the land. It’s time we prioritize the voices of indigenous communities and end this modern genocide.

Marissa Martinez, Merced

Honored, thankful for re-election

I thank God first and foremost for my re-election. I thank my campaign managers and I thank my wing man Jose Leal, who went above and beyond to make this possible. I thank my family, my spiritual kids, my constituents, for believing in me. It was a tough campaign.

I also thank my opponent Geneva Brett, for whom I have a lot of respect, for bringing out the best in me. I wish her the best in future endeavors.

I don’t take this position lightly, and my hope is that others stepping up in the future will do it with the best intentions. This is about being and providing the best for our children. It is an honor to be able to sit on this board to make a difference alongside the other governance team board members.

I promise to work hard and continue to persistently push this district to be safe, fiscally responsible, transparent and accountable to our community – especially to the parents and children in our district. Under the leadership of superintendent Mark Marshall, let us all continue to march forward to make Los Banos Unified a model school district for others to follow. We can do this because we have the heart, passion, talent, including some of the best teachers and administrators in the county. Blessings to all, and once again, thank you.

Raymond R. Martinez,

Los Banos