DONALD E. WATSON, M.D.
Clean Air Coordinating Committee
Slippery politicians, whether in Washington, Sacramento, the county or the valley, usually use two cop-outs when they try to weasle out of a hard decision:
(1) Pass the buck, and/or
(2) Claim there is no problem.
Some local politicians have been using these cop-outs to avoid the hard choice of limiting our growth rate to solve our air pollution problem. They tell us that we are not responsible for half of our smog, since half is blown in (Cop-out No. 1), that our growth rate is not the problem (No. 2), that the area west of the hills should stop their growth rather than us (No. 1) and even that smog is harmless!
IT'S FUN to be a bird-watcher and watch these guys, in the newspaper, at coffees, or at the city council meetings. BUT it's not so much fun to think of the consequences of their Do-Nothing-And-Hope-For-The-Best Policy; What excuses do you suppose these guys will come up with in 7-8 years?
When people in the rest of the Bay Area have clean
air to breathe and we still have smog!!
And, when virtually all of our smog is homegrown, because the air coming from west of the hills is so much cleaner, thanks to the low growth rates there.
And when today's fast-growth policies will have guaranteed the prohibition of industry from the valley, because "home-related" pollution is filling up our air faster than cars can be cleaned up!
And when regional, state, and federal air pollution agencies will be forced to step in to protect the public's health because some of our local politicians are passing them the buck, since they aren't willing to live up to their responsibilities now!
How will these good intentioned but incompetent troublemakers feel then? We don't know, of course, but they will probably be sorry—like the rest of us!
What can we ordinary citizens do to prevent these future problems? And how can we stop Irrational Valley Planning?
We can elect the kind of representatives we need and deserve—those who have the courage and moral commitment to make the hard choices on growth, even if they must pick up a few vicious enemies by doing so.
DON WATSON, M.D.
Senator Grunsky's argument that collegiate voters might out-number year-round residents of college communities is questionable on the same grounds. In addition, it wouldn't apply to most 18-20 year olds anyway; the majority of the young adults in that age range either attend community colleges or no college at all.
Reportedly, Senator Harmer said that widespreaddrug abuse proves youngsters lack stability. We feel that if individuals were disenfranchised on the basis of habitual drug abuse, including tranquilizers, sleeping pills, "diet pills" and alcohol, a higher percentage of individuals over the age of 21 would be affected. In any case, to deny the right to vote to a wide class of citizens on the basis of the personal habits of a few is not in the best interests of a free and democratic society.
Donald Watson, M.D., Livermore
Thomas Schneck, San Jose