Experience from other places should give us pause as we consider building a desalination plant. On Jan. 23, 2010, The Australian reported, “Rusting in sea water, the $1.2 billion Gold Coast desalination plant required repairs soon after it opened. The showpiece of a Queensland government strategy to drought-proof the state’s booming southeast, the project has been plagued by so many construction flaws and unscheduled shut-downs that the government is still refusing to take possession from the contractors who built it.”
The St. Petersburg Times reports on the only large-scale desalination plant operating in the United States, “Tampa Bay Water’s long-troubled desalination plant is having more problems. The $158 million plant, which opened five years late and cost $40 million more than expected, remains unable to supply the full 25 million gallons a day that was originally promised.” Closer to home, a Santa Barbara desalination plant sits idle, never used since its completion in 1992. Meanwhile Santa Barbara residents are still paying off the bonds for the plant.
Our community has a complex water supply problem. It includes the overdraft of freshwater aquifers. It includes the likelihood of severe droughts brought about by global climate change. It includes the likelihood that regulators will reduce our water supply from surface streams to protect endangered fish species. We must continue to evaluate the threats and risks to our environment, our households and our local economy—and evaluate potential remedies to our water supply problems.
Critics question whether or not our community should build a desalination plant to meet our water needs. These critics typically identify a number of important issues we need to examine as desalination is considered … and then jump to the conclusion that desalination should be rejected. Yet by arguing for rejection of desal they are essentially saying that we should “shelve” or cancel the project before allowing the community to learn and consider the latest information on desalination.
Sun and Mars are in Pisces, sign of great sensitivity, compassion, the savior of humanity, tending to the healing of the sick, unfortunate,forgotten, oppressed and neglected.
On Thursday, Mars, the planet of forceful action and focus, joins Chiron at 1 degree Pisces. Many of us may wander into the world of “causes,” attempting to find people to “save.” It’s important that we look no further than our own lives, our own families and attempt to serve, forgive, touch and heal the wounds within our own domestic situations.
If I could open anything, it would be a shop that would allow many different artists to come, create and sell their things. I feel like there are so many people out there with such great talent, but there’s not a lot of places for people to practice or sell their stuff.
Santa Cruz | Artist
I spend an inordinate amount of time in Downtown Santa Cruz. I enjoy the shops, restaurants and outdoor markets, but what really keeps me coming back are the people. As a child I was tutored in people-watching by my parents, mostly in and around the old Cooper House. I also learned the craft of categorizing—not with malice but with a sense of appreciation and enjoyment. “Salty Sea Captain!” my dad would nudge toward the pedestrian passing by. “Jesus!” I would add, nodding at the young shirtless, bearded man passing by. (It was the ’70s. Everyone looked like Jesus.) This playful genus and species game is still fun, though not always politically correct. “Yoga enthusiast!” and “Prius driver!” are well-worn, as are “Self-Employed Tech Guru!” and “Non-Contributor!” There is one declaration that seems absent these days—“Bad Boy!” Where have they gone?
Plus Letters to the Editor
I couldn’t help but rub it in—a little—last week when the big, bold blizzard hit my hometown of Chicago—Elmhurst, to be specific. “There’s nothing like driving with your top down in sunny 70-degree weather,” I joked to my Polish mother on the phone. She groaned and I immediately feared I’d never receive a homemade pierogi ever again. In truth, I missed being there. Actually, there’s nothing like a blizzard. It forces everything and everyone to stop. (Hell, I secretly wanted to take a Snow Day of my own!)