Letters: Street name | Publish costs | Elect board | Rooftop solar | Profound threat

Letters: Street name | Publish costs | Elect board | Rooftop solar | Profound threat

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Give beloved columnist
a street in his name

Re: “Council honors treasured columnist” (Page B1, Jan. 10).

I enthusiastically endorse Sal Pizarro’s suggestion that a portion of Ridder Park Drive be renamed Gary Richards Drive.

I learned so much from Mr. Roadshow and sorely miss him every time I flip the first section to Page 2.

Pat Marcotte
San Jose

Require utilities
to publish their costs

Re: “Make the CPUC board elected positions” (Page A6, Jan. 10).

I agree with Michael McWalters’ suggestion that CPUC members be elected by the public.

In order to make that change meaningful I believe that utilities should be required to publish the price of their product; dollars per kilowatt-hour for electricity, dollars per therms of natural gas and dollars per gallon of potable water. CPUC members should then be required to explain and resolve large differences in these costs between communities.

Ideally, such a system should be required nationwide so Californians can see how much more they pay for products. Gasoline prices that are required to be made public nationwide show a glaring difference between California and the rest of the United States.

K. R. Kummerer

Electing CPUC board
could help rein in costs

Re: “Make the CPUC board elected positions” (Page A6, Jan. 10).

Reading Michael McWalters’ comments on the CPUC, I agree with his assessment of their appointment by the governor.

This is long overdue to have the commission elected and not appointed, hoping to remove the donation factor with its biased approach.

We need help with the rising cost of utilities.

Willard Mathis
San Jose

Rooftop solar is good
for state in long run

Re: “Rooftop-solar firms struggle” (Page A1, Jan. 10).

If the new rules for rooftop solar systems merely switched solar from being profitable in seven to 11 years, that shouldn’t collapse the market for them. These systems come with 25-year warranties and are installed on homes with 30-year mortgages. They are built to last, are profitable for homeowners in the long run, increase the resale value of homes, and are a benefit to the power grid in general.

As cities build more housing for growing populations, and as people seek to electrify everything from cars to stoves to gardening equipment, we’re going to need more electricity to meet these growing demands. Rooftop solar is not disrupting desert ecosystems or requiring large transmission lines through fire-prone forests; it is literally producing the energy where it will be used. We need to revise the rules so the incentives align with our needs and continue to promote rooftop solar.

Andrew Lowd
San Jose

Profound evidence of
climate change’s peril

Re: “Planet inched closer to ‘scorched Earth’” (Page A1, Jan. 10).

The juxtaposition of six stories in the San Jose Mercury News on Jan. 10 highlights the urgency needed to address the growing climate crisis.

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“Planet inched closer to ‘scorched Earth’” reveals the undeniable fact that the earth is warming, and that the rate is accelerating. “Rooftop-solar firms struggle” (Page A1) shows that vested interests in the power industry, with the connivance of the California Public Utilities Commission, care more for their guaranteed profit margins than for the well-being of their customers. “Sprawling storms wallop U.S. with tornado reports, damage, heavy snow” (Page A2) provides a typical example of the extreme weather brought by climate change, while “Serbian authorities help evacuate cows and horses,” (Page A2) citing upstream snow melt followed by heavy rain, emphasizes the global nature of the crisis.

In the Opinion Section, “Why should all Californians pay for the fire risks only a few face?” (Page A6) and in Local, “San Mateo property owners narrowly approve stormwater fee” (Page B3) underline current costs associated with delayed action, and portend the rising future costs predicted by the insurance industry.

Campbell Scott
Los Gatos