Letters to the Editor for July 17
August 12, 2015
Move off-road trails
The problem of storm water runoff and soil erosion caused by Off-Road-Vehicles is well understood and documented by various government agencies. The U.S. Geological Survey maintains a bibliography of studies done on the subject. One study concludes: "In the Mojave Desert, surface runoff was typically five times greater and sediment yield (in runoff) was 10-20 times greater in ORV-impacted areas than in undisturbed areas."
Wow. Five, 10, 20 times greater.
This explains why an inch of rainfall causes such a catastrophe in areas of Douglas County impacted by ORVs.
We cannot stop the flash floods, but if we can make them several times less destructive by moving the ORV activity away from homes and further into BLM why don't we do that?
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Sheriff Ron Pierini can help with this problem.
We already have laws prohibiting operation of ORVs in the neighborhoods and close to homes where they create problems for residents. All he has to do is enforce these laws.
As existing trails are pulverized by heavy usage, off-roaders are creating new ones. The number of trails is growing. As a result future storms will produce more runoff causing more damage to more homes and may cause human casualties.
No matter what we do, we will always have some flash flooding, but if we continue to allow ORVs to operate close to our neighborhoods flash floods will continue to grow in intensity and destructiveness.
Our home values will dwindle, and real-estate will become very difficult to liquidate.
I recently met a person who was in escrow to purchase a Johnson Lane home but backed out when he found out about the ORV problems.
Sellers who don't disclose that ORVs are a problem in our neighborhoods, as required by state disclosure laws, are opening themselves to lawsuits after the sale.
Trump adds unneeded weight
The bloviating bombastic Donald Trump presidential candidacy points up the greatest danger for Republicans in 2016 — the shear size of the candidate field. Will enough Republicans learn that former Gov. Jeb Bush was a successful policy conservative in Florida or that the fiscally experienced Gov. John Kasich won landslide re-election in politically pivotal Ohio in 2014?
The large field may obscure worthy candidates from gaining important recognition. For example, a New York Times story (May 22) entitled: "A Hillary Clinton Match-Up With Marco Rubio Is A Scary Thought For Democrats" details advantages Rubio has as an Hispanic candidate, his generational contrast with Clinton and his potential to carry Florida in a general election. With foreign policy an increasingly dominant concern of voters, Rubio knows the details of issues and speaks on them with authority. But are enough Republican voters paying attention?
For lesser known candidates, recognition is even more difficult. The only woman in the field, former Hewlett-Packard CEO, Carly Fiorina, may be excluded from GOP debates.
Yet, a New York Times story (May 24) entitled: "Carly Fiorina Talks, Iowa Swoons, and Polls Shrug" outlines Fiorina's rousing stump speech responses from Iowa Republicans, as well as the challenge of becoming well enough known to Republican voters nationally to make an impact.