Kentucky would welcome western investment in water systems — but first, help us drink

Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen assisted with flood relief efforts in response to the declared state of emergency in eastern Kentucky in late July 2022. (Courtesy)

Recently, your reader, Don R. Scott of Palm Springs, suggested that the recent flooding in Kentucky has resulted in a lack of infrastructure and that “overflow pipes should be installed on problem rivers to only divert flood water to our westward pipeline.” Mr Scott is certainly right that a lack of infrastructure has at least partially aggravated these floods.

I would also like to point out that six of the Kentucky counties affected by these floods are among the 14 poorest counties in the entire United States by median household income, according to 2020 Census Bureau data. One of them, Martin County, Kentucky, the 11th poorest county in the United States, has been without potable tap water since 2000 when a coal mud spill contaminated the area’s water supply.

While I’m not sure what feats of engineering it takes to pump water from the Appalachian Mountains to the Southwest, here in eastern Kentucky we would applaud the people of Palm Springs or other places in the Southwest who are investing in our local infrastructure. However, we would appreciate it if we could drink our own water first before diverting it elsewhere.

Jarrod W. Brown, Sharkey, Kentucky

How about a view of the Columbia River?

I’ve read letters about Mississippi water possibly being diverted to alleviate the western drought. There is a much closer river they can tap that would not need to be piped over the Rockies and would not face harsh winter conditions that could freeze the water at high elevations.

Why not investigate the feasibility of the Columbia River? Less than half the distance to “head” to Lake Powell or the Colorado River, and as some put it, “flows lavishly into the Pacific.” We as a society only believe that we can control flows. Rivers are nature and can and have reshaped this planet over the centuries.

Jim Wingo, Springfield, Missouri

Abortion rules vary around the world

The Supreme Court ruling on abortion brings the issue back to the States. This is not dissimilar to how the situation has been handled in Canada and the European Union.

Canada has federal law allowing on-demand abortion during pregnancy and then leaving it legally, allowing each province to require certain conditions according to provincial laws, regulations, and cultural norms, so long as abortion is not prohibited. No one allows on-demand abortions throughout pregnancy. Abortions can be performed up to 24 weeks depending on the province.

In the EU, Northern Ireland, Malta, San Marino and Poland have banned abortion. England, Ireland, Norway and Germany allow abortions up to 24 weeks but with different conditions. Sweden, Finland, Spain, France and Italy have on-demand abortions up to 18 weeks but conditions beyond that, such as fetal defects or maternal mortal danger.

SCOTUS noted that there is no constitutional right to abortion. It returns this problem to the states with their different norms and beliefs. Some may choose to have an abortion on demand throughout the pregnancy, some may choose to have an abortion ban, and some will likely choose something between these two extremes, as Canadian provinces and most European nations have done.

James Bockel, Indian

Calvert wasn’t meant to represent the Coachella Valley

Save our valley! We cannot allow much of the Coachella Valley, including Palm Springs, to turn into a red right-wing political district (new congressional district 41).

Trump supporter and ultra-conservative Congressman Ken Calvert recently voted:

  • No to ensuring access to abortion (HR 8297)

  • No to the Ban on Assault Weapons (HR 1808)

  • No to wildlife and drought laws that would include pay increases for hard-working firefighters (HR 5118)

  • No to the right to contraceptives (HR 8373)

No to Republican Ken Calvert this November. Yes to Democrat Will Rollins.

Rob Westwood, Rancho Mirage

Amid the drought, the state must impose limits on growth

California’s future water supply will never be able to support the growth of both the housing market and the continued expansion and development of our agricultural lands along the central and northern coastal regions and particularly in the San Joaquin Valley. Government restrictions on growth expansion must be enacted and enforced to conserve our future water supplies.

David Ormiston, Palm Springs

Save America from Trump

Trump supporters are hoping for his re-election. Republicans are structuring their primary for this very purpose.

If these Trump candidates make it through the November election, nothing will stop Trump from declaring his candidacy for 2024. Republicans, be careful what you wish for. If you profess to love democracy, just wait and see how our democracy will disappear under Trump’s control.

He continues to push the big lie, and this virus has been amplified by all the candidates who support Trump. If Trump wins again, I think we will lose freedoms that we took for granted.

His Supreme Court appointments have already weakened women’s suffrage and they have already limited the EPA to trying to help our already eroding environment. What will be next on Trump’s agenda…our free press? Maybe even restructure our government?

I don’t think there’s anything off the table that he could do. That’s why I say we must “save America from Trump” by voting the Democrat.

Roxie Bivinetto, Palm Desert

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Letters: Kentucky Needs Potable Tap Water Before Sending Water West

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