People can catch bird flu
In the past couple of weeks, Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center received several birds from the Turlock area that tested positive for bird flu (HPAI H5N1). We are working with California Department of Fish and Wildlife to set up protocols for handling birds with bird flu. Can they be treated? How can they be safely quarantined? When and where can they be released?
We are working with Stanislaus County Public Health to find ways to keep our personnel safe because bird flu is zoonotic, meaning people can catch it. Bird flu poses a threat to the poultry industry as well as pet birds, especially ducks, geese, and chickens. It can pose a threat to people who find sick or dead ducks and geese.
So far, there haven’t been large die-offs of wild birds in this area, but fall migration is coming, bringing hundreds of thousands of ducks and geese to this area, including Aleutian geese. Stanislaus County is where most Aleutian geese overwinter.
Donna Burt, Turlock
Can we afford higher tax?
We have a measure on the upcoming ballot adding 1 percent sales tax. I would like to get a better idea about whether Modesto can support the government we need. How many residents are on SNAP, how many seek relief from city of Modesto bills, how many seek relief from MID bills? I’m sure there are more government relief opportunities, but can we squeeze this extra money out of the residents? I’d really like a larger view of the situation.
Candice Carleton, Modesto
Costs of public services
Re “Owner of Diablo Grande development has $2M in unpaid taxes” (Front Page, Aug. 31): The matter of the unpaid taxes at Diablo Grande could be settled quickly in two steps. First, start auctioning off a few properties, precluding the developer profiting from their sale. Second, advise the developer that due to lack of funds from property taxes the county will not be able to provide services to the construction area such as inspections necessary for the buildings to be completed and sold. Those two steps will get their attention.
One reason police and fire protection costs have soared can be laid at the feet of Pete Wilson and Jerry Brown and the ultra-liberal state Legislature who thought how wonderful it would be if those public servants, and for the most part they are commendable public servants, could retire at age 50. And surprise, surprise — the Modesto employees’ unions support the tax hike.
Clifford Nagle, Riverbank
U.S. flag is a tribute
Re “U.S. flag more than cheap prop” (Letters, Aug. 28): A letter writer stated that Trump supporters use the flag as a “cheap prop” to promote Trump. Let me tell you why I fly our nation’s flag.
My mom joined the Army during World War II and was driving trucks at a base in Missouri where she first met my dad before he was shipped off to the Philippines. After the war they were married, and their love continued for the next 40 years until my father’s passing. It was their love for this country that first brought my parents together and I fly the flag to honor them.
Tragically, my dad’s brother was killed in the war and never got to see his newborn son. On every holiday my dad hung the flag that had draped his brother’s casket – it only had 48 stars. The U.S. flag that hangs from my house is a tribute to the uncle I never knew and a reminder that freedom comes only from the sacrifices of others.
Long before voting for President Trump, I have flown the U.S. flag from my house and will continue to do so no matter who is president.
Zane H. Johnston, Modesto
Trump’s hidden agenda
Now I get it! Trump is the consummate spy and actor. He acts like a reckless moron. He is in reality, I suspect, a mole for Russia and North Korea as well as a salesman of America’s secret documents to the highest bidder.
Ken Garst, Turlock
How to decrease sideshows
Illegal sideshows seem to be gaining popularity as evidenced by increased reports of the reckless and dangerous activity. The solution to this phenomenon should be simple. Fines and license suspensions are not the answer. One thing the young exhibitionists have in common is pride in their vehicles. Any driver arrested for engaging in sideshows should lose the car for one year and be required to pay for its storage. Any repeat offender should lose his vehicle and his driver’s license permanently and pay a hefty fine. The vehicle would then be auctioned with the proceeds supporting future enforcement of sideshows.
Jim Hoagland, Ripon
Electric vehicles bring disaster
Imagine the millions of electric vehicles in our future. It isn’t hard, as the government has mandated the end of fossil fuel vehicle sales by 2035. Imagine if the manufacturers of these EVs gave their customers the real facts on the range limits of said vehicles. Imagine the line of drivers waiting to charge their vehicles before attempting to climb the Grapevine or cross the Sierra. Imagine the number of picnic benches required for those waiting the 45-plus minutes to charge those vehicles to 75% of capacity. Imagine trying to electrify a train or a plane or a ship or the millions of 18-wheelers which transport our service goods.
Then imagine the number of batteries dumped in our landfills. Imagine the contamination of our groundwater. Imagine huge underground fires. Imagine the cost, not just for the vehicle but everything. Food, consumer goods, large ticket items, everything. Without the taxes on gasoline where will the infrastructure maintenance and upgrades come from?
This country continues to put the cart before the horse in just about everything we do. In a country where the politicians never fail to fail.
Rick Kimble, Riverbank
Kudos, Harder and staff
The staff in Rep. Josh Harder’s office did amazing work in helping to solve a complex issue of the State Department mishandling my application for a passport renewal. From the initial call to the final resolution their approach was not only professional but conveyed a serious interest and concern for the problem. I had a case manager who kept me informed every step of the way.
Every interaction with the office staff was pleasant and upbeat. Such attitude comes from the top. Thank you Josh Harder and your excellent staff.
Robert LeFevre, Modesto
Term limits for all
The parties need to come together and stop taking sides. If a president can only run for two terms, all elected officials should only serve two terms. Any longer than that, they become corrupt.
Jack Stewart Jr., Modesto