If you want to help get more press coverage, one member suggests Letters to the Editor. See “How to get your Letters to the Editor Published” at the bottom of this post.
Because the citizens of the Delta are protesting and marching – yet where’s the Press?
After the Hood Fire Chief attended a town meeting where Melissa Terry (who is with the North Delta Water Agency and also sits on the board of the Bay Area & Delta Conservation Plan) told Hood residents how their livelihoods would be greatly impacted by the tunnels, the Chief wanted as many “Stop the Tunnel” signs as possible on the roads leading to Courtland for the Courtland Pear Fair last weekend.
Barbara Daly from Clarksburg manned a booth for STCDA at the Courtland Pear Fair Sunday (thanks again, Barbara!) and said that the people coming into the Fair had seen all the road signs and were full of questions like “What Tunnels?” Our booth and the Restore the Delta’s booth were next to each other and the crowds kept both booths busy all day. Barbara said it was amazing how many people living in that area had no idea about the tunnels or the imminent effect they would have on their lives.
Yet Courtland, Clarksburg, Hood farmers and people who have been following the BDCP plans feel like they are living in “ground zero.” Their quiet, scenic farming communities are where the BDCP is planning to build the massive, multi-story pumping stations and forebay. Family farmers are being threatened with eminent domain. The construction will block farm roads, keeping farmers from getting to market. What are now scenic views will instead be of the hugh industrial structures. Tunnel muck ponds will destroy their pear orchards. As Barbara said, “If the tunnels go through, that will be the end of the Pear Fairs.”
Gene Beley has posted a video taken during the Courtland Pear Fair last weekend (snaps below taken from his video).
The town came together to build floats. They gathered up “Save the Tunnel” signs and made their own to decorate floats and wave in the parade. Check out the video. It looks like about half of the parade was devoted to stopping the tunnels including the Restore the Delta coffin pulled by a specter. But the only thing I’ve seen in the press about the community uprising is a small paragraph in Vacaville’s “The Reporter”. I liked the title, Delta Residents Hit the Streets, but only one real paragraph was devoted to the community protest and the rest about CalTrans removing “Stop the Tunnel” signs illegally.
A community parading to stop the tunnels looks like big news to me. This isn’t a standard protest – this is a real-life community event overtaken by the fear of what these tunnels are about to do to their community and their way of life.
When will the press start covering what these tunnels are going to do to the Delta Communities? The tunnel proponents’ marketing campaign leads people to believe it’s a fish versus farmers battle and the BDCP is the only way to insure clean drinking water to LA and Silicon Valley while saving the fish. Even people living in the affected areas are often unaware of the true tunnel impacts.
We were very happy the Discovery Bay on the bus to Sacramento made the 6 O’clock News in Sacramento thanks to Melinda Meza who lives in Discovery Bay and is a KCRA Sacramento Channel 3 reporter. However, I haven’t seen any follow-on in the press. People massing to go to Sacramento to protest, community events overtaken by the concern about what this huge tunnel project is going to do and yet there is very little press coverage.
Where is the hard-hitting investigative reporting asking: “What are you going to do for people whose farms are taken away by eminent domain, for communities who face economic turndown during this tunnel construction project, for people whose home values will be affected?” Or ask the obvious: “Those are great goals but are they doable without fresh water?” Or better still: “Who will really profit primarily from this boondoggle?”
Where are Woodward and Bernstein?
How can we get more press coverage? One of our press-knowledgable members says we should get more Letters to the Editor in major newspapers.
How to get your Letters to the Editor Published
Here are hints from the SF Chronicle’s Editor on how to get letters to the editor accepted. One thing he looks for is the opportunity for personal perspectives that force readers with very different life experiences to consider another viewpoint. Read his hints.
Then send them off. Here are Links to Newsletters – Where to send your Letter to the Editor with information about maximum number of words, etc.