March 9: Letters to the Editor

End of an era

An ordinary day...browsing through mail I noticed a piece in the Rancho Santa Fe Review. McNally’s Antique Store was closing!

Scratch the plan to take my daughter Jenn to McNally’s for her 15th anniversary present. The opportunity to override Jenn’s “Techie Mentality” -- gone!

Giving Jenn a treasure -- hand wrought and exquisite, also gone! Serving pieces of Gorham’s 18th century Sterling pattern Versailles would not happen in the Ranch.

Buying online...an awful alternative. At McNally’s, Jenn could have been surrounded by their amazing collection of Art Nouveau, paintings and continental furnishings; an experience “fit for the gods!” True, auctions of Sterling exist in London and New York. But McNally’s is here, 40 years later, smack in the middle of downtown.

Connie and Bill are celebrities, providing more than the sale of antiques. They were a reliable source of information...inspiration; theirs was a shop where memories were made.

They mentored buyers and browsers alike. Back in the ‘90s I visited them with my acquisition bought at auction in London. Connie loved it! She gave me detailed information on my Victorian Sterling kettle (Connie was then the editor of Silver Magazine; known nationwide for her expertise!) She sent someone to my home with instructions on how to clean and care for it.

Wondering why I am inconsolable? Go there! Take a peek at the hand-wrought one-of-a-kind treasures of another century. Immerse yourself in their beauty, and understand that this “landmark Institution” is closing its doors forever. Bring young folks, there is still time. The shop stays open until everything is sold.

As for Connie and Bill, they will continue to do fine estate sales. But make no mistake. We are witnessing the fading of art and culture from the Ranch’s downtown.

Sadly,

Sue Ann Scheck

Two bills that should be stopped

Two very concerning bills are being considered in the State Senate this session, Senate Bill 18 and Senate Bill 54, and I’m asking for the public’s help to defeat them.

SB 18, or the “Bill of Rights for Children and Youth in California,” is a bill that sounds like it was designed to help the children and youth of our state, but would insert the government into the sacred parent-child relationship by creating a standard for measuring “bad” parents – discarding the God-given parental right to raise and provide for their children.

Why set a standard unless you plan to enforce it on every parent and child? It is evident in the draft of the bill, that it contemplates the state power to seize or restrict parents’ access to children that aren’t receiving what they determine to be the correct “research-based essential needs” and “special care” from their parents or guardians. Parent who homeschool, choose alternative vaccine schedules, allow their child the occasional sugary drink, or have other beliefs that run counter to the current political majority are all rightfully concerned that SB 18 would allow the government to step in and force them to parent against their beliefs.

You were the one at their bedside, you are the one who will be fighting for your children their entire lives, and you should be in charge, not the government.

SB 54 is the next step in making California a “sanctuary state” that protects deportable felons from federal immigration authorities. The bill prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies from giving any information to federal immigration authorities regarding serious felons in their jails and prisons, making it harder if not impossible for the federal authorities to find these criminals in order to deport them. The result is that these felons return to our communities when their sentence is up, rather than being deported. These are not “Dreamers” – undocumented immigrants brought her as young children who’ve committed no other crimes. These are felons convicted of crimes such as: assault with a deadly weapon, date rape, and burglary.

If you agree that these bills should be stopped, please co-sign our petitions to the authors of these bills on my website at www.sen.ca.gov/anderson. SB 54 will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on March 13 and I will personally be delivering the names of everyone who has signed my petition to the author. SB 18 has not yet been set for a hearing but I will be doing the same when it is scheduled.

Senator Joel Anderson, Senate District 38

To solve climate change, the passengers must now fly the plane

When it comes to climate change, most Americans are like passengers on a jetliner wanting to arrive safely at their destination but thinking there’s no need to be involved in flying the plane. The “people in charge,” surely, have things under control.

Lately, however, the plane has experienced a rough ride:

· Christmas Day, the temperature at Santa’s workshop – a.k.a. the North Pole – approached 32 degrees, 40 degrees above average.

· 2016 set another record high for average global temperature, and 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have occurred in this century.

· Floods, like those that struck Louisiana and North Carolina last year, are happening as a result of unprecedented downpours.

All this turbulence is prompting passengers to rise from their seats to check with the pilot. Upon opening the cockpit door, however, they are shocked to see no one at the controls.

So, how do we avoid crashing into a mountainside?

It’s time for the passengers to start flying the plane. This entails setting aside cynicism about our government and engaging with our representatives in Congress. It requires us to seek common ground between Republicans and Democrats. The concern we hear most is that addressing climate change will impact the economy and jobs.

We can alleviate those fears and find that common ground with a market-based solution that holds polluters accountable for damage to our air, water and climate. A steadily-rising fee on carbon, with all revenue returned to households, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions while growing the economy.

A study from Regional Economic Models, Inc., considered a policy whereby a fee on the carbon dioxide content of fuels would increase $10 per ton each year. The REMI study found that emissions would drop more than 50 percent in 20 years. The economy would add 2.8 million jobs, boosted by recycling of revenue back to households.

But can Democrats and Republicans in Congress work together on climate change?

Hopeful signs emerged in 2016 with the creation of the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus, which has equal membership from both sides of the aisle. The caucus creates a safe space for Republicans and Democrats to have an honest dialogue about ways to reduce the risks we face in a warming world. By making our voices heard, we can grow the ranks of the Climate Solutions Caucus and reach the critical mass to pass bipartisan legislation.

None of this can happen, however, unless we take control and put the plane back on course. As astronaut Rusty Schweickart said, “We aren’t passengers on spaceship Earth, we’re the crew. We aren’t residents on this planet, we’re citizens. The difference in both cases is responsibility.”

Mark Reynolds

Mark Reynolds is executive director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby

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