Terry Lamphier: Dear Santa, a long list | TheUnion.com

Terry Lamphier: Dear Santa, a long list

Hope you and the polar bears are doing OK. Heard you’ve taken to wearing shorts. Switching to green outfits also fits your woke environmentalism.

Must be a challenge to compete with Amazon, but I bet you find it amusing that shoppers ordering instant delivery are having to spend up to an hour standing in line at postal services to return those products. At least your domestically made toys won’t be caught in the supply chain problem and you are doing your part for the environment by using local workers, not foreign suppliers from thousands of miles away, using diesel-fueled ships and trucks for delivery.

Also, hats off for using a once-a-year delivery service instead of multiple carriers duplicating each other’s routes multiple times a day. Very green of you.

Anyway, here’s my list — as you’ll note, I’m big on gifts that keep on giving:

Can you get us some local energy producers so we don’t have to rely on PG&E’s on again/off again power that puts us at risk of fires? Scatter some solar farms around to supply decentralized energy. Our garbage transfer station has acres of open buffer lands very near town, and there’s the old airport outside of Nevada City.

(I’m a little annoyed at you, Santa, ‘cause I asked for solar collectors for the Rood Center when I worked there, but was told by the county CEO that they wouldn’t work and were ugly. Then you gave solar collectors to my successor a year later. Talk about a lump of … coal.)

While you’re at it, can put some solar over our Central Valley canal system and maybe some other waterways? This would use existing public lands and cut evaporation losses. I hear India is starting to do a version of this.

And how about methane (energy) recovery systems for industrial dairy and hog farms, some of which can be smelled for miles?

Will you drop a biomass plant into Nevada County so we can join the other 17 California counties doing this? I heard the county did a local study and found suitable sites and materials (and this was before all the annual biomass fire clearing!). The best part is that it can return a 5% to 10% profit while offsetting fossil fuel use with renewable feedstock!

With traditional centralized energy systems losing 5% to 10% of energy to line loss, these seem like good ways to get efficient power closer to consumers and provide local green jobs.

Can you do anything with food costs? Our corporate farmer/congressman is one of those who is exporting almost 44% of California food — sure would like to not have to compete with the world to buy food.

We rural folks want more/better broadband internet. I know, inefficient trenching and adding cell towers employs a lot of people, but it’s too expensive. Maybe you could give us BPL — broadband over power lines — as done in a couple of Midwestern states and AT&T has done in Georgia.

Inflation is a big issue right now. It’d be great if you can get me a raise. Can you take it out of the multi-millions that corporate officers make, so we can avoid the wage/price spiral?

Affordable housing is another big deal. There seems to be a lot of confusion as to what is affordable. For instance, our half million dollar homes we are building are certainly affordable to Bay Area folks, maybe even for east county folks, but not so much for Grass Valley folks. Can you drop some well-designed and built multi-family units for us local folks? Even luxury units would be cheaper and more energy efficient than single family boxes going up now. I know you are thinking about tiny houses, but won’t they use a lot more land and energy?

Can you cut taxes? Grass Valley’s tax increase is to be used only for good things like parks, but that just means park expenses and the like don’t have to compete with general tax funds that can now be used for higher salaries and so on. I’m not seeing neighborhood streets fixed now that the competition for funding is reduced.

Single payer health coverage would be nice. My doctor has three people who do nothing but bill insurance companies. Not sure how this keeps costs down, especially as we’re paying corporate executives and stockholders instead of doctors and nurses.

Oh, and one more thing — can you bring peace on earth and goodwill to humankind?

Terry Lamphier lives in Grass Valley.

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