Soil and water

Why condos shouldn’t be built on the AstraZeneca site in Richmond

Regarding “Sea level poses threat to toxic sites” (Bay Area, December 7): As the article makes clear, impending sea level rise threatens the health and well-being of people. Bay Area communities. Projecting these threats involves uncertainties and likely underestimates the risks, as research, including our ‘Toxic Tides’ report, focuses on surface flooding and does not take into account groundwater intrusion to the surface. such a large scale. This data tends to be very site specific.

This is why it is disconcerting to see Richmond Mayor Tom Butt inappropriately choosing data for his newsletter and claiming that AstraZeneca’s site in the city does not face elevation threats. from sea level to justify the development of up to 4,000 condominium units with only partial cleanup. .

For a century, the 86-acre AstraZeneca site has been used to make chemicals, including fertilizers and pesticides. As a result, the soil and groundwater meet the criteria for designation as a Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency.

It is clear that there are significant and immediate risks at the AstraZeneca site. Local communities and their scientific colleagues are rightly asking for the site to be cleaned up.

Amee Raval, Research Director,

Asia-Pacific Environmental Network;

Rachel Morello-Frosch, professor,

UC Berkeley sustainability

and Health Equity Laboratory;

Lara Cushing, teacher,

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

I’m scared to go to SF

I grew up in San Francisco and moved to Marin County several years ago. I kept some doctors from San Francisco and must have seen one recently on Post Street near Union Square. I was worried that I would have to go to this crime-ridden neighborhood, especially after the recent events.

I stuffed my wallet and my phone into a small specially ordered shoulder bag, which I held under my jacket. I parked at the Sutter Street garage and scanned my surroundings as I got out of my car. I was scared, but I felt a sense of relief when I saw uniformed police officers on almost every corner. I thanked each of them in passing.

These men and women deserve our respect.

I wonder if District Attorney Chesa Boudin and her activist friends would feel comfortable seeing their grandmothers walking alone in Union Square and without the police presence.

Susan Feiner-Page, San Rafael

Too many people

Regarding “Population Growth at Lowest Rate in First Year of Pandemic” (Nation, December 22): Is Declining US Population Growth a Bad Thing? If our fiscal, health care and retirement needs are tied to a policy that continues to encourage overpopulation, then our policies are indeed shortsighted and apocalyptic.

Almost all of modern civilization’s woes begin with the elephant in the room: overpopulation.

We are in constant debates on housing, transport, drinking water, immigration and energy production. All these debates are useless without at least recognizing this elephant. The planet is sagging under our constant expansion, and the destruction of habitat to meet our growing demand is, as we know, not sustainable. At least let’s stop throwing peanuts at the elephant.

Jim McDannold, Fort Bragg

Student story inspires

Regarding “From Prison Loneliness to the UC Berkeley Classroom” (Front Page, December 23): This is the first time in my life (and I am 83 years old) that I have had to write a letter to the editor of a publication. The story of Kevin McCarthy and his journey from the unspeakably inhumane conditions of Pelican Bay State Prison to the halls of UC Berkeley blew me away. It is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and a confirmation that even in the darkest places the light of Truth can penetrate. His final declaration brought tears to my eyes.

Stephen Shimm, Berkeley