Feinstein responds to Lovingood's testimony

Re: "Lovingood warns of $225 million loss," Daily Press, Oct. 9.

The assertion by San Bernardino County 1st District Supervisor Robert Lovingood that the California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act would shutter the Castle Mountain mine is false.

Castle Mountain Mine, Inc., a Canadian company, is currently seeking to reopen the mine, which has been closed since 2001. My staff has worked closely with the company to ensure that lands necessary for the mine to operate are not included in conservation areas. In fact, we carved out the site of the original mine as well as additional land to allow the mine to expand in the future.

What the bill does is protect lands that Castle Mountain Mine, Inc., itself said are not necessary for mining operations.

I have gone out of my way over the years to avoid conflicts with mining operations. That is reflected in my legislation. And as the Obama administration considers monument designations, I have asked them to do the same.

Simply put: existing mining operations — including the preliminary work to reopen the mine at Castle Mountain — would not be adversely affected by monument designations.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein


Neither angels nor statesmen

Abortion has been safely performed in the U.S. for more than 40 years. Former Senate majority leader Harry Reid filibustered SB1193, the human-trafficking bill, which once had wide bipartisan support. Principle sponsors Sen. Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sen. Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) added some Hyde amendment language to the bill, barring appropriations from funding services for victims of human trafficking with the fines that government would collect for their prosecutions.

It seems to me that government may have better prosecuted human traffickers under Rico or asset forfeiture law. Many of these trafficking victims that are smuggled in country are held as slaves and are turned to prostitution to pay their debts. It’s a multi-million dollar business.

This partisan bickering appeared intentionally motivated, as over the years Democrats and Republicans have shared bipartisan support for prohibitions on the public funding of abortion, pledging to keep them "safe and rare.” Fact is public opinion draws the line at taxpayer funding. The Party of Reid was cynically filibustering a bill, of which they were historically on the wrong side.

Meanwhile the Virginia Board of Health, the state of Texas, and others had recently approved new ambulatory directives that order clinical facilities to meet new building and hygiene specifications, bringing them in line with standards for new hospitals.

The Reid Senate were neither angels nor statesmen in this case, but rather ignorant and selfishly in need of a wedge issue. Perhaps the Democrat Party had conveniently forgotten the Gosnell case. Just where did these senators suppose the victims of human trafficking would go? By their intellectual shallowness; they’d go straight to Planned Parenthood and the poor neighborhoods where these “self-regulated” Gosnell-like clinics were left standing by the Wendy Davis’s and pro-choice groups who opposed ambulatory regulation, that’s were — and breaking the original promise to keep abortions safe and rare.

Bryan A. Cook


Phones in the classroom

The Oct. 4 article regarding cyberbullying of a teacher because she took a cell phone from student prompted me to write about that incident. As a teacher, now retired, I can tell you the biggest pain and bone of contention in the high school classroom today is the students' use of their cell phones. Even if the school policy states that cell phones are not to be used during classes, they are anyway.

Teachers also have their class rules, which invariably prohibit cell phone use in their rooms. But students think they are slick — they text on their phones right under their desk, and think the teacher does not notice.

I don't know about you, but nobody I've seen smiles down at their crotch — unless there is a cell phone there! The penalty for getting caught/using the cell phones is confiscation. Most of the time, the kid says they are texting mom or dad, but when asked for verification (letting the teacher see the text to prove it), the phone is snapped shut. It does not matter who they are talking to, they need to stop that activity and pay attention! So, at the end of the day, the teacher brings the perp's phone to the assistant principal's office, where parents/guardians are notified that they need to come to the school to retrieve the phone.

The parent should be irate at their progeny, not direct their anger at the AP or the teacher, but nooooo. ...

Cell phones are prohibited because when the student is involved with texting, etc. they are not paying attention to the class, which not only annoys the teacher, but distracts the other kids. The phones are used to set up clandestine meetings in the restroom, among other things, like cheating or trying to get drugs. Therefore, school and teacher policy tries very hard to stop their use. For a parent to cyberbully a teacher for doing her job — it was no surprise to the student, I am sure — is beyond disrespectful.

The parent should make it clear to their student they cannot bring the phone to school at all, but they do not. Therein lies the real problem.

Gail Crestin-Bickers

Apple Valley

Tapestry Project

There seems to have been a lot of hand-wringing lately on the Opinion page from those opposed to the master-planned community that is probably going to be rubber-stamped by the Hesperia City Council when it comes to a vote. Namely, the famous (possibly already infamous?) Tapestry Project in southeast Hesperia.

Now, at the outset, maybe I don't have have a dog in the fight as I live northeast in Apple Valley, but here's my tuppence ha'penny worth on the matter. Fresh off the boat as an immigrant (legally, I might add), to these shores in 1986, I enjoyed late afternoon trips with my wife zooming up to Silverwood Lake to cool down in the water and enjoy the respite and solitude of its beachy coves. On the way, we passed the Las Flores Ranch, storied even back then, a pastoral setting indeed, with horses and cattle grazing in the fields; nirvana no doubt, to some. But times change.

Which brings me to the hypothetical: Considering that it's an almost foregone conclusion that Tapestry will be voted in by the Hesperia council, and then no doubt subject to lawsuits from the usual protagonists of the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity and others, et al, my question is this: If this area was/is such a pristine natural environment never to be disturbed, where were these entities when the Las Flores Ranch was up for sale way back when? Or are the litigants to come just modern day extortionists over what people are allowed to do with their private property rights?

Andrew Howard

Apple Valley