Business differences

After reading last Sunday's front-page article, "Funding Mismatch," where Diana Carloni-O’Malley mentions my name and business, I felt it necessary to clear up the difference between the type of business I operate and how Liberty Utilities operates.

My business, NAPA Auto Parts, operates within the free market free enterprise system. Competition keeps our price of goods and operation costs in check. If we try to gouge someone for a part, they would simply buy from one of my competitors. I am not guaranteed a profit, or market share of the available customer base. Funding for my business expansion and growth comes from my profit, and I am not guaranteed a return on that investment.

Contrary to the way most businesses operate in a free market free enterprise system, Liberty Utilities operates as a government (California Public Utilities Commission) regulated monopoly. Liberty has a fixed customer base without competition and is guaranteed a profit. If the CPUC did their job by truly regulating Liberty’s water rates based on operations and investment, things might be different. But as many of us know the CUPC has been riddled with corruption and operates without voter, or legislative, oversight. The current water rates in Apple Valley verses our neighboring communities bears this out.

The choice for Apple Valley voters is clear, whether to stay the course with big government (CUPC) and a multinational corporation (Algonquin-Liberty Utilities) with a focus on profit and investors, or community ownership with control over water rates, operations, investment, local elected officials, and a focus on residents and ratepayers. I hope you join me in voting Yes on Measure F and local control.

Scott Nassif

Owner, NAPA Auto Parts

Mayor, Town of Apple Valley

'Tragedy' full of errors

On May 14th, a letter to the editor titled “Tragedy of the Commons Redux” appeared on this page, in which the letter writer got the economic theory known as the tragedy of the commons completely wrong. 

Whenever property is held in common, no one has any incentive to take care of it; instead each person tries to use it as much as possible, thereby ruining it through overuse. This is the tragedy of the commons. It is an indictment of socialism, even though the idea first appeared some 30 years before Marx published "Das Kapital."

The letter writer says in part that the Trump administration’s review of monuments and public lands will result in, among other things, the “…gift of public lands to the rich, powerful or connected…” and will “…give away — or sell — to corporations, developers, and mining, gas or oil companies…” and that “…large segments of public land will be given away to millionaires.”

This is left-wing hyperbole with no basis in facts or reason, little different than the ravings of the right-wing about Obama taking away everybody’s guns. Any rational person can recognize it as such.

The letter is nothing but conjecture and personal opinion; just because this writer says something will happen doesn’t mean it will. It is my opinion that none of these things will happen, that in the end the current administration will follow the law, as is generally the case in a nation of laws, not men. My opinion is just as good as his.

When making an argument you need to get to get your facts right and avoid using extremist rhetoric. Otherwise, you just end up looking foolish.

Forrest Edward Metz

Victorville

Around town, in Apple Valley

Given the huge unfunded liability in the employee compensation packages, and with the appointment of Lori Lampson as interim town manager, I think it would be prudent for the Apple Valley Town Council to cease and desist searching for a replacement for our dear departing ineffective town manager, and let Ms. Lampson grow in the job, and save the cost of the head hunters as well as adding an additional overpaid executive. There are two additional highly paid assistant town managers, one of which should be capable of filling the post of town manager.

Given the present turmoil due to the cost and uncertainty of the town being successful in its hostile takeover of Liberty H2O, and the impact the legal fees will have on the general budget (not recoverable from revenue bonds), the town needs to be a lot more frugal.

In such a small town, why have we needed three assistant town managers? Why replace Frank Robinson in the first instance? Given how much these (overpaid) assistants are paid, a new town manager will expect to be paid more than they are paid. The search will be from a group of already overpaid public employees salaries, plus benefits, plus relocation plus, plus plus, adding to an already bloated unfunded liability and excessive overhead and supervision budget.

We expect better from our elected officials.

Lee Bell

Apple Valley

Limited options

In response to the recent letter "Two options," the writer is correct. To believe or not believe. Those are the two options relative to the superstitious and those that are not. Either one believes that the supernatural is "god-given," i.e., walking on water, snakes that talk, dead people being resurrected, ghosts, etc., or they reject such superstitions and embrace rational thinking and reason and rely on science and provable facts.

Quoting books of myths and legends as true and only containing proof of factual historical events (Bible, Torah, Quran), to "prove" a point, can be likened to one saying that fairytales that have been handed down word-of-mouth for untold ages to illustrate virtues and morality are factually true. The aforementioned books are anonymously written despite claims that refute this truth.

There is an abundance of scientific and archaeological proofs regarding many (thousands) of deities reaching back into our human existence, dating millions of years into the past, long before language and the written word. Today the variety of fundamentalist religious beliefs is causing, as it always has, a great deal of violence, hatred, intolerance among the world's diverse populations because they each claim to be the only true religion.

To label atheist humanism, which is a rejection of God worship, not a belief system, as evil and lacking compassion and morality, begs the question as to just which of today's major religions can truly claim moral superiority if one researches the actions of each that has brought them to such prominence today. Violence towards those that believe differently is the preferred method, so history continues to reveal.

Nancy Oswald

Silver Lakes