Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.

Desert Water for Orange County?

While challenging [Debbie] Cook’s editorial as light on the facts, this piece offers no on-point corrections. Rather it itself point-blank lies with lines such as: “Imported water from Met [Metropolitan Water District] shares two qualities: (1) it is expensive, and (2) it is not guaranteed.”

Met water is anything but expensive, particularly compared to what Cadiz water will cost. And Cadiz itself claims if there’s a whiff of a problem, it will stop pumping.

Cadiz will need Met to treat its water. It is a private scheme trying to piggyback on public infrastructure while claiming private efficiency over public.

Cadiz has blithely misled its shareholders by claiming an environmental impact report was underway when it wasn’t. It has lied to Rancho Santa Margarita about seeking the best science while it has taken pains to avoid U.S. Geological Survey review. Now it lies to readers of Voice of OC about Cook’s piece, cost and infrastructure.

The only thing Cadiz has done exhaustively is undergo much lawyering by a small group of men who stand to benefit while the public at large stands to lose. Its inner group has had to meet in private for a reason: Its strategizing could not withstand public scrutiny.

— EmilyGreen / June 7

Adam [Probolsky], is that the best you can do for the $4,000-a-month retainer that Santa Margarita Water District pays you? Please substantiate your claim that I have made or provided “unsubstantiated claims, innuendo, personal attacks and erroneous information.”

I challenge you to a public dialogue regarding the operations and management of SMWD and this troubled water project to which they have become entwined.

— Debbie Cook / June 7

No offense to Mr. Probolsky, but he left out a critical element: the second shoe, so to speak, or the other half regarding the public’s “lack of knowledge.” It is self-inflicted.

Where has the public been? Car 54, where are you? The ratepayers and potentially-impacted parties didn’t track, didn’t attend water or sanitation district meetings. The audience chairs remained mostly empty, so they seemed uninterested or apathetic.

From 1998 to 2004 I begged others in my locale to attend the monthly watershed study meetings hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the county of Orange. All agencies were actively engaged in consensus-driven solutions, tons of presentations, lots of unencumbered or uncensored dialogue. They weren’t without rancor and acrimony, but they were a very educational and painfully honest forum. Many times we sat together with our perceived enemies during the lunch break and discovered collaborative potentiality.

These meetings were well publicized. They were certainly not secretive or stealthy. Quite to the contrary, they were bluntly transparent. Every watershed in Orange County still convenes such study groups, if only quarterly or semi-annually.

I applaud the so-called “newfound interest.” I’m heartened and encouraged by this. It seems that the empty chairs are finally filling up. Hoorah!

Attend at least one city council meeting, one water district board meeting, one Board of Supervisors meeting and one watershed study group this year. You need not speak; just watch, listen and learn what you can. Take away even a smidgen of new information, maybe track future meetings online regarding subjects or projects that interest you.

Maybe you or someone you know should consider getting elected or appointed to represent your concerns, to be your advocate. Usually, the way to change a system is from within, not without.

The price of a healthy, vibrant and safe environment is like democracy itself: It requires constant vigilance, sacrifice of personal time and privacy.

— Roger Butow / June 7

New City Manager-Police Commissioner for Santa Ana

Congrats to [Police] Chief [Paul] Walters. He has demonstrated the leadership that the city of Santa Ana needs to move forward and thrive. His efforts through these tough economic times over the past couple of years saved our city and earned him this position.

— Sean Mill / June 5

Should Chief Walters still oversee the Santa Ana Police Department? Most definitely. No outsider has been through the growing pains, fought more battles and brought the Santa Ana Police Department to the forefront of policing than our current Chief Paul Walters.

The talk of a nationwide search for chief has been done in the past and with disastrous results. The city of Santa Ana is best served by one of its own.

— Manuel Delgadillo / June 6

Three Fullerton City Councilmen Recalled

[Fullerton businessman and recall campaigner Tony] Bushala is like the dog that finally caught the firetruck he’s been barking after for years.

He now has control of the council. Now what?

— El Hombre / June 6

An Airplane for Anaheim PD

I believe the biggest selling point [for buying a $2.2-million airplane that can carry 14 people] is no Transportation Security Administration checks for city management and police bigwigs.

I doubt there will be any fixed-wing patrolling of the city of Anaheim. It will be used for VIP trips to Sacramento and Las Vegas.

— Dweezle / June 5

The purchase is overkill. The 206 Cessna would have been a better buy.

The problem is that helicopters operate below a 1,000 feet and away from airplane traffic, but the Cessna must stay above 1,000 feet and fly in heavy aircraft traffic.

They should have bought a new helicopter and for less money.

— Mrjeep / June 4

No Charges Against Coaches in Kickback Case

Capistrano Unified School District, [Superintendent Joseph M.] Farley and the board of trustees recklessly, irresponsibly and with malice ruined the life, career and reputation of Dr. Eric Patton and other coaches.

Following the incompetent lead of Dr. Farley and their biased internal investigation, they ignored evidence, failed to interview witnesses and failed to substantiate their exaggerated allegations and false assumptions.

After 18 months of grandstanding, they hurriedly took punitive action before the Sheriff’s Department completed its report, which found no criminal intent and no personal gain.

Unlike other school districts across the state, Capistrano Unified and Farley were duped by the Sandoses, and the press eagerly jumped on their bandwagon.

This injustice and irresponsibility is the true crime.

— TritonTruth / June 5

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