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Editor's Notes: Pondering on how to save ag land
I've been wondering about this for quite a while and across a lot of state lines:
How do you protect land for agriculture? How do you balance that with protecting property owners' rights to use their property as they wish, whether they want to build houses or solar arrays or windmills, a hog confinement system or a feedlot?
It will continue to be an issue — one that grows in relevance and intensity — as long as our human population continues to grow. There will have to be constant review and discussion about the issue. What better indicator of that need than the Sunday, Feb. 10, AppealDemocrat Farm page?
The top half of the page was dominated by a locally written story by Michael Hatamiya concerning expert opinion on the expanding opportunities in the Asian market. Our area could be primed for prosperity through those markets (this article was specifically about prunes and the rising demand in China). It's going to take ample ag land to take advantage of those opportunities.
Meanwhile, the bottom half of the page was dominated by an Associated Press story about how solar developments are crowding out farm operations in some parts of the country. It's surely a growing concern in this state, where we've mandated that 33 percent of electricity be generated from renewables, such as solar.
How much of your land do you allow to be taken out of food production and put into energy production?
Are you kidding me? Now the knuckleheads are stealing washing machines? Reporter Rob Parsons reported that authorities are seeking the public's help in identifying thieves who are taking coin-operated commercial washers and dryers from apartment complexes — 10 reported in the past few weeks.
They're making off with the whole machine; not just the coin box. Maybe it's easier to pry the $20 in loose change out of the $700 machines in the privacy of a garage somewhere.
Or maybe they're putting used washing machines on the market via Craigslist. Maybe it's part of some sort of money laundering scheme (that's supposed to be a pun). Eeesh. Help out, folks. If you see someone shoving a dolly under a machine in your apartment building's laundry room, don't just assume they're on official business; call someone.
Northern California has a lot to be proud of in retired Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha, recipient last week of the nation's highest award for military valor: the Medal of Honor.
He grew up, according to wire reports, in the tiny community of Lake City, way up in Modoc County.
We're sorry for the necessity of war, and mourn for the loss of his battle buddies, as he remembered them, but we're thankful for his service.
Don't forget our survey
The last I looked, there were some 80 respondents. The most-liked cartoons: Crankshaft, Pickles, Dilbert and Zits. The least-liked: Prince Valiant, The Pajama Diaries, Big Nate and Tundra.
Sorry, folks, but we're running into space and expense issues with syndicated features such as cartoons and columnists. We plan on offering a healthy dose of comics to sweeten the daily read, but we're going to have to make some choices amongst the copious strips we presently offer.
Here's the analytics so far on another of the questions: 51 percent of respondents say they have just a few comics that they check every day; 31 percent say they read every one of them daily; 17 percent say they never read any of them.
If you want to help us plot our cartoon course, go to appealdemocrat.com, find the "Features" menu towards the top right half of the opening screen, and look for "SURVEY: Comic strips, puzzle features."