Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Yes, I'm A Bleeding Heart Liberal!

We had a tough week-end here, but not near as tough as many are facing that rely on having water hauled to their homes. Imagine being faced with no drinking water for yourself or your pets. No water for showers, washing dishes, clothes, flushing your toilet. God forbid there is a fire. Well, that's what hundreds of residents here have been facing since Friday when the State of California swooped in and took our local water haulers off the street, impounding trucks and closing down the only way hundreds of people here get water to their homes.

These water customers are not affluent. Many are elderly and on fixed incomes. They either can't afford their own private wells, or the ground water in their area is not good, or both. Their property isn't on a community well or private water company or they are far from the grid.

The story is our water haulers didn't have a carrier license. Did the state come in and give them a citation and time to comply? No. Did they have any concerns about the people here who, without water, cannot cool their homes in 100+ degree weather? No. Did they do any basic investigation to find out that out-of-town water haulers either won't come out here or, if they would, charge double for the same truckload of water that our local water haulers charge? I seriously doubt it.

Friday night, we had issues with our well. We had no water and couldn't get it fixed that night so I called for a load of water to hold us over. That's when I first got wind of this story. We are fortunate that our friends brought water over Saturday morning for our horses and we were able to put water in our swamp cooler to cool down the house. But Friday night it was 90 degrees in the house with the windows open and fans. I had 2 gallons of bottled water for emergencies and had to keep putting cold compresses on my pug Chyna to make sure she didn't die of heat exhaustion. Pugs are in danger of that when the temperature reaches 80 degrees.

We are okay. But what about the others who are not? I understand about laws and that ignorance of the law is no excuse. But what about the ingorance of following the letter of the law to the endangerment of human beings? What about our elderly and children? Did anyone think about them? Did one person at the state who was involved in this decision think about the possible consequences of even one elderly person possibly having a heat stroke or worse? Did they bring water to their homes when they took their only water delivery away? No. Has the State Department of Health sent anyone here to check on their wellbeing? No!

Yesterday, I faxed the article in the local paper to our governor's offices and emailed KCBS/KCAL. Sunday, I emailed our county supervisor and his staff, state assemblyman and state senator.

Today at 5pm there is a meeting at the Community Center and it might have to be held at the park next door if as many people come as I think.

This isn't about compliance with the law. This is about the people left without water. This is about government decisions that have no regard for the health and welfare of their constituents. The ironic thing is that it was the Department of Health that put them in peril.

SHAME on the State of California! If caring about those people makes me a bleeding heart liberal I am happy to say I am.



Anonymous Lisa said...

This smacks of the same government fumbling and bumbling cluster bleep that proceeded Katrina.

8/7/07, 2:31 PM  
Blogger Ronni said...

Let us know how the meeting went!

8/7/07, 11:30 PM  
Anonymous Sandi said...

OMG...I can't imagine how anyone can survive in that heat with no way to cool their homes or drink water! What in the heck did the bureacrats think they were doing? I hope some heads will roll over this and you all can get some relief soon. I am emailing this link to everyone I know!


8/10/07, 6:47 PM  
Blogger CountryGirl said...

It took the County of SB calling it a state of emergency and now water is being delivered via fire trucks with the out of work haulers riding shotgun showing them who needs it. Bottled water is being given out at the park for drinking water. The CHP released the impounded trucks, the county is trying to get small business loans to the haulers to help with their fees and any upgrade issues.

So far they estimate it has cost $50-$100,000 to fix the fiasco caused because nobody thought about what would happen to the people here.

Someone's ass should be handed to them on their way out the door, IMO.

8/10/07, 6:53 PM  
Anonymous Sandi said...

You should be in office!!! You get things done! Have you heard if anyone or any animal perished or took sick because of this? Bad enough about the people suffering and I just can't imagine trying to take care of animals when there is no water...heartbreaking.

8/10/07, 9:33 PM  
Blogger CountryGirl said...

I was only one angry voice of many in this town.

I don't deserve any credit; all I did was speak out but I sure wasn't alone!

8/10/07, 10:03 PM  
Blogger Ronni said...

How is the water situation doing? Have you thought about putting a wet T-shirt on Chyna? Betty says that's what she did with hers...

8/25/07, 9:03 PM  

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