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Readers React: Raising the Shasta Dam, deporting farmworkers: What’s Trump trying to do to California?

Mt. Shasta, Shasta Lake and the Shasta Dam are seen north of Redding, Calif., on Feb. 17.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I was struck by the juxtaposition of three articles in Thursday’s print edition of the Los Angeles Times.

One was about the push by the White House to raise the Shasta Dam because some farmers want the increase in water storage capacity. Another, a column by George Skelton, suggested that President Trump tour California farms without his immigration officers around. Finally, an article reported on the deaths of two farmworkers in the country illegally fleeing from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

It appears the White House is unable to recognize the irony and tragedy of its efforts to “punish” California. Cracking down hard on farmworkers leaves farmers and ranchers without sufficient labor to operate their businesses. Car chases that result in deaths will scare away farmworkers, as many of the workers here legally look just like those who are not.

Lastly, if this administration continues to threaten California and its farmworkers with legal and punitive actions, there will not be enough workers looking for or wanting to work the fields and ranches in our great state. Thus, there will be no need for more water and therefore no reason to super-size the Shasta Dam.

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Gene E. Schwartz, San Diego

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To the editor: We keep giving permits for big apartment complexes, and now our leading gubernatorial candidates want to build 3.5 million homes in California — but they have no real plans for increasing water availability.

Politicians in California do not want to increase the volume of water impounded by the Shasta Dam, and none of the leading candidates for governor has expressed support for building the water tunnels underneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

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At least the White House has a plan. If our candidates don’t like it, where is their plan? And shouldn’t the water problem be solved before we built 3.5 million new homes?

Ed Hughes, West Hills

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To the editor: Heightening the Shasta Dam the equivalent of nearly two stories cannot be a good idea, no matter the cost. The dam was designed and constructed to store a specific amount of water.

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Read up on the St. Francis Dam disaster on March 12, 1928, in San Francisquito Canyon, north of Los Angeles. At least 400 people died when the dam failed and released 12 billion gallons of water, which flowed all the way to Ventura, destroying everything in its path.

Karla H. Edwards, Santa Clarita

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