Flood mitigation raises questions about Cargill

The Dec. 2 story “Flood-mitigation efforts rising in Redwood City” says upgrades could alleviate flooding, and while Harbor Village owner Al Engel has not allowed the city space for an upgrade, the proposed Saltworks (Cargill-DMB) development could, with land being the biggest expense. However, might Cargill salt ponds contribute to flooding? Is the Bayfront Canal bordered by levees constructed for salt ponds? If levees weren’t there, would there be flooding? Is Cargill creating a problem to be “solved” by its development? Has Redwood City worked with Cargill in the past to fix flooding?

Could Engel not be allowing the city space to upgrade the canal because the Saltworks project would make it more profitable for him to convert his mobile home park to another use? Is that why he made a substantial contribution to the developer’s campaign two years ago?

Wouldn’t Cargill’s property for the upgrade become astronomically more expensive if the zoning were changed (from tidal plain) to allow development?

Is the solution to flooding to build more dwellings below high tide, and to pave more area and create more runoff? Wouldn’t it be better to restore the area to wetlands to disperse the floodwaters rather than confine them?

Karen Davis, Redwood City

Homeless numbers high

I would certainly question the supposed 40 percent reduction in homeless on the streets.

Anyone who visits our tourist or business districts can see that there are more vagrants and panhandlers than ever before. The mayor was quoted as saying he wouldn’t leave office until the homeless population was cut in half.

Now that he’s skipping out, I believe he’s making up numbers to cover himself.

Tim Donnelly, San Francisco

GOP acting for the people?

Sen. Mitch McConnell’s and the Republicans’ holding unemployed Americans hostage by not extending unemployment benefits unless President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest are continued is truly despicable.

Is this what Republicans mean by representing the American people?

Anh Le, San Francisco

Hating the rich not a fix

Over the past few weeks, there have been numerous letters attacking the “tax breaks for the rich.”

The “rich” — whoever they may be — are not the problem. They do not have their money in cash; it is invested in some sort of business, large or small.

A business that provides a product or service for profit also provides jobs. When people are working, the recession will end.

Please tell me how taking money from the “rich” and giving it to government will create jobs.

Keith C. De Filippis, San Jose

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