Wine & Watersheds
Thanks for your article discussing the relationships between water use and declining fish populations ("The Wrath of Grapes," Jan. 26). As a local hydrologist who has worked on both fisheries restoration and vineyard development studies, I am well-versed in these issues. The article discusses several important concepts, one being the misconception that groundwater and surface water are not connected, the second being cumulative impacts. When permits are evaluated on a project-by-project basis without comprehensive study of the watershed as a whole, streams can be significantly impacted even though individual project impacts may be small. These concepts highlight the disconnect between the compartmentalized regulatory framework and the interconnectedness of the natural world. In order to move past the "blame game" and develop effective strategies for managing these watersheds, our approach must acknowledge this interconnectedness. The application of computer models which are capable of simulating the relationships between groundwater flow, surface water flow and water use is one solution. These models provide a means of leveraging monitoring data into a comprehensive understanding of watershed conditions and provide a means of evaluating cumulative water-use impacts in a given watershed. The tools are available; it is simply a matter of finding the desire and resources to apply them.
Don't Call it 'Weed' or 'Bud' or 'Chronic' or 'Cheeba' or 'Mary Jane' or 'Spliffs' or 'Pot' or 'Ganj' or 'Puff Puff Give' or, Like, even 'Marijuana'
Hey Bohemian, I hate to sound like a "broken record," but I am really tired of reading self-rants from your "broken record," as well as the numerous broken records through the media entourage. This, of course, referring to the terminology used throughout Kylie Mendonca's "The Year We Were Too Busy Taking Bong Hits to Legalize Marijuana" (Dec. 29). How about as a New Year's resolution for 2011 we try and stick to the scientific-medical terminology that is used when discussing medical plants-species-genetics?
Throughout all of 2010 we saw the media refuse the scientific evidence behind medical cannabis. This was in part due to the media's usage of terms like weed, marijuana, terrorist of the national forest, pothead, stoners, etc. Ms. Mendonca must know that when she's referring to "weed," she's actually referencing PCP as well as cannabis—under the federal government's eye. She must also realize that when using the term "marijuana" she's only playing into the government's use of derogatory techniques. The term marijuana was used as slang, but meant in a derogative sense to downplay the Mexican Army's use of the cannabis (scientific name) plant for medicinal qualities.
I was a little saddened to see this article just pages after a wonderful perspective on WikiLeaks (What will we find out about Ms. Woosley?). The article regarding Mr. Assage was a great perspective on our current government—and how truly transparent and democratic this system really is. But then, just as you start to question those around you, you turn right back to the Prohibition era and-or Reefer Madness stance. Maybe someone is a little paranoid?
My real goal behind this letter? Kylie, would you like to meet for coffee sometime?
Kylie Mendonca responds: If by "coffee," you mean "weed," then yes.