Letters to the Editor
We need fluoride in drinking water
Most of this was clipped from a letter I recently sent to the president of the board of directors at STPUD: Many in South Lake Tahoe may be unaware that our water, one of the cleanest in the state, is capable of preventing one of the most prevalent diseases of our youth. The CDC reports that about one-fifth of American children have untreated cavities. Water fluoridation is a safe and effective way for our community to prevent this unnecessary tooth decay.
As many as 72 percent of Americans already receive fluoridated water. At the moment, STPUD does not treat its water to meet recommended standards. Government data demonstrates that fluoride can reduce the number of cavities by as much as to 40 percent. Fluoride, at proper levels, has no serious side effects and does not affect the smell, color or taste of normal drinking water. In many larger communities, it has cost less than a dollar per person per year to treat their water.
Adding fluoride to our water will not only offer relief to our community’s youth, but will also save money. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, M.D., the former health officer of El Dorado County, wrote in 2009, “Every dollar invested in fluoridation would save the community about $140 in dental costs, including the costs that taxpayers are paying now for California’s DentiCal program.”
The children of our community deserve better than to have us ignore this public health issue. We are taught to brush our teeth, so I feel we must also fight for better water. If we receive fluoride, we may one day, all be in better health.
Songs about birds
As I was driving back to Tahoe from Reno a few days ago, I saw a red-tailed hawk land on a telephone pole, shake its tail feathers and watch me go by on the road below. And a phrase occurred to me from John Denver’s (may he rest in peace) song, “Rocky Mountain High” it went, “though he’d be a poor man if he never saw an eagle fly, rocky mountain high, Colorado.” Good song.
Later I thought of another phrase from another song, this one from the Steve Miller Band, “I want to fly like an eagle, to the sea, fly like an eagle, let my spirit carry me, I want to fly like an eagle, ‘til I’m free, oh oh there’s a solution.” It’s amazing all the ways these artists use birds to tell their stories, it’s a cool thing.
Remember this one, from Snoopy and the Red Baron? “Round the turn of the century, in the clear blue skies over Germany, came a crash and a thunder like man never heard, like the screaming cry of a big war bird!”
Birds of action even make letters like this one interesting to write, so let me end this one by saying, Have a Happy New Year, and keep watching the skies for our beautiful hawks, eagles, and falcons. They’re there for us to see. Tahoe you rock!
Theodore R. Harris III
South Lake Tahoe
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