Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
Photo by Javier Morales via Flickr Creative Commons

Save Jesse Morrow Mountain

I am a member of Friends of Jesse Morrow Mountain and have been for about nine years. The time is getting crucial now

because the Fresno County Planning Commission is getting ready to publish the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on Jesse Morrow Mountain for Cemex [Construction Materials, LP] to mine for gravel by a mountaintop removal method via blasting. There will be public meetings for the Planning Commission, then the Fresno County Board of Supervisors.

Recently, the Fresno Bee had an article about the rise of Valley fever in Fresno County. It comes from spores in the ground and when the ground is disturbed gets into the air and people get sick. Valley fever is very difficult to diagnose. I have been told that two persons working for Caltrans on the widening of the bridge on Highway 180 at the foot of Jesse Morrow Mountain have Valley fever. Also, I have heard of three people living at Campbell Mt. also have Valley fever. Campbell is the mountain with the “S” and the “R” on it about one-half mile from Jesse Morrow Mountain south of 180.

What do you think will happen if Jesse Morrow Mountain gets blasted and the spores blow all around this Valley? Air currents with these small particles can travel up to 200 miles round and round in our valley.

The Jesse Morrow Mountain boring hole samples to find the mineral and chemical properties are not available from Fresno County or the State of California or to the public. What is in that mountain? Forbes magazine has reported in 2011 that Fresno County ranks third for the most toxic air in the United States.

Contact www.jessemorrowmountain.org for information on public meetings before the Fresno County Planning Commission and the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. Let’s pack the room.

Georgia Linscheid


Will We Allow This Sacred Mountain to Be Destroyed?

Well, the jury is coming in on the destruction of a holy mountain just east of Fresno (and just north of Reedley) called Jesse Morrow Mountain. It is sacred to a Native American tribe in the area. There are places where their people are buried, and the international gravel company with a mineral lease isn’t interested in that fact.

Cemex [Construction Materials, LP], a Mexican gravel company, has a lease on the mountain, and if Fresno County approves their project (and why shouldn’t they with the campaign money being spent by the corporation) Cemex will start soon blasting 24×7 and taking down 400 feet of the mountain over the next 100 years.

If we think that we have bad air now, wait till that process starts, and with all the water they plan to use to destroy the mountain expect the water table to disappear also. Look out for the multiple heavy-duty trucks that will be hauling gravel out of the area day and night. But this corporation is not interested in those problems either. Dust on the produce grown in the country around the mountain? Do you think Cemex is worried about that problem?

So, now the Environmental Impact Report is in but the people who live here in the Valley won’t be able to see it yet. We have to wait to see how the county wants to spin the results.

My major disappointment so far is that the only place I have seen anything about this disaster is in the Community Alliance or a program occasionally or a question or two on KFCF 88.1 FM—nothing in the commercial media including newspaper, TV or radio (even local public radio and TV). The Los Angeles Times (hundreds of miles away) wrote an article but nothing yet of any importance from our paper of record.

What can a person do about this before we witness mountaintop removal right here in the Central Valley? We should contact our Board of Supervisors and let them know that we don’t want to have more large corporations blowing smoke at us. We have enough gravel being taken right now to last at least 40 more years without another company coming in to disrupt our rivers, mountains or our air. It also wouldn’t hurt if we wrote letters to the paper of record and asked them to cover the story before it is too late.

Just because a large corporation has a lease, does that mean that the deal is done? Does that sound right to anyone?

Stand up for a mountain and the people who consider it sacred. Stop the county from acting in a stupid way on this mad plan. Save Jesse Morrow Mountain!

Jim Compton-Schmidt



Community Alliance Reader Sent to Prison for Singing a Song

I picked up your March issue about a week ago (TCA is great toiletry reading, BTW), and I didn’t have to read beyond page 2 before temporarily going into shock, thanks in part to the biggest hypocritical statement I’ve ever had the dishonor of wasting my vision on.

Allow me to quote:

He also went on with a long, but unnecessary, defense of his free speech rights. I was not questioning his right to free speech…

Here is what Chief Dyer had to say:

“…According to my attorney I have the right under the constitution to exercise my freedom of speech as is the case with all citizens as long as I do not use my position of authority and restrict a person[’]s freedom when doing so…Someone may not like what I said just as I do not always like what is said about me in certain media outlets but I have learned to accept it and to be tolerant of other people[’]s comments and opinions. That is what I love about America. Thank you for allowing me to respond.” Chief Dyer

Wow. This guy flip-flops more than a Birkenstock-clad John Kerry on a trampoline. He sure didn’t believe in any “freedom of speech” when he had my house raided by a multi-agency task force and had me sent to prison because I wrote a song he didn’t agree with. He wasn’t so “tolerant of other peoples’ opinions” when I got sentenced to 10 months (flat time) in Chino and had to learn of my father’s death through a letter.

I could go on forever, but I already lost 10 months of my life because I believed I had the “right” to ventilate through my

music, and since I’m no longer on parole or probation anymore and have a beautiful fiancée with a child on the way, I’m not going to revive or reincarnate any “dead horses.” I’ve learned my falsely advised lesson already, yet I felt more obligated than anyone to respond to this particular article, and with divine reason.

Editor [Mike] Rhodes, I applaud your article(s) and respectfully commend your many efforts of allowing us (the community) to get our voices heard. Keep up the good work, and I’ll be sure to exercise my constitutional right of religion by praying for you, because you might need it in the near future after printing this article!

Josh Fong


  • Community Alliance

    The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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