The June 7 WFP issue included an article and a commentary on agriculture's concerns over a potential new Union Pacific railway through Yuma, Ariz. farm fields to carry imported goods from a proposed new seaport in Punta Colonet, Baja California, Mexico eastward into the U.S. Several readers provided feedback.

More railroads a good idea

As a former elected official, I am in total support of the new deep harbor port with rail supplying the nation from the east (now west but it is China, Japan, Korea, etc.)

The California harbor system is at capacity now and another source will be developed. Living in Arizona, I am happy that our governor is pursuing this to not only increase the economic activity of the state, but also to get more goods traveling by rail and not on the interstate system that needs expansion for the current level of cross-country traffic.

This also assists the discussion with Union Pacific in getting more rail in the Phoenix metro area, including commuter rail for improved transportation corridors. I believe the improved transit opportunities will only serve Yuma County, as rail is what gets the produce to New York on the Salad Bowl Express, if memory serves.

Thanks for your efforts to bring up a discussion.
Woody Thomas
Litchfield Park, Ariz.

Railroad issue is game of lies

I keep reading about Arizona fighting the railroads attempt to build tracks, yards, and facilities. The railroads goal is to help the economy and create the many jobs that many people need. It is amazing to me that the state of Arizonas mentality of not-in-my-backyard is preventing economic growth.

With many jobs going overseas, it seems to me that state officials would welcome these new jobs for workers as well as for taxes. If this not-in-my-back-yard mentality had been around 200 years ago, the U.S.A. would not have become the great country that it is today. The state (of Arizona) should cooperate with the railroads and the shippers, and work together to make the economic growth work.

Farmers don't mind selling sections and sections of prime agriculture land to developers to develop housing, retirement communities, and shopping malls. Look at Yuma, Maricopa, and Cow Town. Where are the public complaints about that?

The fact is landowners are holding out for the highest bidder. The highest bidder is the housing/retirement community/shopping mall developer and the landowner knows that his farmland will bring a lower price if a railroad is anywhere nearby if the new rail right-of-way is not cosmetically appealing.

The proof of this is Yuma. If agriculture was as important as the whiners say it is, then why is all the farmland in Yuma now turning into more malls. Proof of this is Maricopa and Cow Town where more and more farmland is being sold for housing.

This game of lies that is being played is using the railroad to portray the image of a big, bad animal that is going to destroy anything around it. Agriculture is moving south to Mexico and to Central and South America. NAFTA and CAFTA are proof of this.

There is a dead rat in the woodpile somewhere as to the brick wall that the Union Pacific Railroad is coming against when trying to deal with the state of Arizona. If the public was made aware of the facts, I'm sure they would side with the railroads because it is they, the public, that needs the jobs.

I've talked to many people in Arizona and they want the rail for the jobs mainly and also for the tax benefits the state will get. So who in the heck are these people that are fighting rail? They have their own agenda. We need to find out what it is because it is not right. It needs to be exposed. We need to continue to build, and move on.

The public should decide that they are the ones that need the jobs. It seems to me that just a handful of retirement community type organizations located in Arizona are behind all of this, and it is not fair to the general public. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
Steve Wilcox
Marfa, Texas

These letters are in response to Harry Cline's June 2 Biotech bully commentary.

The old survivor

I am glad that you have made it this long, too. Otherwise, I would not have been able to so enjoy your pithy editorial.

Thanks for a putting the proper perspective on the issue.

I can rest assured that if a liberal judge or the Center for Food Safety isn't looking out for me, I know that Harry Cline is!
Monte Bottens
Fresno, Calif.

Left coast

Could you have been more right on point? I don't think so. Welcome to the Wonderful World of California. We of the Left Coast obviously don't understand the agricultural industry. Ask a Californian where they get their produce from … the answer they'll most likely give is «The grocery store!»

So many here in California believe that the 5th largest economy in the world is driven by «Hi-Tech, Silicon Valley-type business. California's economy lives and dies with the farmer. Drive through the Central Valley and you begin to get some sense of the power of agriculture. So how does the populace, legislature, and judicial arms of government support their farmer? By passing laws that limit every aspect of the farmers livelihood! I'll never stop being amazed by the idiocy that goes on here. I'm a life-long resident of this goofy state, and I still have to stop and shake my head at the things that go on here!

As to your commentary, I have no idea how we survived life without all these do-gooders looking over our shoulders to protect us from ourselves. Come to think of it … I'm suing my parents for endangerment … they never made me wear a helmet when riding my bike, and while I was never injured, I could have been … and by golly they should pay for the trauma!

Thanks for keeping it in perspective. Most of all I appreciate your use of humor to explain the situation. Laughter keeps me from screaming in anger!
Brad Herbold
Clovis, Calif.