Letters to the Editor The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
Opinion
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Arizona should lead in renewable, clean energy

I just retired from Arizona State University, where I worked with academic technology for almost 30 years. I have been impressed by this university’s dedication to clean energy (evidenced in part by solar panels on a majority of building roofs and parking structures on its campuses) and I call upon the Corporation Commission to continue steps to help homeowners lower their dependence of fossil fuels by strengthening the Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST).

The current REST has been the main driver of solar and renewable energy development in Arizona since it was enacted in 2006. But the time has come for an update.

Specifically, I hope commissioners look at the joint stakeholder proposal, supported by over 30 organizations, which proposes a target of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, 100 percent clean energy by 2045, and a 10 percent distributed generation standard (including rooftop solar, etc.) by 2030.

We just added solar panels to our house in east Mesa with the help of the Solar United Neighbors Co-op and are glad to join the growing number of Arizona homeowners with rooftop solar. But I wonder why there isn’t rooftop solar on more of Arizona’s houses. We need to take advantage of the plentiful sunshine we receive in order for individual households to move toward a reliance on clean energy as soon as possible.

In Texas, I was struck driving by the oil and natural gas production facilities, and seeing hundreds of wind turbines off in the distance. I know there are already large wind farm projects in Arizona, but I wonder why there aren’t more. We need to start depending more on clean energy of every kind in our state.

As ASU has been designated as number 1 in innovation for the fifth consecutive year by US News and World Reports, I also want to live in state recognized for national leadership in renewable and clean energy innovation. The Corporation Commission has an opportunity to make that happen with the revised renewable energy standard and tariff rules currently under consideration.

-Peter Lafford

Medicare and Alzheimer’s needs to be addressed now

In every Primary Presidential Debate so far, Democratic candidates have discussed “Medicare-For-All.”  On the Republican side, President Trump recently signed an executive order in which he took a stand against what he referred to as “Medicare-For-None.”

But neither Democrats nor Republicans should talk about Medicare without addressing Alzheimer’s. The reality is, Alzheimer’s is America’s most expensive disease and will cost to the country $305 billion this year alone, with the majority of costs being borne by Medicare and Medicaid.

This is an urgent issue that deserves to be discussed.

In Arizona specifically, 150,000 citizens have Alzheimer’s. Nearly 400,000 caregivers in the Grand Canyon State are providing a total value of $5.1 billion in unpaid care.

For over 20 years, I have been a caregiver for those with cognitive impairments, even before my own mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. For millions of families like mine facing this devastating and fatal disease, access to health care professionals and care services through Medicare is critical to our everyday lives.

When it comes to health care, the question isn’t “All or None.” The questions are, how can we best support families today, and are we investing enough in medical research to stop this public health crisis and save Medicare altogether?

The day is approaching when Medicare will be bankrupted by Alzheimer’s, and there won’t be any program to fight about. Despite the debate no longer being in Arizona, our state’s presidential preference election is swiftly approaching, so let’s talk about THAT before it is too late.

-Cynthia Valencia

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