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Opinion: I Like Jack Batchelor

Letter to the editor

Dear Editor:

I Like Jack Batchelor.

Well, maybe not all that much. No kidding, Jack is an all right guy. As mayor, though, there are some things he could take a closer look at.

Jack told me that Dixon was doing just fine when it came to the health of our city. That is, the air quality was fine and the asthma problems in our area were also well handled. 

I wonder what Jack takes from the regional air quality reports he reads.  Certainly, the experts on this matter know more than Jack or I know.  I had a nice chat with Dimitri Stanich, Public Information Officer for the California Air Resources Board.  He allowed as how he had various fact sheets on air quality, which we could get. 

Info at http://www.arb.ca.gov

This link is specially designed for the public and offers a wealth of information.

The timeliness of this material, of course, was interesting because I had just received the December 08, 2011 Air Resources Board News Release, “Fine particle pollution a threat to the cardiovascular health of Californians”. This two-page release summarizes the results of two studies demonstrating a relationship between long-term exposure to fine particulate matter and heart attacks.  Fine particulate matter or PM 2.5 can contain metals, soot, nitrates, sulfates and very fine dust such as what is found in vehicle exhaust and diesel engines.  In brief, these new studies show a further relationship to the American Cancer Society studies, which estimate 7,300 to 11,000 premature cardiopulmonary deaths annually in California because of long-term exposure to fine particulate matter.

Now, of course, since trains roll through Dixon and train smoke is full of particulate matter, maybe Jack’s idea of a local train station isn’t such a good idea. What do you think?

Stephen V. Sikes
Dixon
24 July 2012
  


C. Duncan July 30, 2012 at 11:03 PM
What do I personally think? I think Stephen Sikes does not want Jack Batchelor be re-elected as mayor so he writes a quasi-intellectual hit piece and quotes an air study. I am 61 years old. I have Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and asthma. My life expectancy is not good. I am extremely knowledgeable about the air quality in Dixon. What I can tell Mr. Sikes in a nutshell is *yes* he is correct re the trains. However, as long as Dixon remains located on Interstate 80 and as long as Highway 113 runs through the heart of Dixon, shutting down the trains would not change the exposure risks that I face every time I choose to venture out of my home. However, his study does not negate the general comment made by Mr. Batchelor. Nor, does it address that local government has little authority over the Interstate, the State Highway or the Railroad. So I ask: Seriously, do you really think any mayoral candidate has any more likelihood of changing the reality of our air? Mr. Sikes, would not it be more helpful to the voters for you to simply tout the positives of your mayoral candidate, be it Mr. Ceremello or Mr. Alexander? I am sure your intellectual insight would be far more useful in this regard. Sincerely, Cindy Duncan Dixon
Greg Coppes July 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM
I like Jack also, well most of the time lol. Jack is very well informed on air quality issues unless I'm mistaken Jack is a board member of the Yolo Solano Air Quality Management district. http://www.ysaqmd.org/board-members.php . According to what I have read and the data that can be found on the very site the poster referenced. A train would actually reduce the amount of fine particulates produced per person in Dixon. I'm not saying I like the location of the train station, but to infer that Jack isn't well informed on this issue in order to stop the train from stopping here just isn't fair.
Betty Plowman August 01, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Mr. Sikes, I think you are going to suffer a heart attack if you take as gospel everything you hear from the California Air Resources Board. First, the mayor is right. Our air is clean, in fact California is the third healthiest state in the nation. Second, the largest source of particulate matter is from dust. Will you next suggest we stop farming? Perhaps your choice of a farming community such as Dixon was not a good choice. You might be better off in Santa Clara County, the second healthiest county in our state (www.healthycounties.org,) No, that might work for you either. Santa Clara has 3 interestates (580, 680, 880,) U.S. 101 and 8 expressways. Health outcomes and premature deaths are based on much more than P.M. Santa Clara County has lower unemployment and higher educational levels, both contributing factor to ones health. The unhealthiest counties are Del Norte, Trinity and Lake. You won't find much pollution there, but you will find high poverty rates. We moved to rural Dixon/Vacaville in 1977 from the Bay Area, I could see Standard Oil from my deck. My oldest son developed asthma 6 months later. Turns out he was allergic to walnut trees in bloom. Should I have demanded that all walnut trees be removed? I had asthma for 1 year when I was 17, I didn't know at the time it was because of my cat. Pet dander is also a cause of asthma. Perhaps we should also ban Fido and kitty. CARB loves keeping you fearful. Seems they have succeeded.

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