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Letters to the Editor: Calling for yes vote on Measure K; Lessons from 'My Octopus Teacher'

Letters to the Editor: Calling for yes vote on Measure K; Lessons from 'My Octopus Teacher'

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Calling for yes vote on Measure K

On behalf of the Lemoore Volunteer Fire Department, I would like to share the importance of voting yes on Measure K. The 1% sales tax measure will aid in revenues for public safety services. This measure will be on the ballot on Nov. 3.

The Lemoore Volunteer Fire Department has been in service for nearly 100 years. LVFD is comprised of 35 volunteer members, nine of which are certified emergency medical technicians, 26 hold their Firefighter I certificate, and 19 hold their Firefighter I & II certificates, an increase of 11 since 2018. LVFD strives to provide the community with the best fire protection service possible. We currently have 10 members enrolled in the certified emergency medical technician training program.

So far this year, LVFD has responded to 1,388 calls with response times of 2:29. We train an average of 12 to 16 hours a month, up until the recent COVID-19 pandemic. We implemented new guidelines with rotating crews to still meet the required training needed.

As many of you know, the City of Lemoore is facing difficult financial challenges. The current administration has been working diligently to rectify the budget deficit. With that, the city has had to place a hiring freeze on the Volunteer Fire Department. We are currently down to 32 members and had to reconfigure our crews to make it through this. Although our department is all volunteer, the fees for the hiring process and the necessary gear can reach upwards of $8,000 per volunteer.

Our equipment is time sensitive, meaning that our turnouts have a lifespan of 10 years, our air tanks have expiration dates, equipment must be tested and maintained yearly, and trucks must be serviced and up to code.

Medical aid supplies are disposable and require constant replacement. Because of these rules and regulations it doesn’t allow us to keep a surplus of items around. Since becoming the 2nd Assistant Fire Chief in 2007 to my current position as Fire Chief, I have worked with the LVFD’s budget and each year our budget decreases and costs still continue to rise. We manage the budget we are given to replace high priority items and maintain the two stations, leaving little left for anything else.

That is why I am supporting Measure K. The 1% sales tax has the potential to bring in an additional $1.8- to $2 million dollars a year to the City of Lemoore.

Voting yes on Measure K will allow us to obtain the adequate staff needed for fire emergency services, as well as provide more training and up-to-date equipment for the station, which in turn benefits the community.

Bruce German,

Fire Chief

Lemoore Volunteer Fire Department

Lessons from 'My Octopus Teacher'

Netflix’s explosive new documentary "My Octopus Teacher" chronicles a complex relationship between a man and the world’s most bizarre animal – an octopus. It further testifies to our highly conflicted relationship with non-human animals and the natural world.

Most of us treasure our “pets” – dogs, cats, horses. Our allegiance to them transcends that to our own species. If our dog and a Congolese child were competing for scarce funds for life-saving surgery, we know who would live.

Yet, we torment, kill, and consume other animals that are similar in appearance, intelligence, and ability to suffer. Then, we bristle at East Asians who do the same to animals we consider pets.

We pride ourselves on being intelligent, rational beings. We have gone to the Moon, unraveled and modified genetic codes, and found cures for deadly diseases. Yet we still have not figured out our relationship with non-human animals and the natural world.

Some of us have. Vegans profess compassion and respect for all sentient beings. Veganism requires no special courses or certifications. Every one of us can become one on our next trip to our supermarket.

Larry Johnson

Visalia

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