California Public Utilities Commission puts solar energy on the right track

Isaac Bonnell removes solar panels from a home in San Francisco. The California Public Utilities Commission's recent decision has reduced the rate utilities pay homeowners with new solar panels for excess electricity sold to the grid.

Amy Osborne/Special to the Chronicle 2023

Regarding “California is about to side with PG&E again, this time to stop community solar projects” (Editorial,, May 28): The editorial board’s opinion on community solar is flawed and misses the point.

The California Public Utilities Commission's decision is on the right side: it focuses on improving affordability for all customers, expanding proven programs, and rejecting the expensive model of solar developers without regard to the legal objections of parties outside California.

The editorial's stance that the solar developers' proposal is a “win-win” ignores that the costs of these projects – which could be as much as $8 billion over the lifetime of the plants – would be borne by customers who do not participate in the program, much like residential customers without solar who now pay 15 percent more per month to subsidize the electric bills of those who have solar panels on their roofs.

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PG&E recognizes the important role solar plays in California's clean energy future, but it must do so in a way that is fair and equitable to all customers.

Vitaly Tyurin, Director of Customer Generation and Storage, PG&E

Do not ignore the crime problem

Regarding “When can we say things aren’t so bad in Oakland and San Francisco?” (Justin Phillips,, May 26): I was surprised to discover that Justin Phillips calls me a “crazy moderate” for supporting the recall of Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao and Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price.

I have lived in Oakland for 30 years and have never felt so cautious or unsafe.

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A recent example: the shooting at the graduation ceremony at Skyline High, where my daughter graduated 10 years ago. I can't imagine that this beautiful celebration will be forever marred by senseless violence and the revelers will run for safety.

But Phillips advises not to trust one's lying eyes and dismisses the event as random violence, merely “the ignorant acts of a few.”

A longtime friend was personally affected by Price's policies: her daughter was shot as she left a convenience store near Lake Merritt; her half-sister still has a bullet lodged in her rib; and her car was completely destroyed by bullet holes. All of the people involved were black. My friend was devastated when Price later dropped the weapons enhancement charge, thereby reducing the sentence for a truly “mentally disturbed” offender.

Phillips needs to face reality: Stop branding and berating those of us who believe local government should keep its citizens safe. And stop pitting liberal Democrats against each other – we need to unite and save democracy in this election year.

Rachel Koretsky, Oakland

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Goodbye, tracks

Regarding “Horse racing fans revel in Golden Gate Fields' past, rail against its impending demise” (Scott Ostler,, May 27): Scott Ostler's eulogy for Golden Gate Fields was spot on. Thankfully, horse racing is losing popularity and racetracks are closing across the country.

Horse racing has long been institutionalized and glorifies animal cruelty, just like rodeos. These horses are forced to compete before they are mature and are heavily drugged in a “sport” that exploits its unwilling participants. It is a money game in which anything is possible for the horses themselves.

More letters to the editor

A PG&E employee works to replace power lines that were downed by trees during high winds along Evergreen Avenue and Exeter Drive in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, after a night and early morning of extreme winds across the Bay Area.
Street repair work at Market, Valencia and Gough streets in San Francisco, April 1, 1949. The photo shows the Airflex mattress from the Allen and McRoskey Hotel, which is still there.

I am looking forward to putting this section of the route to another use, preferably as residential space.

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Tents also need space

Regarding “Even the gardening world has become enmeshed in San Francisco’s culture war against homelessness” (Opinion,, May 29): Soleil Ho says planters on San Francisco’s sidewalks mean “there’s less room for wheelchairs and pedestrians, too.”

I would argue that tents on the sidewalks result in the same, if not less, space.

I think the good people of San Francisco are just fed up with the lack of progress on the homeless issue. I don't blame them.

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Bret Yeilding, South Windsor, Connecticut.

Literature recommendations

Regarding “I Found a POW Bracelet in an Antique Shop. Here's What I Learned” (Open Forum,, May 27): Any Chronicle reader who missed author Paul Loya's Open Forum should check it out now. It is one of the most moving things I have read in the Chronicle. I hope Mr. Loya will expand his contribution into a novel.

Ken Malucelli, Half Moon Bay

Anna Harden

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