Being gone for a week, there was plenty of stuff sitting in my e-mail inbox. A couple of the more noteworthy subjects:
• FEMA institutes a deadline for buying flood insurance. This doesn't affect many in Tracy, as the agency's flood maps include virtually none of the city. However, plenty of our San Joaquin County neighbors who live in a FEMA-designated floodplain and have outstanding federally backed mortgages will be forced to buy flood insurance to cover the government's investment in the mortgage. Note please, that this is not to protect homeowners.
• Homebuilders ask San Joaquin County officials for a reduction in building fees. OK, so building fees in California and San Joaquin County are relatively high and the construction industry could use a boost. But reducing these fees to stimulate the building of new houses seems a bit out of touch when one considers the vast surplus of houses still on the market and the problems we've run into by encouraging the rampant expansion of single-family home subdivisions. Or am I missing something?
• The state's water fight continues. Although few in the fray consider that, even if water storage and conveyance is improved, eventually that supply will also be exhausted if California continues to grow and regard water as it has in the past.
Maybe the most interesting subject of all, however, is not local. It is regarding torture, and this country's dabbling in its use. We'll get into this in the next day or two.
Until then, it's good to be back.