Marin IJ Readers’ Forum for March 19, 2023

Battery storage project deserves skepticism

I am writing about recent news of a proposed battery storage project near Novato (“Marin battery storage project sparks early opposition,” March 14).

I think resistance to this idea is bound to pick up steam as the project progresses. It is definitely concerning that it is happening near an ecologically sensitive area. I’m not an engineer, but I predict that any lithium-ion battery mining, energy production and, most of all, disposal project will just as efficiently produce environmental headaches, if not irreversible damage, down the line.

I think it is naive to believe that there is finally something human-developed that won’t have a catch to it. History has proven over and over again that every great idea comes with a price. That price is usually a costly one when it comes to the environment.

— Denize Springer, Mill Valley

Move forward with Novato battery storage proposal

As a citizen observing land use disputes in Marin for many years, I was interested to see that some residents living near the proposed location of a renewable energy company’s proposed battery storage facility are opposed to the project (“Marin battery storage project sparks early opposition,” March 14).

I am shaking my head about the opposition in Bel Marin Keys. Despite the obvious need to accommodate “green” power sources when faced with a global environmental crisis, neighbors now use battery safety in addition to the usual, vague “environmental impacts” as a reason not to do something.

I am tired of “not in my backyard” groups using emotional language — saying “development here is unconscionable” and that they will “fight tooth and nail.” I hope Marin County and Novato officials are able to see past this opposition and display the kind of flexibility and forward-thinking needed to facilitate an innovative project that can help move the needle on global warming.

— Roger A. Smith, San Rafael

Elizabeth Holmes deserves to do her time behind bars

I am writing in response to the recently published Bay Area Voice commentary by Tim Draper (“As a venture capitalist, I believe Elizabeth Holmes should be freed,” March 14). I found the assertion that there should be a different set of rules for tech entrepreneurs to be ludicrous. I do not agree that Holmes was “heroic in her efforts.”

It appeared clear to me, from the start, that Holmes’ shenanigans were fraudulent. And, indeed, they were. She knew that what she was doing was fraudulent, despite (or even because) of her 19-year-old dreams to change health care as we know it.

Draper appears to believe those who have a distorted view of reality should be spared from justice. That’s injustice for all who have served or are serving time in prison.

Holmes’ fraud was immense, costly and damaging. She is fully capable of serving her time and deserves to do so.

This demand for a double standard in the justice system only goes to prove that if one has wealthy political friends who participated or enabled the crimes, one can get pampered treatment. They are the same ones waving the freedom flag to set Holmes free. It is these political friends and enablers who giddily send many to prison for far less egregious crimes than those committed by Holmes.

— Dr. Wendy Shearn, Tiburon

Holmes’ conviction will deter other who break laws

In his recently published commentary (“As a venture capitalist, I believe Elizabeth Holmes should be freed,” March 14), Tim Draper expresses a belief that Holmes should not be in jail. He says that other venture capitalists agree.

The primary question is whether she broke the law. The court and a jury think so. That is who decides guilt, not the venture capitalists.

Draper thinks that her conviction will deter entrepreneurs and women from taking chances. But her conviction is per the laws of our country. Asserting that entrepreneurs and women will be dissuaded by treatment in court obfuscates the facts.

Her conviction should only deter those who break the law.

— David Colton, Greenbrae

As Reported by Marin Independent Journal