It certainly is unfortunate that Tatyana Hargrove was the victim of mistaken identity by the Bakersfield Police Department, leading to a physical altercation and her arrest, but I do applaud Chief Lyle Martin for opening an internal probe of the incident. Indeed, as your July 14 editorial stated, “something is wrong here” in the BPD, the community or both.

I suggest it’s time for a little civics lesson. According to the section of the Bakersfield City Charter regarding the selection of the chief for the BPD, the candidate must come from within the ranks of the department, and is appointed by the City Manager (an appointed position also); and it’s been this way since 1948.

Bakersfield is nothing at all like it was in 1948, yet we still accept being governed by rules put in place when there were only 48 stars on the flag! Isn’t it time for a serious overhaul of city government? We need to replace the office of City Manager by electing a mayor who has great administrative authority, and also expand the search for the next chief of the BPD from beyond the ranks of those officers already working in the department. It’s long past the time we stopped acting like Harry Truman was still in the White House.

— Tony Amarante, Bakersfield

1, 2, 3-TCP

I’m convinced the Central Valley is a human test-site for unconventional chemistry. Why else would so many dangerous chemicals be found in our air, water, crops and inside of our bodies? We can thank Shell Oil and Dow Chemical for the latest toxic tap experiment gone badly —1, 2, 3-Trichlorapropane.

How convenient for Dow and Shell to pass the cost and responsibility of contamination on to an unsuspecting public. In 2016, 64 percent of California public water systems detected this carcinogen in the Central Valley. Who pays for the multi-county contamination? We do. Adding insult to injury, the City of Bakersfield water rate is jumping 41 percent over the next two years to fund TCP eradication.

We wait for the California State Water Board to establish and regulate the Maximum Contaminant Level of TCP. Current Notification Level is 0.005 parts per trillion (ppt). The Public Health Goal is 0.0007 ppt. Possible short-term health effects: Irritation of skin, nose, eyes and/or throat, drowsiness, headache, impacts concentration, memory and muscle coordination. Possible long-term effects: liver and kidney damage, cancer.

Do Central Valley residents know to protect themselves? Avoid cooking, bathing, showering, washing dishes/clothes and produce with hot water that produces steam. No singing in the shower for fear of accidental ingestion! There is no filter available to eliminate TCP from household water taps. Dow and Shell knew the dangers of this pesticide ingredient and did nothing to safeguard the public.

— Rosanna Esparza, PhD, Bakersfield

Only Republicans grasp bipartisanship

I find it difficult to watch network news and read lock-stepping newspapers because they only have one goal and that is to push their liberal agenda. I guess I can almost understand this because I am also pushing my own agenda. But we should determine whose agenda is good for the country and whose is not.

Is overregulation and a quest for mediocrity good for America? Can you name one thing that happened in the past eight years that actually helped America (and please don’t say Obamacare unless you can tell me why). Is the Muslim invasion of America good for the country? Is it better to learn what to think rather than how to think?

Each time they lose an election, the parties call for bi-partisanship in Washington, but it only seems to happen when the Republicans win the election. Republicans have a monumental task in agreeing with anything. But the Democrats always seem to vote 100 percent to push their liberal agenda.

Today, when we hear the call for bipartisanship, we should consider why Donald Trump was elected. Did we vote for him to attain bipartisanship or was he elected to repair the destruction caused by Obama and the Democrats? The problem today is how to drain the swamp in Washington when Mitch McConnell and the whimsical Republicans are swimming with swamp-dwelling Democrats.

— William Davis, Bakersfield