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Wine's 'Big Man'

EDITOR: I remember John Parducci as a "Big Man" in Mendocino's Wine industry ("Mendocino County wine pioneer dies," Feb. 6). While taking viniculture courses from Rich Thomas at Santa Rosa Junior College, Parducci hosted a get-together at McNab Ridge. He shared his love of nature and respect for the land he called home. Considering the times he lived through, and the deeds he accomplished, John Parducci and his legacy will live on, and he will be remembered as the father of Mendocino's wine community.

M.J. GIRARD

Potter Valley

Health before beauty

EDITOR: The last paragraph or so in Staff Writer Meg McConahey's Sunday article "Surprises in study of girls, self-esteem" struck a chord with me. The suggestion given to women — to focus less on how their bodies look and more on the benefits of being healthy — is good advice, particularly with today's emphasis on sacrificing health for appearance.

When the "ideal" body weight means being 10 percent to 20 percent underweight and models have to be Photoshopped to conceal the fact that they're so emaciated, it's clear that there's a problem in America. Most women's clothing brands are geared toward sizes 14 and smaller, while half of women are size 14 and up. With ever-increasing pressures to be thin and beautiful, health can easily be sacrificed for the widely-accepted form of beauty.

I don't want to grow up in a society where there is only one type of beauty, and often an unhealthy one at that. Every reminder that health comes before "beauty" helps, and hopefully it will help alleviate some of the pressure that every Photoshopped picture puts on us.

LINDSAY BRIBIESCAS

Santa Rosa

Overdone reports

EDITOR: Enough already. Hopefully by the time you print this, your coverage of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's probe into Rancho Feeding Corp. will no longer be front page above the fold. Wednesday's article ("Second USDA probe of Petaluma meat processor"), your fourth, told us no more than the article from the day before. How about you wait to write more until the USDA no longer "declines to elaborate on the underlying reason for the recall." Many of us are curious to know its reasons and the truth behind this death knell for one of our respected, independent and locally owned businesses.

LEANE AMBROSIO

Sebastopol

Political science

EDITOR: OK, Sonoma County, especially you younger folks out there trying to understand how the system works, here's our civics lesson for today. Sonoma County politicians have once again demonstrated their take on responsibility, accountability and just plain common sense.

Supervisor Efren Carrillo, who is involved with his second run-in with the law during his term, has been appointed to the board overseeing Sonoma Clean Power. The message here is too clear: The public's best interests have once again been pushed aside to accommodate local inside political interests.

With the outcome of the current criminal allegations against Carrillo are pending, prudence would dictate against this move, if for no other reason than the public deserves, and in speaking to my neighbors and reading the printed letters to this paper regarding this issue, and demands that Carrillo be held fully accountable prior to any further appointment to leadership roles. These types of actions by our elected officials are sadly why both the young, and not so young, have lost faith in the existing political "system" to look out for the public's best interests.

There will be a quiz on this lesson scheduled for 2016 at your local Fifth District polling booth. Study hard.

GREGG GRUBIN

Santa Rosa

'Ignorant' opinion

EDITOR: Monday's thumbs-down editorial "Let them stop eating cake" is entirely ignorant. Sebastopol did not vote against fluoridation because it is a "communist plot" as was suggested. In fact, not a single person who spoke against fluoridation at the City Council meeting made mention of anything remotely like a communist plot.

Rather, a dozen people (two of whom were dentists) gave an abundance of valid facts and statistics about the potential risk and uselessness of fluoridated water. Smearing progressive, well-researched voices as hyped-up "junk science and conspiracy" is shockingly ignorant and insulting. It should also be noted that Portland, Ore. and Davis citizens recently voted overwhelmingly against fluoridation, another fact that the editorial failed to mention.

As a native Sebastopolian, I am exasperated by this recklessly unresearched slam-article. This is a matter of professional ethics. The statements made in the editorial are false, and I would like to see a public apology made to Sebastopol's City Council and citizens.

SAMMY VANEK

Sebastopol