Makers and takers

EDITOR: The takers/makers argument that is going on in our nation can be heard right here in Sonoma County with regard to county worker's pensions. Taxes do not pay 100 percent of a county worker's pension since 65 percent to 70 percent of a worker's retirement is funded by gains made from investments. Yet there are those who seem to think that they should have 100 percent control over how much a pension should be.

Following that line of logic, I guess that anyone who pays federal taxes should dictate to the oil companies how much they should pay their workers since they rake in millions in federal subsidies each year.

Maybe taxpayers should dictate corporate policy to Wal-Mart since its workers are paid so little that they have to rely on federal aid to get by. Since big business enjoys so many government handouts, I wonder who the real takers are?



Mall security

EDITOR: A few months ago, my shopping bags were stolen from me at the Santa Rosa Plaza. It was almost $200 worth of freshly purchased merchandise. I talked to the store manager where it was stolen and mall security, and I could not get a single person to take action or even care that it had happened.

I told them I knew the exact moment my bags were taken, perhaps there was video footage? They didn't care. Did they want to write a report, in case it happens again to someone else? Nope. I began to wonder what their purpose was, if not to protect commerce. Now I know. It's too harass peaceful protestors ("Mall says it regrets treatment of activists," Friday).



Technology and change

EDITOR: We're living in unprecedented times. We're at the dawn of what might later be known as the information revolution, with electronic technology creeping into every facet of life. Technology is rapidly making things obsolete, and it's not just products; it's also making some behaviors obsolete.

Bad behavior by elected leaders and public servants will be readily recorded by average citizens and instantly uploaded to YouTube. Anybody who is interested can see how our law enforcement officers and county supervisors act in public.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that recording law enforcement officers performing their jobs in public isn't only legal it's paramount to the First Amendment.

There are countless examples on YouTube of officers behaving badly. These are videos taken by an average person who pulled out their phone and showed the world what happened. Soon it will be common for every law enforcement officer to be a walking recording studio. This will happen because technology will make it too easy not to.

So the days of police brutality, and the abuse of the authority that comes with a badge or an elected position, will be an ugly part of our past, and future generations will wonder why we let it happen.


Santa Rosa

Banning bags

EDITOR: I recently asked a cashier at a local grocery store to record the number of plastic bags she issued out in a day. In her eight-hour shift on the 10-items-or-fewer stand, she used 646 plastic bags to bag customer groceries. I find this amount ridiculously high, as should you.

Although many cities, including Santa Rosa, are beginning to ban single-use plastic bags, this ban must go statewide. We all must contact our state government urging a ban on non-reusable plastic bags. This can be achieved by going to www.environmentcalifornia.org. Here you will be able to send a message to Gov. Jerry Brown and California state senators urging them to support the ban on plastic bags.

As we continue to use excessive amounts of plastic bags, we are constantly causing harm to our environment. Millions of littered bags find their way into our oceans causing major damage to marine wildlife.

Eco-friendly, reusable canvas bags can be found at your local grocery store at an affordable price. Please do your part to protect our environment by supporting the ban of single use plastic bags and begin using reusable bags while shopping.


Santa Rosa