Water and building

EDITOR: This will tick some people off. Sonoma County residents are facing possible water conservation restrictions/measures with the Board of Supervisors approval ("Countywide water limits likely in April," Wednesday). Supervisor Shirlee Zane was quoted as saying that "drastic times call for drastic measures." I would hope that the board is also considering imposing a moratorium on all building in the county. After all, the current residential and commercial users will be ordered to cut back their usage. What is the point of increasing the population and water usage at this time?

Healdsburg and Cloverdale have already imposed restrictions on water consumption. They should also act to restrict all construction until the situation improves. Maybe it is also time to explore the expansion of our storage systems. Yes, drastic times require drastic measures.



A challenge grant?

EDITOR: I will participate in the upcoming Undy 5000 described in Chris Smith's Tuesday column, and I will donate $100 if Supervisor Efren Carrillo leads the pack.


Santa Rosa

End the embargo

EDITOR: We recently returned from a visit to Cuba. We viewed sustainable agriculture, local medicine, music, art and Cuban history. Cuba is a country experiencing socio-political transformation. The Cuban people were extraordinary, and we witnessed a culture rarely portrayed in the American media.

It is time to end the U.S. embargo against Cuba. This government policy has utterly failed, except to produce hardship and suffering among the common people of Cuba. A recent United Nations resolution condemned the embargo, with only the United States and Israel voting against it. The European Union is now expressing interest in establishing relations with Cuba. Latin America is watching to see who will take the lead in bringing about the embargo's inevitable fall. If the U.S. fails to do this, the result can only be another loss of reputation in the eyes of the world.

We should act now to do what is right and put an end to this. We must end the Cuban embargo and stop contributing to human suffering.

I encourage each reader to express their opinions to our elected officials in Washington. There is much at stake here.



Olympic pride

EDITOR: The Olympic Games not only give us pride in our athletes but also some global perspective. Twenty-six years ago, the Soviet Union and East Germany fielded strong teams and impressive individual athletes. Over the past two weeks, a reunified Germany and 14 other free nations — formally under Soviet domination — competed in Sochi for their own national pride and collectively won at least 49 medals. Fifteen populations now have at least some of the benefits of a free society that we Americans enjoy. America and her allies should be proud in the role they played in the dissolution of the Soviet Union.



Slaughterhouse rules

EDITOR: After reading the Rancho Feeding Corp. investigation details, I question why people would want to eat a cow. Everyone should know by now that consuming red meat contributes to the risk of serious health problems (heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes). Now add to that the unsavory process revealed in the article of delivering these docile, pastoral animals to the slaughterhouse to be butchered.

The cows are not even killed before their throats are slit, allowing them to bleed to death. At Rancho, it was alleged that one cow was still conscious and a calf was waterboarded to subdue it.

To me slaughterhouse practices are brutal, inhumane and downright repulsive. Bless the poor cows for their sacrifice. To those who eat red meat, good luck with your health and medical bills.


Santa Rosa

Middle schools

EDITOR: I'd like to ask a question that no one seems to be asking: Why do educators insist on dividing up students' elementary school years by making them go to one school for kindergarten-fifth grade, then leave that comfort zone to attend middle school?

As we all know, for many students this transition is excruciating. It's anxiety producing, a killer for self-esteem, and we've all heard stories of bullying being a problem in this age group.

Some middle schools, such as my local Willowside School, purposely keep sixth graders separated from seventh and eighth graders, believing they are the problem. They also pay a counselor to take sixth-grade girls who are having problems socializing on bonding outings. Every year there is a new group. Why not let them stay where they are at home? Why separate siblings and force parents to shuttle between schools?

Private schools get it. You never hear of the problems at these schools that our middle school students face every day. Why do our public school districts persist in this archaic system? Money. Does that make anyone else want to scream? Maybe if we all do, someday it will change for kids' sake.


Santa Rosa