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Sunday's Letters to the Editor


A national vote

EDITOR: We the people have little representation nationally because the national focus seems to be on special interests and deep pockets. I would propose a constitutional amendment that would call for a confidence vote every June. If 60 percent vote no confidence, then every elected official at the federal level, including the president, would face re-election the following November. I doubt that the November election would ever happen because the national focus would again shift to the voters.

ANDREW WOLF

Hidden Valley Lake

Where's the water?

EDITOR: In just the past few days, there have been articles about Bell Village, "the largest mixed use project ever proposed in Windsor," with 77-units, a mix of townhouses and apartments; a proposal for 40 single-family homes in Windsor; and a 100-unit proposal in Fetters Hot Springs.

In Santa Rosa, meanwhile, we read about more endless discussion about reunifying Old Courthouse Square (that's a whole other letter) and the planned 25-foot-tall by 85-foot-long water wall.

On Dec. 16, the North Bay Business Journal reported that City Ventures, a Newport Beach-based residential real estate developer, purchased 95 acres in Sonoma County to build single-family homes.

We are being asked to conserve water. How can any of these projects be approved without finding new sources of water for them? Why isn't there a moratorium on building anything while we're in the worst drought in California history?

ANNETTE FLACHMAN

Windsor

GMO labeling

EDITOR: There is no scientific consensus of safety on GMOs. There have been a lot of studies about genetically engineered crops but not about their safety. What studies have been done are primarily by the biotech/chemical industry and by universities with industry grant funding.

We don't have enough information to know the health impacts of GMOs, and as long as we continue to not label them, the misleading "no evidence of harm" claim will continue to be made.

We do have enough awareness to notice a surge in complicated health problems in the U.S. over the past 30 years that coincides with the commercialization of genetically engineered crops. Without labeling, we are unable to track any potential effects of GMOs on health problems, and we remain unable to follow up on concerns raised about changes in nutrient levels and allergen/toxin levels, or concerns about the effects of genetically engineered endotoxins on organs.

Support state Sen. Noreen Evans' SB 1381 to label genetically engineered food. Labels would bring accountability, traceability and liability.

LINDA CARPENTER

Petaluma

Humane thing to do

EDITOR: What exactly is "humane" about shooting animals in the head with a bolt gun ("Plant safeguards are key," Wednesday)? Or slashing their throats so that they bleed to death? The doublespeak used by those who raise and slaughter animals is very disturbing, as is the public's seemingly desperate need to believe in the whole "humane farming" concept.

If you wouldn't consider it moral or humane to mass produce and kill puppies because they taste good and provided a source of protein, then why would it be so for other animals? Pigs, cows, chickens, and the numerous other animals our society deem acceptable to eat are all thinking, feeling beings that are every bit as lovable and deserving of life as the dogs and cats with whom we share our homes.

No matter how nicely the killing is done or how "humanely-raised," "grass-fed" or "cage-free" their lives may have been, there's nothing humane about slaughtering individuals who have the same spark of life and will to live that we do.

Since we don't need to eat animals to thrive and be healthy, then let's not. Wouldn't that be the truly "humane" thing to do?

KIM FLAHERTY

Mill Valley

DUI penalties

EDITOR: Someone who has been arrested eight times for drunken driving should face a heavier punishment than six years in prison and 10 years with a suspended license ("Windsor man gets six years for eighth DUI," Tuesday).

Clearly, such a person is a repeat offender who will continue criminally irresponsible behavior even after prison. Also, suspending a license isn't much of a penalty. Suspending this driver's license after his seventh offense didn't prevent him from committing his eighth.

The sentencing wasn't the court's fault — the man received the maximum sentence. But the law needs to be changed.

Repeat offenses are almost certainly a sign of an underlying problem, so one way to prevent it might be court-mandated intervention. However, if intervention fails, shouldn't we place the safety of innocent people above our sympathy for one individual?

When a drunken driver kills someone, he faces a life sentence. The difference between this and a simple DUI is often just chance. Is it fair that we must wait for someone to die to recognize the danger of repeated drunken driving?

ISABELLA FROMAN

Santa Rosa