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Landlords and lawns

EDITOR: I rented a house for 10 years from a landlord who forced me to waste water on a front and back lawn. What did he care? He doesn't live in Sonoma County, and we had to pay the water bill.

This past year we were lucky enough to buy our own place, where we promptly ripped out the lawn and installed low-water use plants.

Unfortunately, there are still many other renters who are forced to waste water to satisfy the whims of an absent landlord. This is an issue that needs to be addressed, both from water conservation and renters' rights standpoints.

NAOMI WILLIAMS

Santa Rosa

Stick with PG&E

EDITOR: Our population should be informed that Sonoma Clean Power has no business structure; it's just a group intent on making money without being responsible for any risk. Our county supervisors should not be speculating with our tax money; gambling should be left to our local Indian population.

PG&E is a properly organized company that can issue stock and incur debt payable through corporate bonds if a fuel supplier should fail or some disaster occur. All that Sonoma Clean Power group could do in similar situations is to issue 100 percent debt. It has no skin in the game except its customers' money, so county taxpayers would be stuck with the debt.

Sonoma Clean Power will have no more reusable energy than PG&E and will be of no better advantage to our environment, but it will be more expensive once they get enough customers signed up. Its claim to have cleaner energy than PG&E is based on renewable energy credits, which are just bits of paper. No energy will actually be purchased and transferred.

Sonoma County energy users are advised to stay with PG&E, a genuine and successful company that has served California for many years.

GEORGE JOHNSTON

Santa Rosa

Anonymous slams

EDITOR: Thanks for the "Thumbs Down" on anonymity ("Do we need more secret comments?" Monday), even at your own site. I used to tell my media students at Santa Rosa Junior College that the problem with anonymity was the lack of accountability.

The Press Democrat's online, end-of-story reader comments confirm that point. As a long-time subscriber to the newspaper, I have stopped reading the online comments. I found a significant number of them to be vulgar, crude, racist, anti-Semitic, ill-informed, retaliatory, and, in the main, stupid.

It must be depressing for your staffers to perceive the ugliness and low-level intelligence of some of your readers. I have complained about the content of the online commentaries and was told you do not have a full-time moderator. You desperately need one.

ED LAFRANCE

Sebastopol

The world's policeman?

EDITOR: Let me be the first to answer Bruce G. Enos ("What kind of nation?" Letters, March 28). He condemns President Barack Obama's reluctance to respond with military action against Russia because of Crimea and against Bashar Assad in Syria for murdering his own people. How long should the U.S. play policeman of the world?

And Obama does understand "what is happening," much to the amusement of a hawkish comment from a misinformed bystander. He is well advised and makes good decisions when necessary — Osama bin Laden, for example.

Placing the United States in such an awkward position, with loss of life and a staggering debt to our economy by invading Iraq, was a mistake made President George W. Bush and his cronies, not by Obama or President Jimmy Carter.

Other mistakes we've made in the past make this Korean War veteran want to vie for peace.

HAROLD R. KING

Santa Rosa

For a carbon tax

EDITOR: Kudos to The Press Democrat and the New York Times for Monday's front-page story ("Climate panel: Worst yet to come.") Clearly the time is now to act to reduce carbon and other greenhouse-gas emissions. Carbon pollution has been allowed without cost for the true damage it causes. Correctly pricing GHG emissions is one of the first and most important steps needed.

According to the Brookings Institution, a carbon tax is not only the most efficient means of pricing carbon throughout the economy, it's also a pro-growth pro-environment plan: "A carbon tax naturally promotes the cleanest and cheapest technologies so they don't need a subsidy to compete."

Starting with the tax set at a modest level, then ramping up quickly to achieve the needed shifts to clean energy, will allow businesses and consumers to adapt. And making the tax revenue-neutral, by returning the proceeds to American households, will help consumers adapt while encouraging innovation.

BARBARA MOULTON

Santa Rosa