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Less talk, more action

EDITOR: We sit in our cars at drive-through windows at banks and burger joints, at red lights and traffic jams, with our engines running the whole time. This "green" thing is all talk and very little action. Until our car engines are shut off, fuel is being burned and carbon is being released, adding to a runaway greenhouse effect.

Gravity is really dependable. We should build drive-throughs so they are downhill from the beginning until the end. Those who choose to coast with their engines off from start to finish would choose to do that.

Oh, I know it can be a bother, but I hear there are already cars that automatically shut off at every stop. I am wondering if I will live long enough to witness just which cataclysmic failure is going to hit us first: running out of cheap fossil fuel or running out of air.

I am hoping that there will be a little less talk and a lot more action for the sake of the children.

JOHN STEELE

Calpella

Fiscal mountain range

EDITOR: We were put on the "fiscal cliff" by weak leadership. Any fool knows that one must put by in good times for the inevitable hard times. Deficit spending is the opposite of putting by.

We have been pushed off the fiscal cliff by weak leadership. Deficit spending continues. The guise of a successful solution having been achieved is a dodge employed by the weak leadership to avoid responsibility.

Until debt service is reduced to extremely low levels we cannot expect any progress.

Since our "leaders" are unable to agree on any meaningful solutions to our fiscal problems, it is left to us to do it. We can vote en masse to enact a balanced budget amendment. Whatever argument will be made in opposition will not alter the fact that, when the smoke clears, we will have solved our fiscal woes. Will it hurt? Yes. However, there is no happy-joy-joy solution.

So the real question is this: Do we want to fix this fiscal mess or not? Obviously our leaders can't do it. For if they can, they have chosen not to.

JOE AQUILA

Sebastopol

Silence and violence

EDITOR: I'm an older white, conservative male, and I couldn't agree more with the article in the Dec. 23 edition by Jesse Washington of the Associated Press ("In urban trenches, gun debate overdue"). I never owned a gun, but I do support the right for others to legally own guns. What happened in Newtown, Conn. was horrendous, but for years children and adolescents have been murdered on our streets.

The outrage has been muted at best except for family, friends and the immediate community. The silence from our lawmakers has been deafening. These murders haven't happened in an idyllic village, committed by a supposedly mentally ill person but on the streets of Richmond, Oakland, East Palo Alto and even Santa Rosa by gang bangers using illegal weapons. May there not be another school shooting, and may the violence on the streets subside.

MARTY ANTHONY

Rohnert Park

No pension crisis

EDITOR: The Sonoma County pension system has been viable for more than 50 years, and now there is a pension crisis? It costs less money administratively to manage a defined-benefit pension plan, which the county has in place, than a 401(k)-type of retirement system.

Does the public truly believe that a civil service employee making $19.48 an hour is contributing to the county having its roads fall into ruin or contributing to a pension crisis? This is truly one of the biggest fallacies being promulgated by those who lost their savings and retirement in their 401(k)s at the expense of Wall Street in 2008.

To pay less in retirement to new and require future county employees to work longer provides no immediate savings to the county or the public. I would make around another $19 a month for cashing in vacation, sick leave, etc., and I more than likely would not receive cost-of-living increases on the county pension when I decide to retire.

The county pension system has been viable for more than 50 years, and the sky is not falling.

BOB MOFFETT

Windsor