Luddite agenda

EDITOR: The Sebastopol City Council needs to step back and stop catering to the fanatical minority of the EMF Safety Network. The recent action to attempt a moratorium on the installation of SmartMeters was unwise, illegal and exposed the city to legal expenses it can little afford.

The pursuit of a community ban on SmartMeter technology may also expose the city to legal action by those who would be restricted from receiving the benefit of new usage data and rate plans made available by the technology.

Similarly, the recent attempt to restrict the addition of cellular antennas an existing cellular antenna towers, which was supported by council members Sarah Gurney and Michael Keyes, demonstrates their willingness to pursue actions favored by the EMF Safety Network that have little legal or scientific basis. These actions are contrary to settled federal case law regarding communication towers and risk exposing the city to additional legal expense.

If the EMF Safety Network wishes to pursue its Luddite agenda, let it be at its expense, not that of the city and the majority of citizens who wish to avail themselves of the benefit of these technologies.



Pedestrian safety

EDITOR: Much has been written about drivers hitting pedestrians and sometimes not stopping. It is a terrible occurrence. But I'm surprised there are not more of these accidents.

As a driver, I constantly see people of all ages taking off across the street looking neither left nor right, frequently while talking on cellphones, playing with iPads or visiting. They know they have the right of way, so they don't worry. Bad decision. What are they thinking? They're not.

As a pedestrian, I don't leave the sidewalk until I have checked what's coming and whether they are slowing down. I look over my shoulder when crossing, watching for a car making a right turn. I glance right and left while crossing to be sure I didn't miss anything. It's not a big deal. I don't need a check list. It's like breathing, and I'm still breathing because of it.

Sending a careless driver to prison doesn't help the person who is injured or killed. There needs to be occasional articles in the paper reminding pedestrians of their responsibility for their own safety. This should be brought up in the schools on a periodic basis.



Contradictory policies

EDITOR: Well, our "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" Congress has struck again. After thinking that gas consumption would rise, Congress encouraged ethanol plants to sprout all over the corn belt ("Ethanol promise begins to fade," Sunday). Meantime, another arm, left or right, you pick, of our friends in Washington continued on its quest for 50 mpg cars, thereby reducing the need for gas. Which, along with the cruddy economy reducing driving, has almost eliminated the market for ethanol.

The law of unintended consequences strikes again. The more government attempts to help, the worse things get. All things considered I wonder what the taxpayer hit on this one was? Or the costs to those local economies?


Santa Rosa

Wages, food prices

EDITOR: My response to Tony Alvarez ("Low-wage work," Letters, Friday) in regard to people not lining up for farm work because farmers are unwilling to pay a fair wage is this: American consumers are not willing to pay a fair price for their food, period. You cannot pay a fair wage if your customers are not willing to pay a fair price for your produce.



What's the rationale?

EDITOR: What is Bishop Robert Vasa's rationale for allowing teachers who are unwilling to assure him on their hope of heaven that they think as he thinks on matters peripheral to Catholic teaching to have the care and teaching of Catholic school children ("Bishop excuses Ukiah teachers from vow," Friday)?

He has made just such an oath mandatory for all teachers in Catholic schools in his diocese; he must think it of the first importance for the protection of the students. But now he seems to think that the students at St. Mary's in Ukiah can take their chances for another year, because their teachers, unwilling to sign, will even so be allowed to expose their students to their inadequately catechized Christianity.

I propose an oath for all teachers in Catholic schools: "In all religion lessons, I shall honor the Nicene creed as the truth of Catholicism and that in all my dealings with my students and faculty and staff, I shall carefully and professionally discharge my responsibility as an educator. Facio Liberos ex Liberis Libris Libraque (I make free (wo)men from children by means of books and the balance)."


Santa Rosa