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<b>Krauthammer's views</b>

EDITOR: I don't know why you publish Charles Krauthammer's column either ("One-note columnist," Letters, Tuesday) because he's not a Democrat, is honest and knows what he's talking about — the opposite of most of the others. Most of the others make me sick to my stomach.


Santa Rosa

<b>Noisy nuisances</b>

EDITOR: I was so glad to see the article about Sonoma's leaf blower ordinance ("Quest to ban blowers," Monday). I live in Fairway Estates in Santa Rosa, and I hear these leaf blowers almost every day.

I'm a landscape contractor, and I see landscapers blowing leaves into neighboring yards and into the street, which goes against the California landscape contractors association rules. I'm tired of the dust, I'm tired of the noise, and I'm tired of the gas fumes that go through my home. Let's get rid of the leaf blowers and use brooms and rakes. This will put more people to work and help our economy.

Carmel, Berkeley, Sebastopol and Mill Valley have banned them. I hope Sonoma and Santa Rosa ban them, too.


Santa Rosa

<b>Dependence on tech</b>

EDITOR: I agree that we need to continue to teach and preserve cursive writing. ("A lost art," Letters, Tuesday). Technology has its place, but we are becoming too dependent on it and with the power that supplies our technology. We still need to be able to know how to function without technology.

The new Common Core Standards, which have crept into our education system without open discussion with parents, teachers, school boards, local, state and federal legislatures, will rely almost exclusively on technology.

And, by the way, there are several organized voices out there sharing their opposition to Common Core and the overreaching effects it is having, including the deterioration of cursive writing.


Rohnert Park

<b>Lax gun laws</b>

EDITOR: The Associated Press reported the many warning signs of Aaron Alexis' mental instability, including several instances of gun violence ("Suspect's history fell just short of raising alarm," Wednesday). Very recently he had reported to Rhode Island police that voices were following him from place to place, depriving him of sleep. The focus of the article seemed to be that these warning signs should have prevented him from getting a security clearance at a naval base.

As if that would have solved the problem. No. It would have moved the problem from the Navy Yard to a shopping mall or a day-care center.

Why is no one asking how someone with his history was able to rent a gun and then buy a gun and ammunition? And when are we, as a civilized society, going to realize that these so-called warning signs are messages from people who desperately need help, even as they are too out of touch with reality to understand their own need?

Our country's lax attitude toward gun control, combined with our callous disregard for people with mental illnesses, guarantees that this tragedy will be played out again and again until we learn. When will we learn?


Santa Rosa

<b>For-profit volunteers</b>

EDITOR: On Sunday, The Press Democrat posted information about how to volunteer for the Heartland Hospice. "Helping with office tasks" was among the "support staff" work the hospice was seeking volunteers for.

I find this objectionable. The Heartland Hospice is part of the for-profit company HCR ManorCare. Volunteers who do work that paid staff could do are contributing to the bottom line of a large, for-profit company. Moreover, there are questions of legality, particularly where volunteers are not directly helping patients.

Regardless of legality, there are plenty of nonprofits in Sonoma County that need volunteers and would love to have The Press Democrat help them find those volunteers. In the future, I hope that the newspaper will focus on those local nonprofits, and not provide free advertising for large for-profit businesses that may be looking to reduce the cost of their employees.