<b>A new icon</b>

EDITOR: After watching Texas Sen. Rafael "Ted" Cruz's dramatic reading of "Green Eggs and Ham" on the Senate floor during his 21-hour quasi-filibuster, I noted he neither showed us, nor his daughters, the pictures, and yet it is a picture book. However, between his hand and facial gestures and the skill of his voice impressions he didn't have to. I could see the mouse in the house and the fox in the box.

For that performance alone, Cruz needs to be added to the list of great Canadian expatriate actors working in the United States, along with the likes of Raymond Burr (a one-time Sonoma County resident), John Candy, Lorne Greene, Corey Haim, Howie Mandel and William Shatner, all American icons.



<b>Assessing warming</b>

EDITOR: Yes, we have man-made global warming. But that is not the real question. The question is, how much global warming is man-made vs. a natural cycle of weather? Since humans have only charted weather for 125 years (so I've read), we cannot say whether it's all human induced or even place a percentage on the ratio. Should we be better stewards of the Earth? Absolutely. Should we break the bank doing it? I don't think so.


Santa Rosa

<b>Santa Rosa banking</b>

EDITOR: The Santa Rosa City Council's decision to bank $1.25 million locally, as reported Sept. 25, is utterly infuriating. It's not just that banks everywhere are paying below-inflation interest rates, which means you're paying them to keep your money. That's bad enough. What really rankles, though, is that if you're able to qualify for a loan (a huge if), you'll get it at rates that would formerly be called usurious.

And where is the rest of the city of Santa Rosa's money? Why, with the big banks, of course — the very banks that got us in the mess we're in. I wonder how much interest they're paying. This is sound city fiscal management?

I acknowledge that the council can't remedy the nation's fiscal calamity, but this token drool does nothing of significance for our local economy. If the city meant business, it would bank all its funds locally, spread out widely. That would surely generate more clout than depositing a sum that's less than the price of a westside Petaluma residence.



<b>Detroit bailout</b>

EDITOR: Here we go again. A city too big to fail ("Broke Detroit offered some help," Saturday). I sympathize with Detroit, but it's not the only place in this country having difficulties. We already "bailed out" Detroit when the auto companies got TARP funds, did we not? The taxpayers of this country cannot afford to keep spending endlessly.



<b>Unsafe plan</b>

EDITOR: Our neighborhood already has a Social Advocates for Youth facility — Tamayo Village — being used as the stated model for the much larger facility planned at the old Warrack Hospital. It houses, among others, mentally ill and homeless adults ages 18-24.

It's not good planning to have a second facility such as this in our Zip code, three times the size, with three times the police calls, that Tamayo Village has incurred. In just a few years, there were 62 police calls relating to this "model" village — burglary reports, battery, intimidating witnesses, hit-and-run, vandalism, rape, loud music, welfare checks, drunk in public, arson, threats, petty theft, suicide attempts and more. All this with a 25-bed facility.

Is it fair for the non-mentally ill foster-care graduates who haven't been in trouble with the law to be offered a place to live among these influences? Is this the best we can do for them?

Let's really help foster care graduates at age 18, and let's keep them and this residential neighborhood safe. SAY administrators get paid big salaries and are eligible for more grant monies the bigger their programs are made.


Santa Rosa

<b>Time for humility</b>

EDITOR: Bishop Robert Vasa views the Catholic Church as a fortress which he defends with rules and regulations. He has spent his life climbing the clerical ladder, all the while using church laws as wedges to drive out those whom he considers unworthy. Pope Francis has opened his arms and heart to the world. For him, the church is a place of welcome and peace where we meet, pray and worship together. He challenges us to reach beyond the endless quarrels of right and left, to go out into the streets to witness to the good news and to serve the poor.

Francis finds meaning in his face-to-face encounters with ordinary people because he believes that it is here that we enter into the mystery of the human being. God accompanies persons, Francis says, and the church must accompany them, starting from their situation.

In his mid-30s, Francis was appointed head of the Jesuit order in Argentina. He tried to rule with an iron hand and failed miserably. He had the wisdom to attribute his failure to his own arrogance. But Francis has learned humility and hope and in doing so has earned the admiration of the world. Maybe it's time for a little humility in Santa Rosa.


Santa Rosa