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Protecting Drakes Bay

EDITOR: The poor health of 55 percent of our nation's rivers and streams reflects our ignorance about water and also the fragile nature of our most vital and endangered resource. When a water source is compromised, its entire ecosystem suffers. A good example is Drakes Bay, which is under siege by an invasive species called Didemnum vexillum, or Dvex. Dvex reproduces rapidly, squeezing out native species and stripping an ecosystem of its biodiversity.

Dvex in Drake's Bay is directly linked to the oyster farm. Most likely it was brought in long before the Lunny family owned the business. However, the fact remains that bringing the threat under control will require drastic change.

More and more we are forced to make agonizing choices between people's livelihoods and the environment. Many see such issues as infringements of personal liberty. I, too, was torn about this but now realize that to decide against the common good, which is the health of Drakes Bay, would be profoundly foolish.

Just as we need to come to our senses about our streams and rivers, we must take action to protect our bays, estuaries and oceans. A way must be found to ease the transition for the Lunny family and their workers while undertaking the work of protecting Drakes Bay.



Church teachings

EDITOR: People have spoken regarding the bishop's contract addendum, but by no means are all Catholics speaking with one voice. David Carlson ("Time to talk," Letters, Tuesday) said the bishop doesn't own the truth, that the people have a right to speak. Yes, we do have a right to express our opinions, but Vatican II never gave us the right to our own interpretation of what is truth..

Believing that abortion, homosexual marriage, contraception and euthanasia are not sins is essentially saying Christ is not the truth. Marriage is a sacrament as defined in Article 7 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The bishop was not asking anything more than other Christian schools require of their teachers.

It's disturbing when a Cardinal Newman student interviewed by The Press Democrat says the bishop's addendum was hateful ("Bishop relents on vow for teachers," Friday). How can a Catholic student reference the church teachings as hateful? Or is she quoting adult rhetoric?

If you want to learn about the teachings of Vatican II, teachings of the Catholic Church or more about the Bible, you can call St Eugene's. There are Catholic Bible studies, Vatican II discussions and a showing of the Rev. Robert Baron's "Catholicism" series.


Santa Rosa

Road sense

EDITOR: I just read Matthew Wilson's Close to Home column ("Why I'm no longer a cyclist," March 10). This man's riding experiences sound as if he has (or had) an overabundance of bad bike karma.

One of his comments struck me as why it's a good think he quit riding. No one should stick their hand out in traffic, let alone make a left turn, without knowing where the traffic is around you. If you are not 100 percent sure of what's behind you, stop get off the road and turn your bike parallel to the road. Look both ways and then proceed. Common sense goes a long way in safe cycling.

Read all of the PD's fire coverage here

My riding partner has long advocated that it should be a law that every cyclist should have to wear a helmet with a small rearview mirror attached to it. We would never ride without these two indispensable safety features. Seeing 100 yards behind you only requires quick glance without having to turn your head. Here's to safe and happy cycling.



Harvests of death

EDITOR: Stories about small-scale family farms are supposed to make us feel pride for the agricultural heritage of Sonoma County and gratitude for the good stewardship, care and passion our farmers bring to their work. For many of us, however, this never, ever applies to farms raising animals for meat or, to be perfectly clear, to farms that kill animals for food.

Michele Anna Jordan's manipulation of language cleverly serves to perpetuate the denial of what is really happening to these innocent, gentle, living, breathing beings ("Spring lamb, defined and delicious," Wednesday). Investigating about the farmer knowing "the right moment for harvest" is a feel-good, homey and even celebratory reframe of the truth: time to kill a 6-8-month-old lamb for your plate. Yes, like the one Jordan more honestly referred to "frolicking in local pastures."

Fortunately, not all of us can be deluded by phrases such as "humanely raised," "farmed sustainably" or "ethically harvested" with regard to the slaughter of animals. No matter how humanely these animals are claimed to have been raised, these harvests reek of death. The killing of animals for food is unacceptable no matter how language is used to disguise this bloody mess.


Santa Rosa