EDITOR: The March 24 editorial ("Hidden treasure on Mendo Coast") reflected the enthusiasm of local businesses, including Visit Mendocino County members, who are eager to secure permanent protection for the Stornetta Public Lands.
Rep. Jared Huffman called these lands "a national treasure" and introduced legislation to try to protect them as part of the California Coastal National Monument. The openness, grandeur and accessibility of our coast makes it more appealing than other parts of California. With permanent protection for the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands, Mendocino County's south coast would become even more attractive, not only for locals but for visitors as well.
How often do you visit a place with your family where you can unplug from life? Where your kids can be kids and you can teach them about the world around you? As I told a National Geographic editor recently, this is a place of grand beauty you have to experience during your lifetime, as it will not only inspire and change your child's life but your own as well.
President, Visit Mendocino
EDITOR: I just heard the news that the National Rifle Association is proposing guns as protection for each school in the United States ("NRA report urges armed staff at schools," Wednesday). This is quite an insidious endeavor for a number of bizarre and invasive reasons: gun manufacturers would make out as literal bandits as per the increase in their revenue; invasive surveillance takes precedence over privacy; the expense is outrageous; legislators as proponents would impose self-serving and exclusive mandates; potential criminals would identify yet additional targets; academic leaders and teachers would be faced with the rationale of a police state.
Most important, what a defeating message to students as this concept is considered protective of their safety and well-being. Instead, it's the culmination of fear without addressing the causes of a society that has failed to provide services and resources for those whose distress and illness becomes violent. Creating scary environments doesn't solve the problems.
Not a simple question
EDITOR: During this Passover and Passion season, it might be well for us to reflect on the question put to us in Reuben Navarrette's March 24 column ("The price illegal immigrants should pay"). Did the immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally do something wrong?
I was fortunate in most of my adult life to work with immigrants. I didn't ask whether they had completed the immigration process. Many or most of them were probably undocumented. They were just people to me. They were mostly young people who had left their homelands and families to find work to feed their loved ones. They worked hard — aware that their families depended on the money they sent home. It meant food and medical care — the difference between health or illness, sometimes life or death. It's hard for us to imagine the kind of poverty their families often live in.
I'm sure that most, if not all, of the good fathers and mothers and sons and daughters I know, if faced with that situation of dire poverty, would do anything they needed to do to feed and care for their families. It's not a simple question, "Was what they did wrong?"
Victims identified in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino fires
Karen Aycock, 56, Santa Rosa
Christina Hanson, 27, Santa Rosa
Linda Tunis, 69, Santa Rosa
Carol Collins-Swasey, 76, Santa Rosa
Lynne Anderson Powell, 72, Santa Rosa
Arthur Tasman Grant, 95, Santa Rosa
Suiko Grant, 75, Santa Rosa
Donna Mae Halbur, 80, Larkfield
Leroy Peter Halbur, 80, Larkfield
Valerie Lynn Evans, 75, Santa Rosa
Carmen Caldentey Berriz, 75, Apple Valley (vacationing in Santa Rosa)
Michael John Dornbach, 57, rural Calistoga
Veronica Elizabeth McCombs, 67, Santa Rosa
Carmen Colleen McReynolds, 82, Santa Rosa
Sharon Rae Robinson, 79, Santa Rosa
Mike Grabow, 40, Santa Rosa
Daniel Martin Southard, 71, Santa Rosa
Lee Chadwick Roger, 72, Glen Ellen
Roy Howard Bowman, 87, Redwood Valley
Irma Elsie Bowman, 88, Redwood Valley
Kai Logan Shepherd, 14, Redwood Valley
George Chaney, 89, Napa
Edward Stone, 79, Napa
Charles Rippey, 100, Napa
Sara Rippey, 98, Napa
Sally Lewis, 90, Napa
Teresa Santos, 50, Napa
Garrett Paiz, 38, Missouri