EDITOR: The economy and the home-building industry's circumstances have changed drastically, and it is troubling that our City Council seems to be stuck in 2003 thinking ("SR rejects 73-home subdivision plan," Wednesday). There was a wonderful vision for this property in 2003, but the housing market crashed and the property went into foreclosure.
It is Santa Rosa's good fortune that Meritage Homes purchased a portion of that foreclosed property and wants to build on the site, creating much-needed jobs in our area. Our city attorney stated it perfectly when she pointed out that Meritage Homes doesn't own the property where the original 2003 affordable units were planned — "We can't force them to build low-income housing on a site that they don't own."
Since the low-income project isn't included in the portion of land purchased by Meritage, and Meritage had no part in the original agreement, it seems unfair of the council to expect Meritage to honor agreements made 10 years ago. Instead, we should welcome the employment opportunities and economic boost Santa Rosa would receive from the development of this land.
County power plan
EDITOR: The 80 percent greenie sentiment in the county that you cited in Friday's editorial ("Will county power plan pencil out?") should know that no "dirty" power is generated in Sonoma County. All except The Geysers geothermal is imported. Paying a premium to Shell or others in lieu of the source mix coming from PG&E surely doesn't pencil out. Significant also is that the state has excluded hydropower as counting toward reaching the escalating green-power mandate.
ERWIN A. DAMES
If it were sponges?
EDITOR: I read Bruce Kranzler's letter ("Oyster wars," March 30), and I agree with the many points that he made, but from what I've read over the last several months of controversies surrounding this issue, many do not. There are conspiracy theories, back and forth positions on fairness, labor/jobs and even famous restaurant personalities such as Alice Waters weighing in on Drakes Bay Oyster Co.'s permit.
Some no doubt see the issues narrowly. Some express a personal reaction to the federal government, the California Coastal Commission or a court finding. But for the majority, I suspect that they may be prejudiced on the whole topic because they simply love oysters, and the issues don't count as much as their emotional feelings about the product, old West Marin/Sonoma and the bygone days of yore.
I suggest that for the majority to know how they feel about this whole "kettle of oysters," one need only to substitute sponges for oysters, as the product produced and then see if there is still passion in the argument.
Cut from the top
EDITOR: The Windsor Unified School District is deficit spending, and it doesn't take much to see who is to blame — the leadership, namely the superintendent and her business manager ("Windsor schools in deficit spending," Wednesday). If the former superintendent and business manager were able to run in the black, and a new chief comes in and the whole thing falls apart, do the math. Good tactic turn to the teachers and say, it's your fault. The superintendent is in charge of the administration; the Windsor school board approved all the bad decisions. Start at the top to solve Windsor's problems.