EDITOR: The ongoing saga of the state parks department's plan to install 15 self-pay machines at Sonoma Coast beaches and charge $8 to park continues to infuriate me. Last Sunday, you reported that "state officials say the plan fulfills the Legislature's mandate for state parks to find reliable sources of revenue" ("Hearing on beach parking postponed").
What? All those missing millions they "found" didn't help out? I am still disgusted about that whole misappropriation of funds. The Sonoma Coast, as with any coastline, should remain a free-from-fees zone. Take a page from Hawaii's book and keep our coastline free. My family is still shaking our heads over the Schoolhouse Beach closure. We have to break the law to sit on our memorial table to have a picnic because the parking lot is closed? Ridiculous.
Outside inquiry needed
EDITOR: I was disturbed by the remarks of Cloverdale Police Chief Mark Tuma in your report on the fatal accident involving my friend and neighbor Joyce Ross and Rob Dailey, the former police chief ("Cloverdale crash victim's family questions investigation," April 6). Tuma was quoted saying, "It was that minor of an accident. He wasn't going more than a mile an hour, 2 miles an hour when he tapped her." This seems to me to be not only insensitive, but it stretches credibility.
First, an accident that knocks two people to the ground and sends one to the hospital is serious, regardless of speed. Second, the article quotes the police report saying "he heard a thump and applied his brake." It seems unlikely the vehicle was traveling at such a low rate of speed (slower than walking) if Dailey's foot wasn't already on the brake. It seem as though Tuma either doesn't see the potential conflict of interest here, or he doesn't care.
Everyone involved, the Ross family, Dailey and the citizens of Cloverdale, deserves an impartial investigation. With all due respect, I hope Tuma will forgive those of us who question his judgment where this matter is concerned. He should step aside.
Power agency follies
EDITOR: As an energy professional, I consider the county's plan for a power agency to be folly. Consider:
Most of the electricity in Sonoma County is already green due to production at The Geysers.
We already pay extra to promote green generation by pumping treated water up the hill so it can support additional steam production.
Instead of creating a new agency, we could join the Northern California Power Agency, an established public organization that provides power to other cities, including from The Geysers.
Establishing a higher green energy price would just mean that PG&E could go to the state Public Utilities Commission and get approval for its own higher prices.
The recent bidding process specified a three-year contract. Nobody is going to invest capital to serve a three-year contract. Much of this energy will be produced from existing facilities that are probably already generating but selling power at a lower price. This won't help us get much greener.
No doubt the supervisors and their consultants are trying to do the right thing; it just happens to be something they can't do well, and we don't need.