Reason to reflect
EDITOR: Thank you for the glorious and awe-inspiring story of Kristy and Madelyn Mackey ("One family, thankful for two lives," Thursday). Their picture and their tale on the front page of your Thanksgiving Day issue radiated a brilliant light into the rest of my day.
I'm glad that such a courageous and happy family lives in Santa Rosa and I wish them all the best in the years to come. Reporter Brett Wilkison certainly gave all of your readers a gift with this story and reasons to pause and reflect.
JOHN F. BRIBIESCAS
Monument to excesses
EDITOR: In the past month or so, I have read no fewer than three PD articles or letters on the subject of disallowing proposed commercial development in Santa Rosa. One was on the relocation of an existing used car dealership, another the expansion of an existing rock quarry, and the third was the proposed development of a gas station/mini-mart. All voiced the same concern about bicycle safety, or lack thereof, resulting from these businesses.
With that said, I have two questions. First, when we're all done catering to the bicycle community, and the economy crashes due to a hostile business climate that favors the utopian ideology of yet another special interest, will there be any local jobs close enough for bicyclists to pedal to, and will Santa Rosa's $20-plus million bicycle "bridge to nowhere" over Highway 101 become just that; a monument to the excesses of a political fringe group that has become too powerful and too loose with the taxpayer's dime?
J. SCOTT FINN
Troubled by debate
EDITOR: As a religious Jew, I am embarrassed by the personal attacks some leaders of the Jewish community have launched against Therese Mughannam-Walrath ("Kristallnacht lessons," letter, Nov. 18).
She is a survivor of the 1948 Nakba — or catastrophe — that left 750,000 Palestinian homeless or dead. They were living in cities and villages that the NATO powers "gave" to the Jews when it partitioned the land into Israel and Palestine.
Now Israel controls most of Palestine, building illegal "settlements" in Palestine's West Bank and constructing walls around Palestinian cities and villages. This fits Rabbi George Gittleman's own definition of "genuine apartheid that seeks to confine a population" (Tortured connection," letter, Nov. 26.)
And the "state sponsored destruction" that Jerry Danzig mentions in his description of Kristallnacht is similar to the Israeli-sponsored destruction of Palestinian homes and farms I witnessed a few years ago.
Palestine/Israel is a beautiful country, sacred to three world religions. There is no reason for this conflict to continue, except that it benefits the corporations that sell weaponry to the Israeli army, the fourth largest military in the world. It certainly does not make life better for the human beings who live on all sides of the walls.
Why that vineyard?
EDITOR: I am in full enthusiastic agreement over the Watertrough Children's Alliance trying to ensure environmental compliance from a vineyard in progress. However, what about all the other vineyards that now proliferate the once lovely Apple Blossom Tour route?
What about me walking my dog getting sprayed up and down Burnside and Watertrough roads? Why only that vineyard? What about the rainy season mud that will cover the road for several years because there are no deep tree roots holding down the soil? Follow the money. Or ask why no demand to review all the vineyards' environmental impacts (including draining the water table on which all households exist in the area )