<b>White House brewed</b>
EDITOR: Kudos to Chris Coursey for urging me (if only for a moment) to consider the other side of the political coin with his invitation to President Barack Obama ("Mr. President, come to Sonoma County for a real beer," Saturday).
What, consider a president who does not drink alcohol?
What, no alcohol at future White House dinners and alcohol-free garden parties?
What, a possible think-tank summit garden party for discussing real issues such as uniting this nation and helping the world by bringing production back to the United States, supply our own energy, being a role model again for the world by building our smart-skill force at every level of talent and creativity and creating jobs here in the United States? Tear down those inland fences.
Is this a dream? Oh, it's the other side of the coin, a possibility. Never mind, let's go back to reading about that beer summit Obama hosted and the current home brewery at the White House that Obama proudly announced — the same president who is
53 days without a press conference, thousands of days past due on a budget, trillions of dollars over our heads in spending.
Read his words again. Look at his dream. Dream into his father's future with your eyes wide open. Act now. May the force be in each of us.
DEB T. MARCHIO
EDITOR: Retired Supervisor Mike Kerns was quoted as saying, "I don't begrudge anyone taking what they have coming to them . . . if people find that objectionable, then maybe they need to change the rules" ("Employee perks pay off in retirement," Sunday). I don't know who sets the rules, but it is certainly not the people who have to fund the salaries and benefits.
I feel that an annual retirement payout of $53,542 for Kerns after 12 years in office is excessive and unfair to the taxpaying public, which has to support him in retirement. He certainly has not contributed enough of his own salary while employed by the county to support his lavish retirement.
Of course, this is only one abuse of the system by a so-called public servant. Unfortunately, this blatant abuse extends to the state as well as all of the municipalities. I see no effort on the part of our governing agencies to adequately address the problem. So far, it's the fox guarding the chicken coop. If the governing bodies can't correct the unfairness of this situation, perhaps it's time for the citizens to revolt. After all, our federal government supports revolts in other countries.
EDITOR: I am an Oakmont property owner and an avid cyclist. There are four bikes in my garage. I have biked in Mexico, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. I rode in the Sonoma Gran Fondo this spring. Cyclists are welcome on my street.
Ninety-nine percent of the drivers in Oakmont are courteous and do not suffer from road rage. Ninety-nine percent of the cyclists in Oakmont are courteous and safe. It is an unfortunate truth that we cannot provide separate roads for cars and paths for cyclists. But we can co-exist with a bit of education, patience and courtesy.