Friday's Letters to the Editor

<b>Foolish scheme</b>

EDITOR: Sonoma County supervisors, out of some dogged allegiance to AB 32, continue to pursue efforts to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2020. They have spent $520,000 and committed another $150,000 for studies to justify becoming the county's source of electricity derived from clean, renewable sources ("Supervisors vote to create power agency," Wednesday).

Anyone who keeps up on the cost of electricity from solar, wind, tides or any other non-polluting source is aware that it costs many times more than power derived from conventional carbon-based fuels used by most utilities. There are other problems, too. The county has no experienced staff to supervise the purchase of power or coordinate supply with demand.

The stated objective of reducing local greenhouse gas emissions is not realistic as the emissions produced by our present power supplier, PG&E, come from plants that aren't located in Sonoma County. I strongly believe that the supervisors should stop spending money on this foolish scheme and concentrate on fixing roads and solving the problems of employee compensation, retiree pensions and other over-generous benefits.


Santa Rosa

<b>GOP tantrum</b>

EDITOR: The Republicans are pushing our economy over the cliff with their re-litigation of the election results. Americans voted to raise taxes on the super-rich. It's what we-the-people want, and we live in a democracy. So the tax issue has been decided.

Likewise, every day the Republicans delay in increasing the debt limit is another body blow to the American economy. It's like a family that's in financial trouble deciding that the best course of action is to stop paying its credit card bills and ruin its credit rating. Yeah, that's some kind of a solution.

If the Republicans were serious about reducing the national debt they would immediately sign off on raising the debt limit and take up President Barack Obama's offer to extend the Bush tax cuts to everyone with incomes of less than $250,000. That would have an immediate and positive effect on the economy during the Christmas shopping season.

The Republicans are throwing an unpatriotic temper tantrum by refusing to admit that the American people have chosen the way forward. It's time for them to grow up and act like mature adults, swallow their pride and admit that they lost the election.


Anchor Bay

<b>Creative gifts</b>

EDITOR: If you did not read Jim Bald's Close to Home column ("Holiday gifts need not come from China," Sunday), I recommend you do. He talked about many options to buying your typical holiday gifts — options that support creativity, local businesses and resources.

I have been thinking a lot on this subject this holiday season, and I am going to follow his advice and stay creative and local. As a community and country, we need to make a move away from the cheap, pre-packaged goods available at every big-box chain store. Most of this stuff is just stuff and can be done without.

Hand-made gifts are also an option. I know that when I receive a hand-made gift, I enjoy it much more knowing someone put more thought and care in it. Let's all start supporting creativity and our local economy, and maybe the Big Box Beast can be cut down a little.


Santa Rosa

<b>Native oysters</b>

EDITOR: In the news reports regarding the potential closure of the Drakes Bay Oyster Co., I never read any mention of the only oyster species native to California, namely the Olympia oyster (Ostreola conchaphila). The Olympia oyster does not have any state or federal protection, but since its numbers are so extremely low, it is beginning to be targeted for conservation.

As a wildlife biologist, I always want to see natural areas restored. Bays and estuaries are prime breeding grounds for this species. If and when the business does vacate Drakes Bay, it would be fantastic to see the area utilized to propagate native oysters. Not for human consumption — one of many causes that led to their decline — but because oysters provide an important role in marine ecosystems by forming oyster reefs (they attach on top of existing oyster shells) where they filter and clarify water.

Kevin Lunny's oysters probably provided the same "service," but I am sure the harvesting process canceled out any benefit.