Sit this war out

EDITOR: It seems pretty clear that Congress, the American people and every country but France wants us to stay out of Syria. Here's a thought: Let's listen to Congress, the American people and every country but France.

While we are at it, let's excuse France, which in all fairness is just trying to help, since it is our ally and probably not all that enthusiastic about sending French soldiers to yet another Middle Eastern conflict where no one wins and citizens and soldiers die daily.

No matter what the U.S. does, there will be never be thanks from anyone. If we interfere, yet again, in the Middle East, we will be reviled. Even if we invade Syria and destroy that country as we have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan, there is no guarantee that any type of democracy will emerge. If we stand down and refuse to let our young people be fodder for someone else's war, we will also be reviled.

I don't know about you, but I am really tired of being the Satan. And I am extremely tired of sending the best of our youth to fight someone else's wars. Let's keep our soldiers stateside, and sit this one out.



Healdsburg hotels

EDITOR: Oh, goodie. Warren Watkins and Healdsburg Citizens for sustainable Solutions are at it again, floating an idea of limiting Healdsburg hotels on a ballot measure ("Healdsburg group wants limits on hotels," Sept. 7).

The last time he got his knickers in a twist, he sued a quality developer to thwart a quality project. Once he was done suing, he sent them a bill for $750,000. Fortunately, a judge had the good sense to slash that amount. If Watkins had any regard for the appearance of his motives, he should have funded the case on his own dime.

Here's another scoop: Hotels and wineries are the ones moving into properties in Healdsburg. So, unless a vacant, boarded up building fits your idea of small-town charm, maybe projects like this shouldn't be so stridently opposed.

Another thing: Who the heck are Healdsburg Citizens for Sustainable Solutions, anyway? No phone number, no address, no website — it looks like it's just Watkins and his wife. I think they should change their name to Healdsburg Obstructionists since I can find no evidence of them doing anything that resembles a solution to anything.



Excessive fine

EDITOR: PG&E is spending billions of dollars on infrastructure improvements projected to support 30,000 jobs and modernizing our energy system while repairing and replacing pipes, poles and other utility assets that power our homes and businesses. The investments in infrastructure help enable clean power to be transmitted over PG&E's lines and through its distribution pipelines.

These infrastructure improvements are in jeopardy, however, as the California Public Utilities Commission considers a record-setting fine against PG&E following the 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno.

The Northern California Engineering Contractors Association works with businesses such as PG&E to safeguard the community while staying in compliance with the regulations of government. The Public Utilities Commission's decision will have dire implications for PG&E and affect its funding of needed safety improvements. I fear a huge fine will hurt PG&E's ability to sustain the billions it has already invested in making the utility safer and more reliable.

The commission's consideration of such a sweeping fine would be a mistake. Taking those dollars out of circulation as a fine wouldn't be as beneficial as the dollars being spent on modernization and safety improvements already underway.


Executive director, Northern California Engineering Contractors Association

Juilliard Park square?

EDITOR: How about moving the Old Courthouse Square reunification project two blocks south to Juilliard Park? It is about four times larger than the square.

It appears that the city doesn't have the $14 million for the reunification project now. If it were moved to Juilliard Park, the work could be done in stages without disturbing all of the banks and businesses around the square with dust and noise for the next five years. It also would save the trees in the square.

In addition to this, the city could provide handicapped parking on the A Street side of the park — an issue that no one has addressed. Finally, the City Council would be heroes instead of zeroes for not cutting the city in half for the third time.


Santa Rosa