EDITOR: Two articles in Thursday’s paper show how our county government, on one hand, wants to put more controls and regulations on property owners to “protect” our creeks and watersheds (“Stream protection rules debated”), yet when it comes to county operations at the landfill, the county will allow it pollute Stemple Creek, which feeds on out to Bodega Bay, with millions of gallons of foul looking and smelling runoff (“Landfill neighbors sue”). This has been going for many years, and the county seems OK with it continuing with no long-term solution that adequately protects our watersheds. Once again, the supervisors seem willing to kick this can down the road.
EDITOR: So let me understand, those who represent the “heart of the people,” according to Supervisor Shirlee Zane and Francisco H. Vazquez, are those citizens who have the time, means and proclivity to carry signs and cause tension outside the Sheriff’s Office (“Return of deputy was ‘slap in face,’ ” Close to Home, Aug. 22). I think not. The decision to allow Deputy Erick Gelhaus to return to work has been legally determined. Move on. Gelhaus will have to live with that instantaneous fatal decision for the rest of his life.
EDITOR: I totally agree with Michael Burwen (“Roundabout roulette,” Letters, Wednesday) and his plea to the city of Healdsburg to not install a roundabout. Roundabouts serve as nothing more than instruments of traffic disruption. At most, one out of 100 drivers knows what a yield sign is for, let alone obeys it.
Burwen left one thing out: A roundabout costs four times as much to install than a traffic light with a left-turn signal (upwards of $400,000 each). Additionally, local transit agencies, including Golden Gate Transit, have had to alter their routes so buses can go straight because of the difficulty in maneuvering through roundabouts. The Petaluma City Council will tell you the purpose of the roundabout is to improve traffic control. The residents of Petaluma will tell you roundabouts are a dangerous eyesore in the middle of a major intersection and serve no purpose other than to make drivers mad and weary of other drivers.
Healdsburg, don’t go down this road. Do not let some pencil-pushing traffic-flow analyst convince your City Council to install roundabouts.
CAROLE I. HUYGEN
<b>Cash for grass</b>
EDITOR: Go green, Rohnert Park. I ask the City Council to implement a cash-for-grass program for the thousands of Rohnert Park residential yards. Though the city may already be exemplary in its water conservation, California is in an unprecedented drought, and El Niño’s arrival is questionable. Rohnert Park cannot rest on its laurels as one of the first cities to begin using reclaimed water in the 1970s. Additionally, I ask the City Council to approve participation in Sonoma Clean Power. Residents deserve the right to decide who supplies their power. Now is the time for the Rohnert Park City Council to become environmentally proactive.
EDITOR: After reading Chris Sork (“Unqualified for office,” Letters, Saturday) complain about what he calls President Barack Obama’s lack of qualifications, it’s difficult to keep from laughing. He does a mean repeat of the bullet points espoused by Fox News. There’s just one problem with the Fox view of the world; it requires that you have no long-term memory.
He claims Obama is unqualified. By what standard? We can only measure any president by previous presidents. Think back to 2008 and the feeling of utter helplessness as the economy was in free fall, heading to the worst collapse since the Great Depression. What did the then-president do? Remember when several of the largest players in the world financial market disappeared in just a few weeks. What did the then-president do? He signed a law that gave those banks more than $1 trillion. We were losing jobs to the tune of 800,000 each month as each of us wondered if we would be touched.
Remember the reasons we were told for invading Iraq? Whatever happened to those? How long will he have to deal with what many call the worst foreign policy blunder since the U.S. tried to invade Canada in 1812.
EDITOR: I still believe that District Attorney Jill Ravitch owes the community an explanation of her official conclusion that when Deputy Erick Gelhaus “fired, striking the boy seven times, he believed the threat was real and was following protocol and training, and therefore his actions didn’t warrant criminal charges.”
Something is still seriously wrong here. Either Ravitch didn’t ask Gelhaus, “What were you thinking after the first shot? The second? The third? The fourth? The fifth? The sixth? The seventh? And why didn’t you fire an eighth?” or there is something seriously wrong with protocol and training that permits this many shots to be fired before a check is made to ascertain if the suspect is still dangerous.
<b>At the ranch</b>
EDITOR: With all the recent criticism of how the president is handling the ISIS crisis, and the snide remarks about his playing golf during all this, it might be equally as ignorant and stupid to reply: Maybe if George W. Bush had spent less time at his ranch and the golf course, maybe we would not have been attacked on 9/11.
LOUISE M. and DENNIS UDALL