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Cal Fire fee

EDITOR: In my opinion, the SRA, or Cal Fire tax, is just that — a tax that should have been voted on by the people (“Climate bill holds key to end fee,” Sunday).

The Legislature called it a fee so it could be passed without polling the people. Now the governor, the same guy who wants to take more of our water and increase the tax on fuel, wants to bribe rural residents impacted by this illegal tax for support of his cap-and-trade plan.

The SRA tax was passed during the recession so the state could take funding from Cal Fire and replace it on the backs of the poor taxpayers. This not only impacted these folks but hurt fire districts that could use more funding to improve their service and find it difficult to pass funding measures because they require approval by two-thirds of voters.

Cap and trade seems like a legal way for big corporations to continue polluting and just throw money at the state. It may be a start at cleaning up the environment, but bribing citizens with money illegally taken from them in the first place is another example of how the government of the people has become the government ruling the people.

I feel that the SRA tax will be overturned in court. What will he bribe us with then?

FRANK TREANOR

Windsor

Senate health plan

EDITOR: The latest revision to the Republican health care plan — an obscene upward redistribution of wealth in disguise — merely puts lipstick on a pig. In fact, the Ted Cruz amendment makes it even more draconian and heartless (“Amid GOP wrangling, fear grows over ‘junk insurance,’ ” Sunday).

Financially crippling Medicaid, which insures more of us than Medicare, and other policy provisions, means at least 22 million Americans will lose insurance coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and more will be shunted into either high-risk pools or shoddy policies that aren’t quite as bad as no coverage at all.

The long-standing American social compact of mutual assistance and compassion, a cornerstone of our democracy — although not inclusive — is being shredded and replaced by cold self-interest and, in the case of Congress, exclusive devotion to the donor class. How else to explain such attitudes, increasingly becoming social norms, as “I’ve got mine; too bad for you,” “the poor deserve their fate,” and, as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, said recently: “Poverty is a state of mind.”

Will America ever recover and become “great again”?

RICHARD CLEVERLY

Santa Rosa

Population and climate

EDITOR: Another take on climate change: Until we get world population growth under control, climate/global warming is a moot point. Think about how much body heat is added to the global temperature generated by 7.2 billion humans, a number growing at unsustainable levels. Instead of blaming other countries or industry, look yourself in the mirror. We all contribute to global pollution, loss of habitat, resources, etc. one way or another.

CHARLIE BECK

Bodega Bay

Sanctuary threatened

EDITOR: Our Sonoma County coastline and ocean waters are currently protected as part of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, but they are at risk. The Trump administration is reviewing our marine sanctuary with an eye toward energy development. Take a look at areas with oil development, and you see that it’s not if, but when, an oil spill will occur.

If you hike our coastal trails, fish or dive for abalone, watch seals, sea lions and whales, pelicans and osprey, eat Sonoma coast seafood or in any other way enjoy our wild Sonoma Coast, please write the interior secretary to protest any possible change to the status of the sanctuary. Let him know that you’re a local and you don’t want energy development off of our shores.

Comments must be submitted by July 26 to the secretary of interior via the Federal Register. Find it by searching for “Federal Register 2017-13308.” Either hit the comment button or use the mailing address provided.

SUSAN ZERWICK

Cazadero

Voter records

EDITOR: I’m outraged that the Trump administration would have the nerve to demand state voter information. I’m glad that California is resisting this demand. I’m concerned about what President Donald Trump’s people would do with this information. Obviously, in light of the revelations of their interest in Russian help, they cannot be trusted to protect our voter rights.

TEKLA BROZ

Covelo

Kitten season

EDITOR: Just a reminder that summer is kitten season. Cats typically give birth February-June, and shelters and other rescue organizations are bursting at the seams with playful, adorable kittens.

The cost is minimal, and these kittens are move-in ready. They have their shots, have been spayed or neutered, microchipped and fostered by somebody who has socialized them, taught them to like people and how to use a litter box.

At the Forgotten Felines shelter room at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter alone, there are over 20 warm, soft, happy, sleepy kittens this week. Other shelters have similar populations.

Consider taking two. Most of these kittens have siblings, and they keep one another company when you’re not around. My plan for world peace is simple: Put all the leaders in a room with kittens. There is no way they’ll come out of it with anything but grins.

ROBERT WAGERS

Santa Rosa

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