Misplaced priorities

EDITOR: Priorities, hmm. Should Santa Rosa spend more than $13 million to reconfigure Old Courthouse Square, or should we use the money for parks, streets, schools, senior services, homeless shelters, the fire and police departments, Roseland annexation, etc.?

Making downtown resemble a battle zone during this long project-in-stages would be a catastrophe for businesses.

Please, let us be practical and fix what we already have. We need to care for and maintain our wonderful city, not start a costly project with little value to our quality of life.

We already have a water feature at the Prince Memorial Greenway that’s not being used, so building an over-sized one at Courthouse Square doesn’t make sense.


Santa Rosa

GOP talking points

EDITOR: Thanks to Thomas F. Feeney (“Democrats and welfare,” Monday) for his elucidation on the latest Republican talking points.

The current immigration tragedy is really a Democrat conspiracy to get more Democratic votes (from children, no less) by increasing the number of people “depending on the government,” all for the purpose of ruining the United States.

There is one point the Republicans have exactly right. The United States is less respected around the world. Politics, it is said, stops at our borders. Not anymore. In the politics of immigration, Benghazi, Ukraine, etc., the public hate and blame heaped on the president shows true weakness. We are no longer united as Americans in our stance toward foreign powers or the tragedies that befall us. Everything is another opportunity to show how many of our elected officials and media mouths hate and blame our president for every problem that besets us.

The answer to the question about why our country is so divided lies at the feet of the right wing echo chamber and the Obama-hating vitriol that is a constant on the airwaves. It’s much easier to share a common hatred, fed by all sorts of lies, than it is to seek a harder truth and find commonality with all of your fellow Americans.


Santa Rosa

Own up to spying

EDITOR: There seem to be increasing occasions for our government to employ face-saving devices to defend itself. This time, it’s for spying on Germany (from “Lessons from spying on Germany,” July 18). Since Germany is tops in trade balance with a vibrant middle class among 193 countries, with the U.S. at the bottom, we are trying to find out how Germans do it without acknowledging our dismal failure, especially since we boast about being the world’s leader.

I say fess up to German Chancellor Angela Merkel to reduce her steam. She could even like us.


Santa Rosa

The boy and the cross

EDITOR: Can any landowner put up a sign 127 feet tall and 67 feet wide on their grassy clearing (“The boy and the cross on the hill,” Thursday)?

Aren’t there county laws against this?

Maybe surrounding landowners should use that much space to advertise their belief systems or for profit. Maybe a white racist landowner could put up a swastika. How about a pink triangle? Perhaps local landowners could lease rights to this valuable real estate as huge billboards made of stone to corporations.

I see the cross as an eyesore and suggest its removal. The cross represents the instrument of torture and death that killed Christ. I believe it might be illegal. Maybe a crescent moon or a Star of David on the next clearing would be nice. There are many vets who are not Christian. I’m not proud of dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Maybe a nice mushroom cloud design would be appropriate, speaking of instruments of torture and death.

If Cameron Whiteside wants to do something of value for our community, he could always volunteer for the Sonoma County Land Trust and help build paths so the citizens of Sonoma County could actually get out and enjoy the land.


Santa Rosa

Saving lives

EDITOR: Monday’s letter suggesting car alarms to prevent infant deaths in cars is a good one (“Preventing tragedies”). Better yet would be a beep that would sound when the driver door is open and the infant is buckled into the car seat — similar to but distinct from the beep when the engine is started and the driver’s seatbelt is not fastened.

I’m not sure how this would work technically, as the car seat is an add-on and not part of the original car’s equipment. Waiting for a high temperature and movement might be too late, and the driver might not be nearby.

Since it would take a long time for all cars to have such a warning system, in the meantime we should require all day care centers and regular babysitters to maintain current contact information for all adults in the infant’s household. They could be required to contact the parents or others if the child is not brought in when expected.

Most accidents when an infant or young child is left in a car occur when there is a change in the normal daily routine, so a phone call could save the child’s life.


Santa Rosa