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Pot and wildfires

EDITOR: I’ve heard stories of environmental catastrophes that Californians should care about — the rain forest, killing animals for tusks, protests over fur coats, Berkeley’s tree-sitters, the wetlands in Willits. Yet right in front of Californians’ blind eyes and non-hearing ears, the destruction of wilderness/wildlife is happening with no protests in front of the courthouse, no rallies, no protests, no outrage. I’m talking about illegal pot grows.

A fire caused by an illegal grow destroyed Shasta’s wilderness, killed animals and a human being. Illegal grows are stealing water when there is not enough for the animals, fish or trees. Why are Californians, with their apathy, saying that growing a weed is more important than our pristine wilderness?

People brag on TV and in the papers about the money and providing medicine (which a person could grow on their own) and collectively selling to the rest of the world. Yet no one speaks out of the price, of the loss of 12,000 acres in Shasta.

I am a Californian, and I care. Write to Gov. Jerry Brown, write to the president, and act to end illegal grows in our woods. Use state and federal money to protect the precious California wilderness.

CATHERINE LAIR

Ukiah

Replica weapons

EDITOR: No one is calling for a ban on the orange tips for replica weapons. That’s because we are united in knowing that the placement of the orange tips is a good idea.

What some people can’t seem to remember is why it’s a good idea. It’s a good idea because everyone needs to know that the ersatz weapon is not what it seems to be — a very deadly weapon.

By removing the orange tip, everyone except the person holding the apparently deadly weapon is tricked. What some people can’t seem to grasp is that if a police officer is tricked into thinking that a very deadly weapon is being carried by anyone capable of pulling the trigger, then the officer is duty-bound to neutralize the situation. Anyone who carries a replica with the orange tip removed is inviting the scrutiny and actions of law enforcement officers.

I am glad and thankful that we have good people who, in this age of mass shootings at schools, are willing to place their lives on the line for the protection of all.

Maybe what’s needed is a ban on replica weapons, instead of protesting the outcome of irresponsible trickery.

JOE AQUILA

Sebastopol

Fighting big government

EDITOR: Kudos to the people who are trying to save the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. (“New suit aims to save oyster farm,” Saturday). We will all suffer if big government manages to close down a legitimate business that has existed for many years. I am sending a small donation — hopefully others will join in some way to support these people — our neighbors in their heroic effort to fight back against environmentalists. Shouldn’t they be on this side?

ALICIA BRUNICAARDI

Forestville

Standing up to Putin

EDITOR: The horrible missile attack on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 calls for a stronger U.S. response than President Barack Obama has made to date. It’s apparent the weapon used, a Buk anti-aircraft missile launcher, originated in the Russian Federation. It’s even possible, although he has denied he did so, that it was ordered by President Vladimir Putin.

What is also unacceptable are the actions taken by the pro-Russian separatists at the crash site. They initially denied access to international observers, the press and personnel from the Netherlands who want to recover the remains of the loved ones killed in the crash.

Obama must do more than posturing and sanction imposing. He must make it clear the U.S. and the U.K. will not tolerate keeping up the hot Ukrainian war over the so-called “separatist cities” such as Donetsk against the legal Ukrainian government. Russia and its present imperialistic leader need to be stopped since the only thing he respects is force.

FRANK BAUMGARDNER

Santa Rosa

Bishop’s letter

EDITOR: Bishop Robert Vasa sent a letter to parishioners explaining the Catholic Church’s latest molestation settlement. This was obviously done in hopes of encouraging people to still donate to capital campaigns in the diocese.

He wrote: “Many think the church or I as bishop has the ability to definitively root out every hint of this type of perversity. This however is a task beyond any human power. We will only accomplish this through prayer and works of penance such as fasting and giving of alms to the poor. In short, it will only happen through each of us working first for the conversion of our own hearts and then for the wider renewal of the church. When through conversion every heart has redoubled its resolve to avoid every occasion of sin, that is the day we need no longer worry about another of these terrible horror stories happening.”

Say what?

Vasa, in a transparent attempt to dodge responsibility, pretends there’s no church hierarchy. That’s convenient now, but how come he speaks with the authority of the apostles when it’s time to tell lay Catholics how we must live? Sorry, the diocesan capital campaign will not receive a cent from me. I will continue to donate only to my parish.

LAURA GONZALEZ

Santa Rosa

Editorial ‘stinks’

EDITOR: Wednesday’s editorial stinks (“Decision isn’t final word on Obamacare”). Don’t you know what happened? Try this paraphrased excerpt from the Wall Street Journal: President Barack Obama treats laws as unlimited grants of power to his administration. The irony is that on Tuesday the nation’s second highest court ruled that ObamaCare is defined by what Congress enacted, not how his administration has rewritten it.

PAUL GEIGER

Sebastopol