Open the curtain
EDITOR: Is Santa Rosa a town you would like to visit, or is it forgettable? What happens to towns with no culture, no center? We fly over them, drive through them as quickly as possible, we let sprawl low-density subdivisions where manufactured culture is watched privately.
Bring on Courthouse Square’s reunification (“Talking in circles on a square,” Sunday). In cities such as Essex, England there is a commitment to introduce the public realm, to challenge the “net curtain” — life lived privately, cities locked up after 10 p.m. mentality — and inject the public realm with signs of movement and life.
We can project our local culture, from art student’s images to the Green Center and Wells Fargo Center’s live performances, even show the many good deeds of our police on a beautiful sheet of soothing water.
Water is precious, but look at Rome, Vienna and Paris. Water has a timeless way of uniting, calming citizens into meaningful conversations. I say less smog for a little water, this is what makes a high quality public realm. Shopping, not just driving though as quickly as possible, makes a place vibrant. I would rather have a traffic jam coming to Santa Rosa than leaving it.
WARREN J. HEDGPETH
EDITOR: One of my progressive neighbors told me she favored closing the Drake’s Bay oyster operation because, “I just don’t like the idea of a private business in a national park.” A conservative friend told me, “This is just another example of big government being anti-business.” Both started with their political bias, then drummed up reasons to back it up. Sloppy thinking.
Without going into the ridiculous idea that a park, with its ranches, trails, parking lots, camp sites and lots of people, can be magically converted into wilderness by the stroke of a pen, here are some questions that should be asked:
How would removing the oyster beds improve the quality of a park visitor’s experience?
Are the oysters damaging the ecology of the estuary?
What are the positive and negative effects of the oyster operation on the economy?
As a long-time environmentalist, I am glad the Point Reyes peninsula is a national park instead of another Malibu, but can’t we just consider the facts related to this particular oyster operation in this particular place, and not start with political bias? Can’t we at least make objectivity a goal?
EDITOR: A panel of judges found the phrase in the Affordable Care Act that says “subsidies (are) available only on exchanges established by states” to be ambiguous and subject to interpretation (“Conflicting rulings raise questions on health law,” July 23). This conclusion reminded me of an event that occurred years ago when Bill Clinton found the definition of the word “is” to be ambiguous.
EDITOR: When Daniel Zamora’s tractor-trailer failed, the logs snapped off and fell onto a car (“Close call for family in care,” Thursday). He said, “There was nothing I could have done. I guess you could say it was lucky. Here’s my problem with that: