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Welcome them back

EDITOR: Anyone with more than a 5th grade education knows that our forefathers treated the California natives like the Nazis treated the Jews. In some counties, during the 1800s, bounties were paid for Indian scalps. Dozens of culturally diverse tribes were force-marched to Round Valley, in remote Mendocino County — a virtual concentration camp.

Now members of the Lytton Band want to buy back a part of their ancestral homeland, while “not in my backyarders” disguise their racism with the shopworn saw of “environmental concerns.”

We are the ones who have trashed their environment and ethnically cleaned their culture from California.

We all should be celebrating the tribes’ success and graciously welcome them into our community. There is much healing and atonement to be done.

LELAND E. PARKER
Santa Rosa

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Circular problem overhead

EDITOR: It must be fair time. In one of the most environmentally progressive cities in the country, we are treated annually to a pollution-spewing plane endlessly circling the fairgrounds advertising a pollution-spewing car dealer, just like the good old days.

BRIAN BOLDT
Santa Rosa

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What about Cruz?

EDITOR: Remember the “birthers”? They were the thinly disguised racists who demanded Barack Obama’s birth certificate to prove that he was eligible to be president of the United States because the U.S. Constitution requires that the president be “natural born” — assumed to mean “born in the United States.”

The “birthers” created the myth that Obama was born in Kenya and, therefore, was ineligible to serve as president. In fact, Obama was born in Honolulu and clearly “natural born”.

It is now 2014 and virtually daily we are subjected to coverage of Ted Cruz, the Republican senator from Texas and his possible candidacy for president. Cruz was born in Canada to a U.S. citizen mother and Cuban citizen father; a fact that he has openly acknowledged. Cruz has renounced his Canadian citizenship, but that is irrelevant and does not change the fact of his birth outside of the United States.

So, where are the “birthers”? More important, where are the print media and television, and why are they not asking the obvious question: Given his birth in Canada, how can he be considered a candidate for president?

Why do the media — apparently unquestioningly — treat Cruz as eligible?

DEAN DIZIKES
Petaluma

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Drought and history

EDITOR: The Saturday edition of The Press Democrat addressed our worsening drought (“Forecast for El Nino drought relief fades”). This piece is very informative and should be read by everyone interested in the ongoing drought.

A New York Times article 20 years ago, writer William K. Stevens discussed California droughts, noting that the state has had numerous short dry periods, often spanning six years in duration. Two recent examples: the drought of 1928 to 1934, and more recently, the drought of 1987 to 1992.

Stevens cites the work of a California State University paleoclimatologist who used radiocarbon dating on trees growing during past drought periods. Two extreme drought periods stood out — from A.D. 892 to 1112 (spanning 220 years) and 1209 to 1350 (spanning 140 years). Both periods were far more extreme and longer than recent California droughts. Interestingly, they coincided with warmer climate in Europe.

What can we infer from this? Perhaps the 20th century was one of the wetter periods in California. Will our current California drought dissipate quickly or could it continue for much longer? We simply do not know the answer because the “dynamics of climate variability” are not fully understood.

The key point is this: The known climate history of California suggests we could be facing longer and even more severe drought periods in the future.

DONALD ESTREICH
Sebastopol

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Nixon, a victim of timing

EDITOR: In 1974, Richard Nixon told a national television audience that we were withdrawing from Vietnam. On that day, I loaded cannon for Vietnam. I told my Sergeant that Nixon is a lier. But after many years working for the government, I have seen many lies and cover-ups. Nixon just got caught in time change.

Before him, the press would look the other way so as not to discredit our government. Nixon didn’t do any worse than the presidents before him. What took down the “good ol’ boys” was a public mind change.

With the Internet today, it is impossible to hide the truth. Coverups back then were standard mode of those in authority, supposedly to protect the American people. National security were the words they used.

KEVIN PARSONS
Forestville

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Dangerous turn

EDITOR: This letter is addressed to the person who cut my daughter off on July 29 while she was riding her bicycle on Guerneville Road just before the railroad tracks where there is no bike lane. Because you felt your time and your life were more important, when you cut her off to make a right turn you caused her to fall off her bike. You also didn’t bother to stop to be sure she was OK. She was too dazed to get your license number. This letter also is addressed to those who drove by and couldn’t take one moment to render aid. Not that any of you care, but she has a bruised rib and some pretty nasty cuts and bruises.

I’m just grateful she wasn’t killed. Would you have stopped then?

DORIS LAUL
Petaluma