Oyster farm closure

EDITOR: Many of us in west Marin are thankful Drakes Bay Oyster Co. has closed its retail operation and cannery on Drake’s Estero in Point Reyes National Seashore. It’s an important step toward bringing this divisive matter to a close. Yet the company apparently remains determined to thwart the intent of a 1976 act of Congress establishing a West Coast marine wilderness in Drakes Estero.

In 2005, Drakes Bay Oyster Co. purchased the last seven years of the oyster operation’s 40-year lease, fully aware that the National Park Service didn’t intend to extend it upon expiration. After exhaustive review by several agencies, the Interior secretary declined to extend the lease and several federal courts — including the U.S. Supreme Court — have rejected the company’s legal claims.

It is past time for the company to fulfill its obligations to the seashore, the environment and its own workers. The company has not been mistreated by the seashore, and it has had the benefit of the bargain it made.

Even so, Bay Area conservationists need to remain vigilant against further attempts to undermine the Wilderness Act and open public lands for private commercial exploitation.



Always looking

EDITOR: Doris Laul’s letter (“Dangerous turn,” Thursday) struck a chord with me. I am an avid cyclist, riding more than 100 miles weekly. Not a ride goes by that I don’t see some driver making an inconsiderate if not stupid move that could result in injuries or death to an unsuspecting rider. Southbound Stony Point Road at the eastbound Highway 12 exit is by far the worst location for right-of-way offenders. My guess is that if a cyclist were to get hit at this intersection, the offender would flee the scene.

I find it ironic that Sonoma County and Santa Rosa in particular tout this area as being very bicycle friendly. I beg to differ. I see so many scofflaws who put others at risk that I’ve taken the step of mounting a GoPro camera on my helmet, and I’m considering using two — forward- and rear-facing.

I’m going to collect video clips and put them all together for my million dollar YouTube video. It should only take a few days to have plenty of footage.


Santa Rosa

A case of colonialism?

EDITOR: Bruce Falstein’s comparison of Canada to the Palestinian problem was not quite accurate (“Ending the blockade,” Letters, Monday). A more apt comparison would be if an increasing number of Europeans, fleeing political and religious intolerance, came here and pushed those already here into restricted areas of less desirable land, denying them access to their tradition food supplies, medical care and other essential services.

Oh, wait. This is starting sound familiar.


Santa Rosa

Artistic photos

EDITOR: We read The Press Democrat daily; just part of the morning routine here. Recently I was starting with Empire News, and it was folded, as it comes. Even viewing only the top half of the image on the central article (“Ah, cool relief,” July 26), I could tell that it was another bell-ringer. The only thing I couldn’t know with the half-image of the folded paper was whether this was the work of John Burgess or Kent Porter. It doesn’t seem to matter — these guys are two of the most accomplished, artistic photojournalists in the business, and their photos are always a delight to see.

I read the story, but my eye keeps returning to the impressive images. Their images usually tell an entire story of their own. That day it was Burgess’ exceptional work of photojournalist art: water, beautiful as never imagined, cool and refreshing on a hot day. The next day, another fantastic photo on the front of the Towns section.

We always look forward to seeing their images that tell the rest of the story — impressive imaging art, with the news.



Haven of knowledge

EDITOR: My childhood was spent in the region of Sebastopol. The local library was a haven of knowledge and well-being for myself and for the entire community. It is incredible to imagine an existential threat to this vital and traditional element of any stable and enlightened society. All measures to curtail and to displace community public libraries arise from a dangerous cynicism in relation to society itself. I applaud and support all those who work toward the present and future security of public libraries.


Koenigsdorf, Germany

Taxes always rising

EDITOR: Just once I’d like to see a tax resolution that lowered taxes. Even Proposition 13 only limited the raising of property taxes. Which is, of course, a wealth tax. Income taxes are lowered from time to time in D.C. But progressive income taxes were promoted by Karl Marx as one of his main tenets of the communist state.

My point is that taxes are theft. I’d like just once to see a ballot initiative that limited the robbery. But, of course, I’m dreaming as most tax initiatives come from the state, and it wants all the money it can grab.

Which brings me to my next point. How much money can the state grab from the workers? Some say it is 70 percent. Workers will put up with 70 percent of their hard-earned labor stolen by the state, but after that the guillotines come out.

The U.S. government is close to taxing us at 70 percent if you count all the taxes, and there are hundreds. Regulations and inflation are taxation as well.

One day the pig will squeal and not give up the bacon without a protest.