Weapons of war

EDITOR: Whose brilliant idea was it to give vehicles and weapons of war to police officers? We see armored vehicles with machine guns aimed at citizens of our country who are 1) paying the wages of these officers, and 2) exercising their constitutional rights of free speech and assembly. To all appearances, it seems that the police force of Ferguson, Mo., is at war with the very citizens that they are sworn to protect. Would that it were only in Ferguson, but no. The militarization of America’s police is here in Sonoma County too. We haven’t forgotten about you, Andy Lopez.


Santa Rosa

Sonoma aroma

EDITOR: The Sonoma aroma that is once again upon us is not an unavoidable consequence of living in the vicinity of dairy farms (“The stench in Wine Country? Farm country,” Thursday). Anaerobic digestion of dairy manure waste virtually eliminates emission of odoriferous compounds while creating bioenergy (as methane) in the process. At Strauss Family Creamery in Marin County, the company’s website says, anaerobic digestion creates “enough renewable energy to power the entire dairy, to charge Albert Strauss’ electric car and to feed some electricity back into the grid.”

A solution for us all to ponder during this stinky season.


Rohnert Park

Hidden gas tax

EDITOR: The California Air Resources Board is unconcerned about the fiscal impact of “fuels under the cap” on Californian’s pocketbooks. What’s worse is that the board doesn’t have the decency to let consumers know that, starting in January, they will be footing the bill for requiring oil refineries to pay carbon fees under the state’s cap-and-trade program.

Over-taxation and over regulation equals businesses leaving California. We have been watching it happen for years, and it is tragic. Lawmakers need to stop this madness. Politicians and unelected Bureaucrats who don’t understand that should all go back and do an Econ 101 class. I urge Gov. Jerry Brown to stop the Air Resources Board’s hidden gas tax and address climate change in a way that doesn’t hurt businesses and regular people who are already struggling to get by.

There’s no arguing the gas hike will impact everyone who has to purchase gas. I encourage all citizens who already feel the over-taxation and over-regulation in their lives to call their representatives and our governor and say no to “fuels under the cap.”


Santa Rosa

Invasion of privacy

EDITOR: I am among the throngs who are stunned and saddened by the death of Robin Williams. I was also appalled by the breach of privacy exhibited by the Marin County Coroner’s Office when Lt. Keith Boyd described in great detail what happened when Williams’ personal assistant opened his bedroom door (“Details emerge in Williams’ death,” Wednesday). Couldn’t Williams and his family been given some privilege and privacy about his decision to die?


Santa Rosa

Water supplies

EDITOR: I’m a high school senior, and I worry about things like college, prom and water. OK, water may not rank up there with prom, but I’m part of a generation that cares about the future. That future could mean another 80 years for me and those my age.

My dad tells me the water situation in Santa Cruz is so dire that they limit how much you can use a day. Is that the future of California? Will my kids have to shower on alternating days or play on dirt baseball and soccer fields?

It seems to me the best approach is to start looking for sources of water that don’t take significant infrastructure to move. I think that source is out there in every community, no matter how small because advanced water purification and direct potable reuse can be anywhere we are.

Orange County, San Diego and San Jose treat millions of gallons of wastewater a day to effectively pure levels. Why spend billions on tunnels when we could take that money and start building treatment plants in more communities? California needs more than a Band-Aid approach to this problem. Please think about the long term, my future, and keep water recycling including direct potable reuse and advanced water purification part of it.



Roads in disrepair

EDITOR: A fairly large pothole repair was made in front of my home on Burnside Road. As usual, the repair material was just thrown on and left for passing cars to tamp down. Large pieces of broken blacktop were pushed into the runoff ditch that the county spent money to clean out about a year ago. Because of the ditch, cars will never get close enough to the road edge to tamp down the patch, which will slowly disintegrate and wind up in the ditch. Obviously, there was no inspection. Obviously, the patch is designed to be replaced in a year to provide job security.

I called road maintenance and left a message and did not receive a return call. The same with Supervisor Efren Carrillo’s office. The sad fact is that no one cares. If they did, the county would spend more effort fixing each pothole so it would last longer than a year and thereby reduce the overall cost of maintenance.

Your tax dollars at work? Or being thrown away?



Green Windsor

EDITOR: Windsor has water. Just drive around town and see all the green lawns. The new green is brown.