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Too much housing

EDITOR: With traffic already backed up horribly on our over-crowded (and potholed) streets, please let Supervisor Shirlee Zane and Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey know that not all of Santa Rosa is looking forward to another 5,000 housing units (which would mean another 7,000 to 10,000 cars) being built in our city (“Priced out of the market,” Dec. 29).

MARTI SWAB

Santa Rosa

A fraud on democracy

EDITOR: The Electoral College is neither. What a fraudulent misnomer for a first-rate democracy like the United States. This archaic impediment or, as some say, obstacle to one person, one vote has nothing to do with a college or any learned institution.

Many of us now realize why our civics teachers in high school glossed over this topic of the Electoral College. They too probably didn’t quite understand all of its shadings. You can only ask around to see how many others who were educated in American high schools really understood this outdated, rigged contraption or even how the Electoral College functions.

It’s about time we consider scrapping altogether this relic from the past so that we can boast once again of having a first-rate and fully transparent democracy by directly electing the most important position in the country, the president.

MICHAEL A. FIUMARA

Santa Rosa

Clemency for Peltier

EDITOR: I sent a message to President Barack Obama supporting executive clemency for Leonard Peltier, who is imprisoned as a consequence of a 1975 gunfight on the Pine Ridge, South Dakota reservation. Two FBI agents and an American Indian man died. I mentioned that the treatment of Peltier could be considered far more restrictive than the treatment of Geronimo and Sitting Bull following their resistance to the U.S. government.

Although considered a prisoner of war following extended fighting against U.S. forces, Geronimo participated in expositions in Omaha, Buffalo and St. Louis, and he rode a horse in the inaugural parade of President Teddy Roosevelt.

In the years following the destruction of George Custer’s troops at Little Big Horn in 1876, Sitting Bull, after surrendering, worked in Wild West shows with Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley, and he lived with family at Standing Rock, although he was subsequently killed there by police.

I should have mentioned Chief Joseph. Casualty lists from the 1877 Nez Perce war name more than 110 U.S. Army soldiers killed in action. In later years, Chief Joseph lived in exile with his people on the Colville, Washington reservation and met with U.S. presidents in Washington, D.C.

KERRY RICHARDSON

Santa Rosa

Election fallout

EDITOR: I’m a known Republican. Yet, without a word from me addressing the election, I was yelled at and dumped by a friend going back to more than 30 years ago. Then, again with no political mention from me, another politically motivated friend uninvited me to a birthday party I’d been told to calendar 11 months ago.

Now President Barack Obama cuts off all Russian dealings in his fury that Russia supposedly unveiled some dirty Hillary Clinton and Democratic Party secrets — all of which should have been known to us at the least and were illegal at the worst.

This angry scapegoating reminds me of Clinton’s allegation that the Monica Lewinsky debacle was a “vast right-wing conspiracy” and that Paula Jones was merely trailer trash. As Rodney King said over a generation ago, “Can’t we all just get along?”

ALICE COMBS

Gualala

Barns for the homeless

EDITOR: It’s been a few years and nobody seems to figure out that homeless people cannot afford low-cost housing. The small houses that people are talking about and where to put them is just a dream.

Why not use the Sonoma County Fairgrounds horse barns? There are approximately 440 stalls, approximately 10-feet by 12-feet or larger, sitting empty most of the time. When it rains and it’s cold outside, open sections of them up to the homeless. The county or city could place portable toilets and a dumpster nearby. Have a person designated to monitor the situation and help the homeless keep it clean.

Get them off our county and city walking trails, public streets and underpasses. A lot of people will say “not in my backyard.” They are there now.

Most of the homeless people you see now are singles and have no place to go. We have to start somewhere now. Do a test run at the fairgrounds and see how it works. So what if the fair people don’t like it? It’s government property, paid for by us.

GARY GWIN

Sebastopol

What to expect

EDITOR: President-elect Donald Trump won roughly 63 million votes out of 146 million registered voters. That means that 83 million, for whatever reason, didn’t vote for him. With control of both houses of Congress, and an obvious plan to undo much of the past several decades of progressive legislation, can we expect any attention to the needs and wants of that 83 million?

I might also ask how much attention will be given to more than 500,000 homeless; 46.5 million living at or below poverty level; 29 million uninsured and more than $1 trillion in student debt? It will be interesting to see if any make Trump’s to-do list.

I have a feeling that the fat cats at the top will see lots of deregulation and tax cuts and as much undoing of President Barack Obama’s efforts as possible.

RICHARD SANSOM

Sebastopol

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