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An unsolvable problem?

EDITOR: Dan Vrooman (“A just peace,” Letters, Friday”) suggests that the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one state. He’s dreaming.

Trying to describe the history of the conflict in a letter is impossible. Furthermore, there is certainly enough blame to go around. Interested readers should research it for themselves before believing protagonists.

I believe that, from Israel’s point of view, they don’t believe they will obtain security with the Palestinians as negotiating partners. This is an existential issue. For example, at the Camp David Summit of 2000, the Palestinians were offered the Gaza Strip, a capital in East Jerusalem, 73 percent of the West Bank, increasing to 90-94 percent after 10-15 years and financial reparations. Yasser Arafat turned it down, without a counteroffer. There have been other such developments before and since, including the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, with the forced evacuation of Jewish settlements.

Hamas has consistently denied the right of the Jewish state of Israel to exist.

Under these circumstances, and in the face of repeated military attacks from both sides, how would a one-state solution work? One simply has to look at other countries with divided ethnicities for examples. Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt come to mind.

Perhaps this conflict, and the greater Middle East problem, offers no reasonable solution.



Immigration and housing

EDITOR: The Press Democrat continues to beat the drum for more development, which is great for investors and contractors but not so great for traffic and the environment. Here are a couple of inconvenient truths:

There are 3,500-4,000 illegal immigrants in Sonoma County. There are slightly more than 3,000 homeless people in the county. Do I have to connect the dots?

Evidently, because every homeless person represents pent-up demand for housing that the banks and developers would be only too happy to meet, although we might have to tax ourselves to subsidize them.



Larkfield water rates

EDITOR: California American Water Company has filed rate case A.16-07-002 seeking an increase in Larkfield District water rates of 12.44 percent for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020. While more modest than most recent requests, it still far exceeds that of the Consumer Price Index.

One of the main drivers of the request is reduction in water consumption in the Larkfield District. Larkfield residents have, in fact, done a magnificent job of water conservation.

Since 2009, ratepayers have paid for the water that they did not use due to conservation and all other causes through the Water Revenue Adjustment Mechanism surcharges on their water bills. If an increase due to reduction in consumption is granted, then the surcharges should be terminated to avoid double payment.

The California Public Utilities Commission has scheduled a public participation hearing at 6 p.m. today at the Mark West School multipurpose room.

This will be the only meeting concerning this rate case to be held in Larkfield. All other meetings will be held in the Public Utilities Commission offices in San Francisco. This meeting will be your best opportunity to state your views.


Santa Rosa

Fundamental values

EDITOR: Each Jan. 22, according to a merciful providence, we are reminded that in legalizing abortion on demand, we have grievously violated the God-given human rights of our pre-born fellow Americans, thus betraying our most fundamental values.

And we know it. Common sense, supported by solid science, testifies that from the moment of conception a true, genetically unique human being has come among us. In Roe v. Wade, Justice Harry Blackmun tried to deny their personhood and so their protection under the 14th Amendment.

This was neither reasonable nor right. Is a born human being less a person if she is smaller than her neighbor, or less fully developed, or living in the mountains instead of the city, or more dependent on parents or doctors than the girl next door? Surely not. How then can we say our pre-born neighbor is less a person simply because she is smaller or less developed or living in a different environment or depending on mom’s womb for life and nurture?

Yes, under Roe, 55 million American persons have unlawfully perished. It is a miracle of divine mercy we are still here to contemplate it. May 2017 be the year when we awaken to what we have done.


Santa Rosa

Local prison terms

EDITOR: Why is it that local prison terms for non-violent offenders aren’t included in Proposition 57, which offers a chance at early release for participating in education or rehabilitative programs?

A local prison term doesn’t include any of the benefits of state prison. With a sentence of five years in local prison, I find myself mixed up in the absurdity of the Mendocino County Superior Court and the local correction system.

I, along with my co-inmates with similar sentences at the county jail, don’t qualify for the perks that state inmates receive. Some of these programs and services include eligibility for home monitoring, better living conditions, work opportunities, legal services and programs that aid inmates in stating their lives over and becoming productive members of society.

Being incarcerated in the Mendocino County Jail, I can attest to the fact that none of these benefits are offered. I believe that the Mendocino County Jail simply views inmates serving local prison sentences as “meal tickets” to increase their bottom lines. So do violent crime convictions equal better sentences in Mendocino County?


Mendocino County Jail


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