Open space spending
EDITOR: Since 1990, the Sonoma County Agriculture Preservation and Open Space District has spent $303 million from sales taxes for 111,000 acres of land, or 10 percent of Sonoma County (“County plans future of its open space,” March 7). Some of that is or will be parks to which the public might have access, even poor people. That’s nice since sales taxes are disproportionately paid by the poor with a higher percentage of their income going to buy things, especially locally.
Supervisor Shirlee Zane says we have a higher quality of life when we have open spaces, and I believe that is true. However, other things also contribute to improved quality of life, and some even more so than open space. How about being able to drive to work or to shop or to the hospital or even to a park on roads that don’t destroy your car?
How much road and other infrastructure maintenance could $303 million have supported in the past 27 years? Even $1 million was a lot of money back then. Here’s an idea that has apparently escaped those making decisions for us: let’s take care of what we have before buying more.
EDITOR: We’re hearing a lot now about alternate facts. Alternate facts must be lies, right? No. For example, it is a generally accepted fact that if Planned Parenthood were denied government funding many women would be deprived of basic health care. Nonsense.
Here are the real facts. Planned Parenthood facilities constitute less than 5 percent of the public, nonprofit health clinics in the United States. Yes, for every Planned Parenthood office there are 20 other nonprofit, public health care clinics. A quick count revealed dozens within a 25-mile radius of Santa Rosa — names and addresses on request.
These offer, on financial terms similar to those of Planned Parenthood, truly comprehensive health care. They do pap smears; they screen for and treat sexually transmitted diseases; they do mammograms, which Planned Parenthood does not; they provide prenatal care, which only a handful of Planned Parenthood affiliates do. Yes, they even provide contraceptives. The only thing they don’t do is kill unborn babies.
If Planned Parenthood is defunded and those funds are diverted to these other existing clinics, there is no reasonable doubt that they will pick up the slack. Women will not be deprived of any medical procedure other than abortion on demand.
A colonial history
EDITOR: A recent letter had the premise that our nation was founded on immigration and religious freedom (“A nation of immigrants,” Feb. 2). This is hardly the case.
Our country was initially found by colonists from England. Colonial companies were organized and chartered by the crown to identify and encourage English resident citizens to relocate and settle the new land in North America in competition with France and Spain. Also, England needed raw material to satisfy the rise of industrialism and foreign trade.
An immigrant is one who comes to an established country of which the individual isn’t native.
The initial founding of our country was accomplished by English colonists for the aforementioned reasons. The religious component emerged after the colonial founding, settlement and American Revolution in the bill of Rights included in our Constitution.