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Sunday’s Letters to the Editor

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Water security

EDITOR: I worry about the fact that we don’t often discuss long-term water security. Our conversations regarding freshwater tend to revolve around how much we have available to us right now and don’t take into consideration important facts about our changing climate.

California has experienced drought in seven of the past 10 years. Despite the fact that we received a ton of rain this season, we are still in the midst of a period of warm, dry weather. Of course, fluctuating weather patterns are normal and drought is nothing new.

However, our problem is that these normal weather patterns are being exacerbated by human-induced climate change. Rising temperatures are causing extreme and unusual weather events, more of which we are likely to see. Increases in prolonged droughts and heat waves will greatly impact our access to freshwater.

In order to survive this, we need to adapt. We need to talk about the uncertainty of our future water supply and be more sustainable in how we use this resource. Only then might we be able to make it through the long periods of drought and heat that could continue to come our way.

ELLEN HENSEL

Petaluma

Time for censure

EDITOR: President Donald Trump continues to make unsubstantiated claims of conspiracies, wire taps and alternative facts. He has pronounced his disrespect for members of the other branches of government and the news media (often referred to as the fourth estate).

In addition, he has tarnished the office of the presidency with disparaging remarks about the leaders of our foreign allies, most recently German Chancellor Angela Merkel. All the while he continues to praise the virtues of the ruthless and untrustworthy Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In 1954, the U.S. Senate censured Sen. Joseph McCarthy for actions similar to those of Donald Trump. Like McCarthy, he deflects the charges against him by describing his accusers as political witch-hunters. Even members of his party and his supporters have to be shaking their heads wondering what measures can be taken to curtail the destructive behavior of this egocentric prevaricator.

Before he does something more devastating, the Senate ought to initiate proceedings to censure Trump. Interestingly, the only president censured previously was a Trump favorite, Andrew Jackson.

WAYNE SEDEN

Santa Rosa

Money and politics

EDITOR: I just heard a Senate member questioning President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick about $7 million spent to block Barack Obama’s choice and $10 million spent to promote Trump’s choice. The sources of money are unknown. Neil Gorsuch said he doesn’t know who is spending this money or why. He says he “isn’t worried about it” and “it is what it is.”

This is outrageous. I see this story as the No. 1 issue facing our nation. Big money is polluting our Congress and courts, then mostly ends up in the establishment media’s bank accounts.

I want to know: Who is spending this money, whose bank accounts benefited, and why?

WILLIAM SELF

Redwood Valley

For rent control

EDITOR: I hope those of us who actually live here will support our working class, our families and our elderly who cannot afford to have their rents hiked every year or to be evicted so that the landlord can up the rent (“Landlords build $390,000 war chest,” Monday).

To own a property that supplements one’s income through rentals is already a privilege. I hope that, as a community, we are tiring of the privileged few who, for the most part, seem to lack the compassion necessary to keep a balanced population. I know there are exceptions, and this complaint isn’t for them.

Why should our teachers have to commute one hour or more because they cannot find affordable housing on their salaries? This is also true for many folks who only make minimum wage.

Our government is being ruled by business interests and not in the interest of we the people of all income levels. Money is not the only measuring stick for decisions. What happened to our hearts? Please vote yes on Measure C, the Santa Rosa rent control ordinance.

CORLENE VAN SLUIZER

Santa Rosa

News blackout

EDITOR: I probably should realize the answer to my own question here. Why has the news media (including your paper) blacked out coverage of the Maryland high school rape case? Two illegal immigrants dragged a 14-year-old girl into a bathroom and brutally raped her. Afterward, Maryland legislators voted to be a sanctuary state. Would bias against anything negative against illegal immigrants have anything to do with it? All the news that is fit to advance your agenda, huh?

JERRY CAINE

Santa Rosa

A tax on grapes

EDITOR: The approval of Measure A, taxing marijuana at the source, got me thinking.

We would agree that many local roads are in a poor state of repair and the money to fix them hasn’t been available for a multitude of reasons. I propose that a new tariff be created where commercial grape growers in Sonoma County pay a small fee, perhaps $1 to $3 a year per plant.

This a modest amount that might generate the needed funds for road repair. The money could be put into a special marked fund, not subject to being moved into the general fund. If it works for marijuana, why not for grapes?

Yes, the grape growers pay taxes, and having to pay an additional fee would lead to something else, such as a decrease in workers’ wages. My opinion is that many of the large commercial growers are very wealthy and would pass the costs on to consumers in and beyond Sonoma County.

VAUGHAN WHALEN

Sebastopol