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Bodega Bay housing

EDITOR: Staff Writer Mary Callahan’s article about Harbor View in Bodega Bay highlighted the developer’s view (“Long-stalled project begins with scrutiny, May 3). The statement that any population increase “will depend on whether most or all of the homes are used for primary residences” was, however, on point.

Bodega Bay lacks affordable housing. There are ever-more vacation rentals in town, removing permanent rental housing from the market. The 14 apartments in Harbor View won’t remain affordable forever. They can become condos or market-rate rentals.

How do 70 expensive (likely) second homes sustain our local school, allow our kids to stay here and raise a family, provide alternatives to our workers who support local businesses and must drive in every day, let alone sustain our community character?

As for “not a lot of noise” in town about the development, if your business depends on tourists, is dependent on taxes to operate or is real estate, you aren’t likely to feel any concern.

Cluelessness, “I’ve got mine,” heads in sand — that got us to today.

What happens when this development is built out, resulting in the continued conversion of our coastal community into an enclave affordable to a few or to those who pop in for the weekend?

NORMA JELLISON

Bodega Bay

An utter failure

EDITOR: The first two weeks after inauguration brought a daily laugh. The next two months were more disgusting each day. Since then, the daily screw-ups have become downright dangerous. If Donald Trump had been elected as a Democrat, he would already be impeached. However, with Republicans in control of Congress, we hear not a word.

Now comes the topper, an obvious case of treason by our president (“Trump shared intel with Russians,” Tuesday). The GOP is silent, while our country is headed to disaster with a president who knows nothing about history or politics, refuses to separate his business from his high office and willfully lies his way through each day (and night).

And with all this, I still have a few friends who I had thought to be somewhat intelligent who still cannot make themselves admit his utter failure. To quote Trump, sad!

WALLY SCHILPP

Santa Rosa

Rent control’s value

EDITOR: We are living in a world of artificial dichotomies. Rent control would stabilize the financial condition of people who need help now. We also need housing. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Rent stabilization now, as secured by voting yes on Measure C, would help the homeless and seniors and families and children.

All of us should laud the many developers and community leaders working to build the housing we need. In the meantime, voting yes on C would provide the needed stability and predictability in the financial lives of the most vulnerable among us. So let us praise the City Council and city leaders and developers who are busily working on finding ways to get more housing for everyone.

I hope people understand that it’s a false dichotomy to pit one against the other. I hope people will vote yes on Measure C.

GERRY LA LONDE-BERG

Santa Rosa

Lying and politics

EDITOR: A free society must function on trust. Religion attempts to build trust and trustworthiness. But with today’s lying to gain advantage, integrity is suffering. “The great masses of people … will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one,” Adolf Hitler. Some lying is necessary, e.g. to lead a lethal adversary astray or to comfort a dying patient in denial. All groups hold political and sometimes religious beliefs that help us cope with the harsh realities of life but may be untrue.

Sissela Bok writes in her book, “Lying,” “Trust and integrity are precious resources, easily squandered, hard to regain. They can thrive only on a foundation of respect for veracity.”

Fact-checkers monitoring the debates found one candidate lied about every 50 seconds, the other about 13 times altogether. Bok says that “self-defensive lies can permeate all one does, so that life turns into living a lie.”

She continues, “To win an election, to increase one’s income, to outsell competitors — such motives impel many to participate in forms of duplicity.” Integrity must win.

DON SCULLY

Sebastopol

Seeking balance

EDITOR: In support of Measure C, Chris Wenmoth (“Relief for some,” Letters, Friday) asked: “If there were a cure for cancer that only worked on 20 percent of the people, should we refuse to allow its use, as it would be unfair to the other 80 percent?” This would be a great point, if it weren’t an inaccurate metaphor.

The question should read: “If there were a treatment for cancer that reduced the symptoms for 20 percent of the people, should we refuse to allow its use if it made the cancer worse for the other 80 percent?” The Food and Drug Administration would never allow that treatment.

Rent increases are a symptom. Lack of supply is the disease. Rather than treat the symptoms, eradicate the disease, which provides relief for all.

Instead of 10 applicants bidding for one apartment, what happens when 10 apartments compete to attract one tenant?

Houston has built so many apartments that some landlords are offering up to eight months of free rent with a two-year lease. I don’t suggest that we should be like Houston, but there are lessons to be learned from the observation of pendulums that have swung too far in either direction. We should seek a balance, not a Band-Aid.

BRIAN BURKE

Santa Rosa

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