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Fundamental rights

EDITOR: As a property management company owner, I always encourage fair treatment of our residents. It is unfortunate that rental property owners and managers have been run through the mud for a problem that should be addressed by policymakers and builders by incentivizing new housing construction and increasing the supply of housing.

While I’ve read about a few bad apples over the years, the vast majority of us are fair, local and, in most cases, below market on rents.

Some have vilified those opposed to Measure C because of participation by out-of-town special interests, such as the California Association of Realtors. However, the funding comes from dues paid by local real estate professionals who care deeply about Santa Rosa.

Measure C seeks to penalize a small group of property owners while attempting to help a very small group of residents who will receive benefits whether they need them or not. There is no means testing to determine if a resident makes $25,000 or $250,000 each year.

Measure C takes away fundamental property rights from property owners such as myself, and, as a fair, honest and compassionate landlord and resident of this city, I’m voting no on Measure C.

JOCK McNEILL

Alliance Property Management

Pot and driving

EDITOR: The Governors Highway Safety Association report cited in your May 5 editorial (“The new DUI: Driving after smoking pot”) alleging that drugged driving related fatal accidents have surpassed drunken driving accidents has been publicly denounced by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. This is because the study’s authors acknowledge that it is unknown whether drivers identified as “drug positive” were impaired at the time of a crash or were responsible for an accident. Other studies have found that once adjusted for drivers’ age, gender and the concomitant use of alcohol or other drugs, marijuana use has little to no association with driving fatalities.

Of course, no one is suggesting that marijuana has no influence on driving, or that people should drive while impaired.

The UC Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research has been provided state funding to conduct rigorous scientific studies on marijuana use and driving performance and more monies will be made available via tax revenue derived from Proposition 64’s licensed marijuana businesses. AB 6 seeks to convene an expert panel to study, among other things, impairment testing options that NORML contends would do a better job of taking impaired drivers off the road than do chemical tests.

ELLEN KOMP

Deputy director, California NORML

New rent research

EDITOR: Peter Simon (“Measure C and denial,” Letters, Friday) must not be familiar with the concept of “second generation” rent stabilization programs. The “intellectual research” he talks about refers to the overblown horror stories from the worst outcomes of World War II rent control policies. He needs to come into the 21st century and consider the opinions of Mary King, a professor of economics emerita at Portland State University, who says that “over 200 cities in the U.S. are successfully relying on newer forms of rent stabilization to slow sky rocketing rental prices or Richard Arnott, a professor of economics at UC Riverside who says that “many of the claimed (negative) effects of second-generation controls are imperceptible.”

The appropriate comparison to be made is between climate change deniers and those opposed to Measure C. Both groups are more concerned about money and profit than what is best for people and the planet. Vote yes on Measure C.

KEVIN CONWAY

Santa Rosa

Gold’s leadership

EDITOR: In 1991, I moved to Healdsburg and took an immediate interest in our adopted town where growth was already an issue. Coming from Southern California, I had seen cities gobble up open space, so I knew what would happen if no growth limits were established. I met Leah Gold, and a local group was formed to figure out how to save the open space that separated Healdsburg from nearby towns and leave room for agriculture. Under Gold’s leadership, we successfully passed an urban growth boundary measure to protect agricultural land and promote city-centered growth. Following Healdsburg’s example, other cities adopted measures to curb urban growth throughout Sonoma County.

After her election to the Healdsburg City Council, Gold led the effort to establish and expand the Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve, which so many of us enjoy today.

After working with Gold and witnessing her leadership on the Healdsburg City Council, I wholeheartedly endorse her candidacy again. Now more than ever, we need her skills and experience. Let’s elect Leah Gold to the Healdsburg City Council on June 6.

ELISABETH HAWTHORNE

Healdsburg

The Trump ordeal

EDITOR: Eugene Robinson had it exactly right in his Wednesday column (“First repeal and replace, then single-payer”), when he said, “The country will ultimately be much better off …” which I think sums up this ordeal of the Trump presidency.

Europe has moved back from the precipice of fascism. Democrats are beginning to realize the importance of the principles for which they stand. The American people have turned a corner in their attitudes toward health care as a right instead of an entitlement. It seems more and more that we, as a nation, had to suffer this embarrassment and exercise in bad governance in order to achieve a more perfect society.

So let’s just chill and think of this not as a torturous assault on freedom and democracy but as a kind of national enema, painful but necessary.

PETER BARMUS

The Sea Ranch

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