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A housing opportunity

EDITOR: I have procrastinated enough. I must add my voice to the discussion. The Chanate Road land is an amazing and rare opportunity for Santa Rosa to lead in providing affordable home ownership to our teachers, caretakers, social workers and adult sons and daughters returning from college or training schools ready to contribute to this community and start fiscally responsible lives.

Why not set aside 80 percent to 100 percent of the Chanate land for new housing committed to this cause? What could be the down side? The developers would definitely make a profit. Maybe it wouldn’t be a killing, but, really, do they need to make a killing off of our middle-class public servants and newly graduated children?

Build townhouses and condominiums with shared groundskeeping fees for, dare I suggest, $250,000-$300,000. Why not go in this direction? Santa Rosa would become a model destination for the best and brightest, if not the richest. Santa Rosa would shine in an otherwise dreary landscape of greed and what’s-in-it-for-me-ism.

JEAN SMITH

Santa Rosa

Health care costs

EDITOR: I’d like to help Archie Julian (“Single-payer plan,” Letters, June 7) understand the Healthy California Act (Senate Bill 562), currently winding its way through the state Legislature.

To quote his letter, “most working people don’t pay insurance premiums; their employers pay them.” According to Millman Medical Index, the average family of four spent $26,944 for health care in 2016. The employee paid $11,685 ($7,151 in payroll deductions and payroll deduction for premium and $4,534 in out-of-pocket costs), and the employer paid $15,259 (money that the employee doesn’t receive in salary).

An analysis by economists at the University of Massachusetts provides us with a mechanism for covering the $404 billion cost of SB 562: $225 billion could come from money already spent by government in California (Medicare, Medical, etc.), a sales tax of 2.3 percent to raise $14.7 billion and a tax of 2.3 percent ($92.6 billion) on gross receipts after the first $2 million (exempting most small businesses).

A conservative estimate for savings is $73 billion from decreased pharmaceutical and administrative costs and from increased efficiency (due to increased prevention services and reduction of unnecessary services). SB 562 offers comprehensive medical and dental benefits for all, with reduced costs for individuals and employers.

DR. NICHOLAS H. ANTON

Santa Rosa

Traffic fines

EDITOR: Let me see if I get this. Tyler Watson gets popped for drunken driving, then for driving on a suspended license (“Burdened by traffic fines,” Saturday). His fines may be reduced because he is low income, but he has enough money to buy booze. And now with no license, he may be driving with no insurance. Hey, if you can’t pay the fine, don’t do the crime.

MARTHA VILLANUEVA

Rohnert Park

Unconstitutional seizure

EDITOR: Confiscation without compensation. That is exactly what the state and counties are doing in the restricting usage or implementing metering of private wells (“New landscape on groundwater,” Sunday).

The last I looked at my deed, it said I own “all water mineral rights herein.” Now, under eminent domain, the state does have power to confiscate my water rights, but it better get that checkbook out.

I think that those affected should file suit in federal, not state court, to overturn this illegal program. The government cannot seize an asset without fair compensation.

I refer all to the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. No, not the part that gangsters and politicians are always inclined to invoke, but the last line of the amendment: “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Also, a court could determine that this new regulation violates Article 1 Section 10 in regards to prohibited ex post facto laws. The state is saying, in fact, that, yes, you did own unencumbered water rights, but we have decided, arbitrarily that, from here on, you don’t.

C.J. KENNEDY

Geyserville

Money and speech

EDITOR: In law, there is a phrase “fruit of the poisonous tree,” morally there is “the love of money is the root of all evil.” The system’s embrace of money is killing us. Our country has lost its democracy, and we are now de facto an oligarchy. The U.S. Senate is a millionaire’s club, and representatives spend more time dialing for dollars than serving the needs of the people.

The media ignored Donald Trump’s money laundering for the Russians (oil and gas interests) since the 1990s, just as the media ignored Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff laundering money for Russian oil and gas interests simultaneously.

The Panama Papers show Democrats also taking Russian money, again mostly oil, gas and banking money.

Now the media say the Russians hacked the election somehow. If you follow the money, the entire corrupt system should require a mass recusal and an immediate passage of a constitutional amendment stating “money is not speech, and corporations are not people.” Then and only then can we move forward and reclaim our country along with a restoration of democracy that serves the people.

GENE KOCH

Occidental

Joyous celebration

EDITOR: Sunday’s Railroad Square Music Festival was a joyous community celebration (“Music lovers flock to festival,” Sunday). Life here in Sonoma County truly is a “wonderful thing,” as the lyrics of one of the songs proclaimed. Thank you to the festival organizers, volunteers and sponsors. Thank you to the many very talented musicians.

VIC SUARD

Santa Rosa

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