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Sheriff appointment

EDITOR: The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors should replace the sheriff with a retired officer until the election (“Sheriff set to retire by August,” Friday). The public has a right and obligation to vote for sheriff in Sonoma County. Don’t take this right away from the public to vote for the highest elected law enforcement officer in the county in a free and open election.

MARTIN M. WEBB

Sebastopol

Individual rights

EDITOR: The article about the British baby who is denied any rights in the eyes of the British government points out one of the dangers of a single- payer medical care system that we must be mindful of going forward as we develop our own single-payer system (“Trump and pope weigh in on case of UK child,” Tuesday).

Single payer is our last hope for financing medical care. It allows for an advantage in cost negotiation and savings in efficiency and a means of controlling insurance and industry monopolies. It should be our future, but we must maintain our individual rights in making medical decisions and not relinquish those rights to who controls the purse strings.

“Limited resources” may control decision-making for society but not for the individual. What is best for the patient should be determined based on medical ethics, not what is best for society. There will be compromises, but we should be careful as we move forward to a single-payer system.

DR. ROGER DELGADO

Sebastopol

A place for housing

EDITOR: A heartfelt thanks goes out to the county supervisors for their years of work toward selling the Chanate Road property to a local housing provider. These in-fill properties were intended to be the solutions to much-needed housing when urban growth boundaries were voted in by our citizens.

To no one’s surprise, we now are confronted by a vocal group of neighbors who oppose the building of homes near their existing residence. If not this vacant land, where?

Don’t think for a moment that we aren’t in a housing crisis. We need to provide the opportunity for seniors, veterans and all of our children to be homeowners, and to allow a vocal minority to delay and postpone the sale of this property would be criminal.

The city of Santa Rosa can play an important role in this housing crisis by providing a map or overlay of all vacant land that is available for in-fill housing so we avoid the surprise and anger expressed by impacted residents.

Urban growth boundaries were voted in by an overwhelming majority, so now is the time to provide the in-fill housing we desperately need while maintaining the open space we all voted to preserve.

MICK MENENDEZ

Santa Rosa

Israeli history

EDITOR: Brandes S. Elitch (“Palestinian refugees,” Letters, Tuesday) presented “facts” concerning the Palestinians’ ancestral home. I urge him to read “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine,” written in 2006 by the brilliant Israeli historian Ilan Pappe.

In some 500 pages, quoting from Israeli archives, Pappe meticulously documents the plans the Irgun (the predecessor of the Israeli Defense Force) made for the incredibly systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948: “Almost 800,000 Palestinians expelled from their homes; 531 villages destroyed; eleven urban neighborhoods emptied of their inhabitants ...” His almost minute-by-minute account of those military operations is absolutely mind-numbing. There is no question that these operations were planned well in advance in order to ensure a Jewish majority in a Jewish state.

Elitch’s concluding salvo (that Palestinians don’t recognize Israel’s right to exist) is very misleading. Of course Palestinians don’t recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state (from which Palestinians are excluded or begrudgingly accepted as second-class citizens). The international community also refused to recognize South Africa’s right to exist as a white Afrikaner state in which black Africans were kept as second-class citizens.

JAMES L. McFADDEN

Sonoma

The swamp

EDITOR: I have a question of readers, irrespective of their politics: Is Donald Trump draining the swamp, wallowing in it, drowning in it, twittering in it, confused in it … or what?

KEVAN CLEMENS

Santa Rosa

Democratic ideals

EDITOR: We face a challenge that belongs to all of us as Americans. All of us who defend democracy, all of us who believe in the Constitution and honor the founding precepts of our country above all other ideals.

Our experiment in democracy, now almost 250 years old, is threatened — not just by traditional enemies but by the very people sworn to defend it. When this happens, our Founding Fathers prescribed our way forward: revolution. Not the messy kind, with blood in the streets or false dichotomies. No, we are more civilized than that. We have a process.

Register. Vote.

More than that, talk to your neighbors and your family. Write a letter to the editor. Show up at meetings of your county supervisors. Show up at town halls. Heck, why not run for office yourself? Make your voice heard.

It’s time our democracy grew up, which means it’s time for us as citizens to step up. Because there is no them, there’s only us. It’s right there in our national motto: E pluribus unum. Out of Many, One.

Isn’t it time we started acting like it?

JEREMY SHARP

Bodega Bay