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Powerful movie

EDITOR: After seeing Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” I feel compelled to write to those who will listen, especially to our city and county leaders, and to the people of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. Let’s set a goal to make this beautiful part of the world 100 percent powered by renewable sources, i.e. solar, wind, geothermal. Other cities and countries have set lofty goals of increasing renewable energy power and many have succeeded or are well on their way toward success, including India and China. Even Costa Rica is 99 percent powered by renewable energy, 85 percent by hydroelectricity. Costs have dropped dramatically for solar energy and electric cars.

If you watch the movie, I think you will agree that the destruction to our planet, our only home, from greenhouse gases must stop. We really do need to do something. It’s not nice to mess with Mother Nature, and she is letting us know. I would be proud to say Santa Rosa is one of the cities taking aggressive action against global warming. How about you?

CINDY YOUNG

Santa Rosa

History of sanctions

EDITOR: President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress has seen fit to impose “sanctions” on North Korea, as punishment for their misbehavior in the international community. There’s precedent for this action, of course: During Bill Clinton’s presidency, economic sanctions were imposed against doing business with Iran as a result of Iran’s misconduct. In Barack Obama’s presidency, sanctions were imposed on Russia for their misconduct.

Of course, as we later found out, Halliburton violated the sanctions against Iran with impunity, resulting in the Justice Department’s $7 million fine against Halliburton for profiting by enhancing Iran’s oil extraction and refining capabilities. Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburton during that sanction period: despite as CEO ordering his company to ignore U.S. law and make millions violating U.S. sanctions against Iran, he continued to serve as GOP Vice President of the United States for eight years, currently enjoying his reputation as a voice for the “conservative” Right. And, as we found out, Exxon Mobil has recently been fined $2 million for violating U.S. sanctions against Russia, during the time Rex Tillerson was CEO of Exxon. Tillerson, of course, is our current GOP secretary of state. In addition, Hewlett Packard was also found guilty of ignoring U.S. sanctions against Russia, during the time Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina was HP’s CEO.

It seems there is no shortage of prominent noteworthy Republican statesmen whose companies profited from doing business with politically sanctioned nations, in violation of U.S. policy and contrary to America’s best interests. I wonder who the NEXT rising GOP star will be, who earns a fortune ignoring U.S. sanctions, this time against North Korea? Whoever it is, I’m sure they too will be welcomed into the GOP political arena, as the other recent GOP traitors to our country have been.

STEVE MATICH

Santa Rosa

Preserving public schools

EDITOR: This is in regards to the Aug. 7 editorial by the Orange County Register titled “Demonizing school choice does no one any good.” We’re hoping your intention in publishing this was tongue in cheek. If it was printed to express your support of the content, then we are disappointed and feel publishing it reflects disrespect for public-school teachers and their union.

We support public education and denounce any efforts utilizing taxpayer dollars to fund private charter schools under the guise of “school choice.” We feel that public education is the backbone of democracy and has always been there to educate and protect the rights of all students.

We also find it insulting as local voters that you draw from the opinions of the Orange County Register for Sonoma County readers. If professional educators and the unions that represent them are going to be bashed, at least have the diligence to research the findings of educational outcomes from our local schools.

Most who tout the virtues of school choice are billionaires who stand to profit handsomely for their efforts and investment. The mixed results of school choice and vouchers across the country are far from compelling or convincing enough to replace public schools or sellout to the billionaires.

GAIL FOLZ and SMILEY CURTIS

Santa Rosa

Not the answer

EDITOR: Alicia Roman and Caroline Bañuelos (“Santa Rosa, school board should embrace district elections,” Close To Home,” Friday) are justified in seeking electoral reform that allows Latinos to win a fair share of representation. However, single-member districts are not the only, or even the best, solution for Santa Rosa.

Not every California Voting Rights Act lawsuit has resulted in elections by single-member districts, and they are not the inevitable result for Santa Rosa.

A better way is to use a proportional system, such as the single transferable vote form of ranked choice voting recently recommended by the City of Santa Clara Charter Review Committee in response to a voting rights lawsuit there. That system guarantees both majority rule and fair representation for electoral minorities, in direct proportion to how people vote.

Drawing single-member districts to manipulate election outcomes is an inadequate patch to a bad system. Instead, voters should be empowered to choose representatives based on whatever factors are important to each individual voter.

As a charter city, Santa Rosa can choose to use such a better system and forestall a lawsuit. Santa Rosa just needs the political will to provide fair elections that are decided by the voters on election day and not by line-drawers months before.

STEVE CHESSIN

President, Californians for Electoral Reform

Mountain View