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A cruel reminder

EDITOR: I can understand Bruce Johnson’s position concerning removal of Confederate statues, up to a point (“Erasing history,” Letters, Sept. 4). They do represent a part of our history. But there are some basic differences between the removal of such statues and blowing up the pyramids because they were created with slave labor.

The pyramids are notable because they’re unique and because technology that we don’t completely understand was required to build them. They were a milestone in the history of our species and represent a significant development in our creative past. Confederate statues, on the other hand, are among multitudes of statues of people, both known and unknown, that have been erected all over the world. They don’t represent any great achievement in art, construction or technology.

What they do represent is a concerted effort by one group of people to dominate another group of people against their will. Because there are still people who believe such dominance is acceptable, those statues are a cruel reminder to descendants of the subjugated group that they have been, and still are to some, a less worthy and valuable group than the rest of us. I find this unnecessary and unacceptable.

History can be taught without the statues, right down to the “history” of how and why they were removed.

ANN CLARKE GREENWOOD

Petaluma

Don’t fight. Switch

EDITOR: Santa Rosa is faced with a problem easily solved: switch to district-based elections and win both a battle of morality and finance.

An Aug. 31 article titled “Santa Rosa to switch to district elections” said the average cost of fighting a lawsuit about district-based elections is $1 million, a cost far higher than the maximum legal fees of $30,000 if Santa Rosa indicates it will make the switch within 45 days of receiving the lawsuit letter.

This is a chance to promote diversity and prevent hemorrhaging money in an uncertain legal battle. The people of Santa Rosa deserve City Council members who represent multiple views instead of council members who only represent the most influential majority.

We must switch the election process to better advocate for our diverse community. This would save money that could be put to greater use than fighting a lawsuit we might not win. To enact the switch is another step for justice.

ALEXANDER JAMES SCHIEBERL

Santa Rosa

Hurricane history

EDITOR: Just a thought for all the climate change fanatics. Check up on Labor Day 1935. The nation’s first recorded Category 5 hurricane struck the Florida Keys, etc. Winds approaching 200 mph, a storm surge 15 feet high. 400 people dead. That’s dead. If my math is OK, I believe that’s 82 years ago. Probably had to do with man’s effect on our planet. You think?

GORDON KOOP

Santa Rosa

Carbon and climate

EDITOR: Climate change didn’t cause Hurricane Harvey, but it made it the record-setting disaster it became. And, odds are, it will make the next one even worse. A warm atmosphere sucks moisture out of a warm sea and pumps up normal storms into abnormal catastrophes. As long as we keep pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, we’re going to get not only more but worse storms.

Can our democracy make huge changes? After World War II, the income tax deduction for mortgage interest encouraged people to buy homes and changed the course of the economy into post-war prosperity. Today we can charge a fee on carbon, return the proceeds to the people and change the course of global warming.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby and other organizations have plans such as carbon fee and dividend with bipartisan support. These ideas can help if there’s government and business action. To make it happen, we must write to our representatives and urge our friends and relatives in other districts and states to write to theirs.

It’s already too late to stop the next catastrophe. But if we can transition to a carbon-free economy quickly, and work together, we can reverse the trend.

JOYANNAH LONNES

Santa Rosa

Wood’s appointment

EDITOR: It was great to read that Assemblyman Jim Wood will be on the California Future Health Workforce Commission (“Panel to study doctor shortage,” Tuesday). This commission will meet for the next year with a goal of drafting a master plan for bolstering the state’s health workforce.

As a nurse practitioner in Sonoma County, I am thrilled to see that this commission has been formed and will tackle so many of the problems that we see on a daily basis.

A recent UC San Francisco study highlighted the fact that California will continue to face a lack of primary care providers. The estimates show a shortfall of about 4,700 primary care clinicians in 2025 and a need for roughly 4,100 additional providers in 2030 to meet the expected population demand. Rural areas on the North Coast are heavily impacted.

The UCSF study called for solutions ranging from actively recruiting primary-care physicians to practice in California to expanding team-based primary care models.

One key item that shouldn’t be dismissed is ensuring that nurse practitioners and physician assistants are able to provide primary care and to work at the highest level of their education and knowledge without burdensome regulations getting in the way.

SURANI HAYRE-KWAN

Santa Rosa

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