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Wasting tax money

EDITOR: Let me see if I can get this right about the Sonoma Land Trust purchase at the McClelland farm (“Deal protects farm belt,” Saturday). The McClellands bought 330 acres of land from the Hansen Ranch to expand and continue their farming operation. Now, three years after their purchase (all the while negotiating with Sonoma County officials), the Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District has given them $1.8 million to preserve the land from becoming housing. A great gift from the taxpayers of Sonoma County.

And for what? According to the article, the money will “give her family the financial security it needs to hold on to the property.” Why would they have bought it three years ago if it wasn’t financially secure? A good deal to buy the property for farming, then to get $1.8 million to confirm what you intended to do with it anyway? No other business would have got such a gift from the county.

I’m sure there are many ways to prevent housing developers without spending like this. Supervisor David Rabbitt has just wasted taxpayers’ money.

IAN ELLIOTT

Sebastopol

An electric car rule

EDITOR: The Press Democrat’s Thursday editorial (“Electric vehicles are the future”) was disappointing and slightly confusing. It references “monster hurricanes fueled by warming oceans” and the fact that Ford and GM are “responding, in part, to demands made by other nations” by producing many more electric vehicles. Yet it discourages Gov. Jerry Brown from mandating a California all-electric rule.

The reasoning is that a mandate would lead to lawsuits, and “historically, the widespread adoption of innovative technology takes time.” It seems that the editorial is saying that climate change is real, but there is no urgency about addressing it. Don’t these monster hurricanes make it clear that we don’t have time?

The answer to the question is, yes, California does need to jump on the bandwagon (of mandates) at this point because as it states in the editorial, “change is happening.”

KEVIN CONWAY

Santa Rosa

Buying an arsenal

EDITOR: I have a question. How does one buy 47 guns in a year without a red flag being raised? Shouldn’t there be a limit on how many guns you can buy? Say you buy two or three and then anything after that you have to state why you need more. Perhaps you have to present your case to the local authorities? This maniac in Nevada purchased a massive amount of weapons and ammunition in just one year, and no one noticed. Let that sink in.

DEB McGAULEY

Santa Rosa

Declining nutrition

EDITOR: Food, water, shelter — the three things without which man cannot exist, and all of them are being impacted and forever altered by mankind’s continued assaults on our environment.

Climate change has long been a threat to our food and water supply, but now it seems science is proving that our food is being affected in a more profound way than we’d previously imagined. Even the crops that we are producing, it seems, are less nutritive than crops grown by our fathers and forefathers.

The deterioration of the nutrient content in our food supply as a result of climate change was highlighted in a recent article on Politico.com (“The great nutrient collapse”). Although the studies are just beginning, there’s evidence that in some species of plants, nutrient content has declined as much as 30 percent over the past 50-70 years. It’s impossible to measure the potential impacts to human health. Preliminary studies predict a dark future.

The continued rollback of regulations is the road map for a trip to hell in a handbasket. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, and my congressman, Mike Thompson, must call for vigilance. There is no time left to be silent.

SUSAN FEKETE

Santa Rosa

The charlatan-in-chief

EDITOR: Donald Trump is a charlatan. If being a big New York City con man with a bloated ego who will say anything about everything and anyone just for attention is a qualification for the highest office in the land, believe me, our democracy is in serious jeopardy. Believe me, folks.

Throwing gas on a fire isn’t the way to extinguish a fire just as name-calling never solves arguments. It’s a ruse. A source of entertainment for a demented mind. America has created a monster capable of our demise. Tweet, tweet, tweet, blah, blah, blah, one lie after another. What will it take before people realize what a grave mistake Donald J. Trump is. We needed a leader who would be a problem-solver, not a problem.

J.W. HALE

Petaluma

Unauthorized settlement

EDITOR: The Sonoma County Employees Retirement Association’s settlement of a lawsuit in the early 2000s was unauthorized and has resulted in excessive pension payments ever since. This injustice to the taxpayers must stop now. We in Marin County have a similar problem with illegally authorized pension payments, but ours is due to illegal actions by our Board of Supervisors.

RICHARD G. TAIT

Mill Valley

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