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Monday’s Letters to the Editor

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Our town, before and after

EDITOR: I applaud the outreach from the local community — food, shelter, clothes, face masks, bottles of water and much more. I even found snacks and drinks in many stores. Seeing tents at the fairground lifted my spirits along with the outpouring of support for their occupants. Bravo to Santa Rosa — a community stepping up with compassion, resources and love.

The fires still threaten us, and for those newly experiencing homelessness there will be no quick return to normalcy when the fires are out. People will need the community more. Let’s keep the compassion for those less fortunate, let’s not divide the homeless into the homeless before the fire and those after, no us and them.

Last Monday, at 2:30 a.m., I lost everything and became homeless. If I didn’t have friends, family or a community to support me, perhaps I would find myself sheltering under the freeway or in the park.

We can’t do this alone, we need one another. Give what you can when you can.

Does anyone know if we can keep those tents? Winter is coming.

SHIRLEY CHEAL

Santa Rosa

The bill is coming due

EDITOR: Unyielding support for our president by those who voted for him, made possible by claims of “fake news” attributed to any criticism of him or his policies, may be undermined by upcoming verbiage that won’t be so easily dismissed as phony: your monthly health insurance bill. But those truly intent on maintaining their delusions about Donald Trump can always just blame Barack Obama.

NATHANIEL ROBERTS

Petaluma

Grateful residents

EDITOR: I’m among the people displaced from Wikiup. I and other neighbors are very dismayed by the folks holding signs in front of our locked-down neighborhood saying things such as, “We pay your wages! Let us go home!”

I hope our community at large, and our public service workers, don’t extrapolate those sentiments to think we all feel that way there.

It’s true that we all can’t wait to go home. However, the vast majority of Wikiup friends and neighbors I have spoken with are nothing but grateful, thankful and in awe of the long hours of service police officers, firefighters, PG&E workers, medical workers and any others I have neglected to mention have done on our behalf.

Please accept my deepest appreciation and sincere thanks for your service on behalf of our Wikiup community.

HOLLY SOBOLEWSKI

Santa Rosa

Underground utilities

EDITOR: There is the suggestion that fires start with windblown trees breaking power lines. Our recent fire followed the path of the 1964 fire. When areas are rebuilt, it seems prudent to put all power lines underground.

Sonoma County supervisors and the governor should consider improving our infrastructure. PG&E, being a private company, may look at shareholder profits and say burying power is too expensive, but there are advantages to citizens.

Underground power lines also would help when the “big one” comes as motion of the wires would be minimized. These tragedies are the result of antiquated, low-cost building practices that are high-cost to residents.

TONY BRYHAN

Sebastopol

A limited right

EDITOR: Here is what Chief Justice Warren Burger, appointed by Richard Nixon, had to say about the Second Amendment shortly after his retirement in 1991: “This been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public, by special interest groups. If the militia, which was going to be the state army, was going to be well regulated … why shouldn’t any person be regulated in the use of arms, the way an automobile is regulated?”

The “fraud” perpetrated by the National Rifle Association, its members and complicit politicians should be called out now. Our lack of regulations on guns is based on an intentional misreading of this amendment by those who usually thump the Constitution as the foundation for their positions.

Note that there is no explicit right granted for self-defense or hunting. Many rights aren’t explicitly granted by the Constitution, and the argument that rights need to be explicitly granted is another specious argument perpetrated by strict constitutionalists only when convenient. The right to bear arms, however, clearly is a limited right, not a right for any citizen to own their weapon of choice.

JON STIFFLER

Santa Rosa

The wrong picture

EDITOR: Daily, during the updates by all the agencies reporting on progress and present conditions at the various fire locations in Sonoma County, the TV news continues to run images of the same burning homes being hosed down in Coffey Park destruction and Fountaingrove that they have shown all week. These images are imprinted in the minds of our loved ones across the country. They perceive that these are the current conditions in our community and that we are in the same danger that we were in at the worst stage of these fires.

They have failed to show in detail all the efforts of people and agencies who have come to our rescue and who have made wonderful progress in saving lives and property and containing these fires. My neighbors who are in there late 80s have children in New York and Los Angeles who are in constant fear because of the images continuously looped by the media.

Enough is enough. This isn’t the time for sensationalistic reporting without important content about the efforts of the thousands who are providing for our safety and containing these harshest events. They need to report it right.

JOSEPH MINUSKIN

Santa Rosa