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Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, we posted 390 stories about the fire. And they were shared nearly 137,000 times.
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Rebuilding lives

EDITOR: Australia is a long way from the normally idyllic environment of Sonoma and Napa counties, yet as a nation we know only too well the devastation and heartache caused by what we call bush fires. Having spent some time in July 2002 in and around Santa Rosa, actually staying at the Fountaingrove Inn, we feel a sense of connection as your community struggles in the wake of such loss.

Rebuilding physical structures is one thing. However, peoples’ lives and livelihoods will take some time to recover and be restored. The response of not only government but also not-for-profit organizations will require the support of the whole community.

In times such as this, please be assured you are in our thoughts and prayers.

ALLAN GIBSON

Cherrybrook, Australia

IRS vindicated

EDITOR: In this era of fake news and artificially created crises, truth is real news and should be heralded. Tucked away on page A9 of Friday’s paper is one more instance of tea party/Republican paranoia and vindication of Democrats and the Obama administration (“IRS targeted groups of all stripes, says report”).

The truth is that between 2004 and 2012, the Internal Revenue Service wasn’t biased in its use of identifying keywords to scrutinize the tax-exempt status of political groups. It equally targeted liberal and conservative groups by using words such as “tea party” and “progressive,” among others.

Truth sheds light. Put it up front so all can see. Perhaps it can help to lessen the acrimony and disenfranchisement created by false accusations.

EILEEN CHADWICK

Cotati

Tax cuts and jobs

EDITOR: I want to comment on President Donald Trump’s plan to lower corporate tax rates to help spur on our economy. I am an enrolled agent, considered to be an income tax specialist by our federal government, and have owned and operated my own tax practice for 25 years.

The plan to lower corporate tax rates to help businesses become financially stronger is rationalized by saying the newfound revenue would help inspire new hiring. While this may be true to a certain degree, history tells us the profits will mostly go into more pay and bonuses for corporate CEOs and directors.

Stronger stock prices do help everyone who invests in the market, no matter what their income level is, but this windfall for corporations should be tied to a measurable increase of hiring for solid middle-class jobs.

Consider something like a 10 percent increase in hiring over layoffs to qualify a company for this lower tax rate. That would be a good incentive for hiring and retaining employees and could force a financial trickle down instead of just hoping for it.

Congress people and senators, please get on board with this.

TIMOTHY J. NELSON

Rohnert Park

Wind-driven fires

EDITOR: It would be advisable to shut down the power grid during dry weather and high wind conditions. I noticed my lights flickering, which can be attributed to power lines shorting out and dropping sparks. Critical services mostly have backup generators, and the inconvenience to the public for a few hours should be acceptable versus the alternative we are suffering now.

HENRY SCHMID

Sonoma

A show of respect

EDITOR: Since when is kneeling a sign of disrespect? Knights knelt before their king. The faithful kneel in prayer. When asking forgiveness, we might even say, “On bended knee, I am truly sorry for what I did.” We kneel to comfort a crying child or help an injured person.

Perhaps we should all kneel and repent for our disrespect to our brothers and sisters, for our failure to tell the truth, for our lack of compassion toward our fellow citizens here and around the world. We certainly can do better. Let’s all kneel in humility and ask for the strength to be better human beings.

CARROLL ALBERTSON

Santa Rosa

Too much violence

EDITOR: With all the terrible violent attacks going on the world today, why do writers, producers and directors keep making all the violent films? Oh yeah, money. Maybe it’s time they stop and think about human lives instead. I, for one, will not spend one penny to watch a violent movie on TV or at the theater.

I’m sick of the awful events going on.

TONI MacDONALD

Santa Rosa

Too much firepower

EDITOR: Sen. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, said that he wouldn’t ban AR-15s because they’re safe if “appropriately used.” This is a version of the old mantra “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

Well, sparky, a nuclear weapon is also safe if “used appropriately.” That doesn’t mean citizens are entitled to tote nukes around in case they need to defend themselves or are worried that they won’t be able to bring down that deer over there with a single rifle shot.

The Las Vegas shooter modified his AR-15s with aftermarket add-ons such as bump stocks and 100-round magazines to put his long guns into full automatic mode, enabling him to fire multiple volleys over a 10-minute period at a rate-of-fire of 90 rounds per minute, according to the cops.

The National Rifle Association and the unified Republican government are absolute and willing enablers of people with problems. Worse, it’s about to get a whole lot easier for those troubled folks to go on a shooting spree, because the government is fixing to put legislation out that will allow citizens to buy silencers for their firearms — although police in hundreds of cities have invested in sound-processing technology to locate gunshots.

GARY DEVINE

Santa Rosa

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