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Finding home again

EDITOR: This is a message to all of you who stand in the ruins of your homes.

Have courage. I am with you. I stood in your shoes a few years ago. I see the photos of your homes devoured by the flames, and I know how it overwhelms you, how unmoored and at a loss you feel, how hard it is to comprehend the magnitude and to see a way forward, that feeling of futility as you sift through the ashes. I have been there.

But I am writing to tell you, you will find the way. The fire will always be a dividing line between now and before, but you will get through all the decisions, paperwork and miseries. You will find home again.



Santa Barbara

Missing plates

EDITOR: CHP photos on PressDemocrat.com show that, like many vehicles registered in California, the Dodge Ram pickup involved in Saturday’s hit-and-run lacked front license plates, potentially hindering identification by witnesses and law-enforcement.

According to the state Department of Motor Vehicles, if you were issued two plates, you are required to have two plates on your vehicle — front and back (Vehicle Code section 5200). Lack of compliance suggests that the law is poorly understood or ignored.



McCain and able

EDITOR: In casting his first decisive vote to defeat a Republican bill aimed at repealing and replacing Obamacare, Sen. John McCain explained, “I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not really tried.” Although many Democrats have expressed their agreement and readiness, Congress remains deadlocked.

It is time for political leaders on both sides of the aisle to identify significant issues on which there is reasonable potential for compromise and to appoint a new Gang of Eight to hammer out some pragmatic pieces of legislation, such as:

— Health care reform focused primarily on repairing the Affordable Care Act.

— Gun control legislation, starting with Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s bill to ban bump stocks, but hopefully including a stronger background check system.

— Radical restraints on gerrymandering, within congressional purview, in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on that subject.

My other suggestion is that McCain be asked to form and lead the new Gang of Eight in a unique role as facilitator/adviser. His role could be transformative and inspirational.

I’m well aware that his brain tumor limits his investment of time and energy, but the “gang” members should expect to do the heavy lifting.


Santa Rosa

Offering care

EDITOR: Our north Santa Rosa medical office so far has been spared destruction, and we have been able to get to it to reopened.

We are offering our services to victims of fire injury and smoke inhalation at no charge. We have oxygen available for smoke inhalation. We have a very novel treatment for external wounds and injuries called ozone therapy, which can rapidly speed healing and decontaminate wounds.

Our doors are open to serve any non-life threatening directly fire-related problem at no cost. (People with life-threatening injuries must go to a hospital). These services are only for fire-related injuries. We will consider accepting voluntary contributions to cover our supply and staff cost if people choose to donate.

We cannot take walk-ins. All injured must call 707-578-7787 to make sure we are open and staffed under the circumstances. Our staff will do triage on the phone to make sure callers are candidates for our services and tell them when to come in.


Santa Rosa

Always great

EDITOR: On Sunday, there was a TV rebroadcast of a more than 40-year-old program called “Johnny Cash and Friends.” One of the songs he sang was “Ragged Old Flag.” As I heard the words, my eyes watered.

The song tells us why this country of ours became the nation it is. This nation always has been great and still is. We have lost our focus and need to start paying attention to what is going on around us and get involved. Don’t listen to words of promise. Look at the person, see what they are and what and who they represent. Go to YouTube, and listen Johnny Cash sing “Ragged Old Flag.” This country will always be great.



Sonoma West helps

EDITOR: In your articles about the fire and Santa Rosa hospitals and all the transferred patients, you neglect to note that many of those patients are being transferred to Sonoma West Hospital in Sebastopol.

I have been working there these past chaotic days, and the hospital is full of people — doctors, nurses, emergency room personnel — who are treating everyone who comes in our door needing medical help. This community rises up to help, and patients are so grateful. I hate to think what would happen if we didn’t have a local community hospital at times like this.

And, by the way, they could use some clothing for the folks who evacuated with only the shirt, or pajamas, on their back.



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