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Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor

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Another massacre

EDITOR: Twenty-six more folks murdered.

I dreamed that President Donald Trump said: “Enough already of ‘our hearts and prayers are with you.’ We must reduce the gun culture. It will take a long, long time, but let’s start now. I announce a government buyback of all semi-automatic weapons and a ban on their future sales.”

I awoke to hear him say “Our hearts and prayers are with you … mental health, deranged individual, act of evil, not a gun issue, guns are the solution, knives and trucks kill people, we need to find out what made this guy tick so this can never happen again, unity, pull together, we are strong, our hearts and prayers, blah, blah, blah …”

PATRICK CAMPBELL

Bloomfield

A big issue

EDITOR: Joe Matthews wrote a timely column about California’s fear of heights in the Oct. 29 Forum section. I recommend that everybody read it because it has relevance to the issue at hand, which is rebuilding after the horrendous fires in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties.

As a resident of the city of Sonoma, I was lucky to escape the actual fires and just had to deal with road closures and smoky and unhelpful air.

As someone who lives in one of the most innovative and forward-thinking parts of the country, I suggest that we consider rebuilding Coffey Park (and possibly other areas) by going vertically. By doing so, we can achieve two goals: increase the number of housing units, which is sorely needed throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and slow urban sprawl.

BRUCE HAMMER

Sonoma

Tax relief for Trumps

EDITOR: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act should be renamed the Trump Family Relief Act. Under this proposed legislation, the Trump family will save hundreds of millions of dollars, maybe billions with the elimination of the estate tax. The elimination of the alternative minimum tax could save Donald Trump $31 million based on his 2005 tax return. Then there is the lowering of the pass-through rate, which would require Trump to pay a maximum of 25 percent of the business income that is reported on his personal tax returns.

To pay for the Trump Family Relief Act, the proposed legislation would eliminate the interest deduction on student loans, thus making a college education even more expensive. It would eliminate the deduction for medical expenses used by seniors for nursing home care and by parents to cover medical costs for their special needs children. As for doubling the standard deduction, this would be offset by elimination of personal exemptions, and the bump in the child care credit would disappear in five years.

If you believe that the Trump family needs this relief that we will pay for, please contact your members of Congress.

RICHARD NEFFSON

Rohnert Park

Value of hemp

EDITOR: Medical marijuana is legal. Its medical benefits, particularly in the fields of psychology and cancer treatment, are now available to all. Recreational marijuana is now legal. This will put an end to the abuses in the medical marijuana industry and, in the long run, reduce marijuana consumption by taking away its association with romantic rebellion.

But I’m hearing nothing about any increases in the production of hemp. Hemp is the plant kingdom’s answer to petrochemicals. In addition to the medical and recreational drugs the plant can produce, it is excellent for production of paper, clothing, fuel oil, cooking oil and a wide range of other commodities. And it requires much less in the way of chemical fertilizers to make it grow. In fact, it is difficult to keep it from growing. That is why they call it “weed.”

Our farmers and industrialists need to get with it.

EDWARD MEISSE

Santa Rosa

Thanking the politicians

EDITOR: How many times do you get letters thanking politicians? This may be a first, but it is well-deserved. We are so impressed with the response of our elected officials to the devastating fires.

From Sonoma County’s representatives in Congress, at the state level and all the way down to the local level, they have been present, engaged and accessible since day one. The results are evident in how quickly we received disaster designations and support from the state and federal governments.

We would specifically like to thank the Santa Rosa city staff and City Council (especially those who posted updates on social media) for an outstanding job of providing timely and thorough communications on a constant basis to city residents. It makes us proud to be a part of such a wonderful community. Well done.

DENISE HILL and JOE LILIENTHAL

Santa Rosa

Ignoring orders

EDITOR: We continue to hear of people who ignored the recent evacuation orders. Some are even lauded for saving a home or property. Those people who choose to remain in their homes following mandatory evacuation orders put all first responders’ lives in jeopardy. Any personal justification cannot outweigh the lives they put in danger when they may ultimately need rescue. Recently, Florida’s governor warned those who decided to remain in their homes they wouldn’t be rescued. He wouldn’t put the lives of police and fire personnel in harm’s way. Perhaps this should be the policy here.

MARLENE LOWENTHAL

Santa Rosa