s
s
Sections
We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, nearly 1.5 million people used their mobile devices to visit our sites.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Wow! You read a lot!
Reading enhances confidence, empathy, decision-making, and overall life satisfaction. Keep it up! Subscribe.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Oops, you're out of free articles.
Until next month, you can always look over someone's shoulder at the coffee shop.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
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.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Supporting the community that supports us.
Obviously you value quality local journalism. Thank you.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Oops, you're out of free articles.
We miss you already! (Subscriptions start at just 99 cents.)
Already a subscriber?
iPhone

Another massacre

EDITOR: Callous? Yes. Anxious? Yes. Solution? Since there is going to be no apparent change to our gun control laws in spite of multiple donations to the cause, writing to my congressional leadership, spouting outrage on social media, etc., I suggest that the media stop reporting any and all mass shootings and get on with the idea that this is a natural way of living in the United States.

If Sandy Hook didn’t change this nation, I suspect mass shootings at concerts and churches won’t do much to enrage us either.

Perhaps the media can just provide us with a monthly list of these occurrences so that we can stop feeling rage on a daily basis. My thoughts and prayers are depleted.

JAN BENNETT

Santa Rosa

Rebuilding safely

EDITOR: People are doing a nice job of representing the right of the rich, the powerful, the educated and highly paid Fountaingrove families to rebuild their now twice-burned homes (1964 and 2017). Except there is no plan, and probably no way, to protect these specific housing tracts from the next fire.

It reminds me of the itsy-bitsy spider that got washed out again and again by the water spout. We have some Russian River floodplain housing that represents the spider’s plight. Some people cannot see the next flood coming.

We are going to have to figure out, plan and put into place some new, safe and sane rules for rebuilding so everyone in Fountaingrove can live happily and safely for many years to come. Even if they cannot see the next fire coming.

JIM SHELTON

Santa Rosa

The system failed

EDITOR: Your article on the Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services Department indicated that its budget is $10 million — taxpayers’ money.

But during a once-in-a-lifetime disaster this department decided not to send a widespread warning. Why?

The Press Democrat’s requests over the past two weeks for interviews and information from the department’s top two officials are thus far unanswered (“County fails to respond on alerts,” Saturday). Supervisors James Gore and Susan Gorin, whose districts were the most heavily damaged, also reportedly have been silent. When comments are made, I’m sure they will indicate corrective actions are being studied. That’s too late.

This time, the Sonoma Fire and County Emergency Services Department failed the public. There are no excuses for errors when life and property are at risk. Someone made huge mistakes and lacked sound judgment. Heads should roll and responsibility taken.

Perhaps pensions should be cut. That would really get their attention.

RICHARD LAMBERT

Glen Ellen

The government cleanup

EDITOR: Thank you for the editorial urging property owners to sign up for the government-sponsored cleanup (“Army Corps plan offers best chance for quick cleanup,” Nov. 7).

Yes, it is daunting for those still suffering from fleeing the fire, and from the loss of their homes, to enter into an agreement with which they aren’t entirely comfortable. I have managed several cleanups of toxins on school properties, working with a state agency, and it isn’t an easy process.

Engaging a private contractor to perform the cleanup may seem like a better alternative, but you have to take into account that you will need clearance from a government agency that the cleanup was performed properly, the debris was disposed of correctly and that the property is certified free of toxic substances.

The better and faster route is to take advantage of this alliance of county, state and federal agencies, and get your property cleared as quickly as possible and your certification that the cleanup is complete.

The greatest risk is waiting for a cheaper option, which no one is actually offering now, and ending up months from now with a property for which you cannot get clearance to rebuild.

ANDREA NOBLE

Santa Rosa

A message for Trump

EDITOR: Hooray for the Democrats’ victories in Virginia, New Jersey and elsewhere. Democracy is soooo great. It has a way of bringing equality to power, as long as it isn’t compromised with help from outsiders. Hopefully, Donald Trump will realize that perhaps he shouldn’t stay in a river that is running downhill. Talking nice and listening to his political enemies would be a nice start.

GENE VAP

Santa Rosa

Inherent risks

EDITOR: When we build our homes on the coast, there is a risk from tsunamis and hurricanes. When we build in flood-prone areas, there is an obvious risk from floods. When we build on the sides of canyons, there is a higher risk of devastating fires.

Every year in Southern California, in the San Bernardino Mountains, homes built on the side of canyons burn with predictable certainty.

When the Tubbs fire broke out near Calistoga, it started as an explosion of fire. No amount of resources could stay ahead of it. The first responders were running for their lives.

The letter saying there weren’t enough firefighters is misplaced (“Government’s fault,” Wednesday). When we elect officials solely on the basis that they will not raise taxes, we have to expect and accept the risk that, at some time, money will be lacking for emergencies.

Cal Fire cannot be on standby in Sonoma County 24/7 during fire season. Catastrophic firestorms don’t happen often. When they do, it’s tragic for the whole community. When we rebuild, let’s rebuild better.

STEVE CARTER

Santa Rosa

Show Comment