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.
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.
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.
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.