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

False data

EDITOR: Michael Burwen’s letter (“California taxes,” Wednesday) was based on data rated as false by Politifact on Nov. 1. The numbers used by Burwen were based on an outdated Reason Foundation study.

Although it is more expensive to maintain roads in California than the national average, the cost is 2½ times more, not five times more. California’s state roadways are larger and more congested than in other states, making them more expensive to build and maintain.

Furthermore, the voters of California have, with their votes, supported candidates who are committed to protecting the environment, and they are obviously willing to tax themselves accordingly.

LISE MELIN

Santa Rosa

Needing services

EDITOR: In the weeks following the fires, many of us expressed extravagant gratitude to the government representatives who came to the aid of countless citizens during these emergencies. It is clear that their work averted a disaster that would otherwise have been much more destructive, and even though these people had to be paid with public money to do their jobs, we feel lucky that they were there.

But now that all that is behind us, we are back to griping about having to pay for public services. It is a salient weakness of the philosophy of democracy that many citizens will vote for representatives who promise to save them money without remembering that every community needs services that can only be performed by its government.

Talk is cheap. Starving the public sector is social suicide.

STEPHEN HAWKES

Healdsburg

A nation diminished

EDITOR: Here and there one reads or hears of this post-truth era that we have fallen into. If true, then we are at the end of the road of the great experiment in democracy. When the electorate is so easily convinced more with lies than with truth, then how can it be trusted to wisely choose the people who would lead us?

At this very moment, what an absolute majority prefers is not what laws are made or even who is making them. A minority has bent so greatly the rules of election, hindering large groups from voting and seeking to deport others to blunt a fearsome blue tide, that democracy as it was envisioned once no longer prevails even now.

And having elevated to the most esteemed position the foremost purveyor of lies, a nation once great is diminished, perhaps irreversibly, and the whole world knows it. We are now in the post-democracy era.

PETER BARMUS

The Sea Ranch

Under Jackson’s portrait

EDITOR: This concerns “From uncrackable to incomprehensible” (“Thumbs up, thumbs down”) in Tuesday’s Press Democrat editorial. Did you not notice that Donald Trump’s “honoring” of Navajo code talkers took place under a portrait of Andrew Jackson, who was infamous for the slaughter of thousands of Native Americans in the Trail of Tears?

Was the White House acting out of incompetence, ignorance or outright meanness?

ELIZABETH F. CROWN

Santa Rosa

Confusing decision

EDITOR: I read in Monday’s Press Democrat that the Sebastopol police investigation found no grounds to arrest or cite the driver who hit and killed Julie Reibel in the Bodega Avenue crosswalk in August.

I live near that intersection and struggle to understand, based on how the article described the accident, how they were “unable to determine who had the right of way: Reibel or the driver.”

The article states Reibel was headed south across Bodega by a driver heading east. Under that scenario, she had to have crossed one lane of Bodega (the traffic headed west lane) and entered into the other lane (the traffic headed east). That would mean she was already in the crosswalk when hit, and, according to DMV rules, pedestrians have the right-of-way in crosswalks and cars must yield to them. Anyone who has already crossed one lane would, it appears to me, be someone who has established their right-of-way.

From a local perspective, it’s hard not to wonder: was the description of the accident wrong or the investigation decision?

CINDY CRAIG

Sebastopol

Women as ‘enablers’?

EDITOR: I was very happy to see “Our silence enables sexual predators at work” by Washington Post columnist Paula Dvorak in Sunday’s Forum section. Finally, a writer brave enough to put the blame for the sexual harassment of women where it belongs: squarely on the shoulders of women themselves. Thank you for calling these “victims” by their true title, “enablers.” As we should all know by now, women are responsible not just for their own actions but for the actions of men, as well. These predators, with their plans and cover-ups and denials and systemic protections, cannot possibly bear the full weight of their own actions.

ALLISON CARR

Santa Rosa

Very real dangers

EDITOR: As a Santa Rosa resident, (who did not lose his home), I have been following the rebuilding “controversy” for quite some time. While I sympathize with all who lost, I can’t help think of the “Frankenstein” torches every time the notion of not rebuilding Fountaingrove is brought up.

Fountaingrove burned twice in recent times. Those who lost their homes own their land and have a right to do whatever the want with it, within the law, of course. All I am asking is that we allow for all sides of the debate. Those who advocate for something other than the total rebuilding should not be met with derision and closed minds. Let’s all work together to come up with a modern solution that can at least partially satisfy the goals of rebuilding with the very real dangers that this part of the world present.

DAVID REITMAN

Santa Rosa

Show Comment