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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.
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Forbidden words

EDITOR: When I was a kid, George Carlin made the seven words you can never say on TV famous. As a comedian and philosopher, he was fascinated by words and took great pleasure in poking fun at our government for trying to control our word usage. What would he say bout the seven words recently banned by our government for use by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?

The CDC’s purpose is, I think, evident in its name. Yet the Trump administration has banned it from using the words, “diversity,” “fetus,” “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “science-based” and “evidence-based” (“Uproar over purported censorship at CDC,” Dec. 17)

If Trump and his flunkies want to play it safe, maybe they should ban words we need to describe them, including “absurd,” “cruel,” “divisive,” “embarrassing,” “fraudulent,” “incompetent,” “racist” and “willfully ignorant.”

MAX BYNUM

Santa Rosa

Sure things

EDITOR: It is hard to find a sure-fire bet in these turbulent times, but bet the farm on Donald Trump firing special counsel Robert Mueller sometime this spring and the spineless Republicans doing nothing. If you want to parlay your play, bet on war with Iran or North Korea in the fall, near election time. If the Graton casino took bets on these things, Sonoma County could make more money than cannabis taxes would ever generate.

PATRICK COYLE

Santa Rosa

Thompson and taxes

EDITOR: Hypocrisy at its finest. Rep. Mike Thompson co-sponsored a massive tax cut for the alcohol industry in the tax bill (“Brewers, vintners, distillers win big,” Dec. 17). This is a terrible idea, but it satisfies his money sources. Then he said he opposed the overall tax package for the very reasons represented by the alcohol-related provision. That apparently is to placate those who voted him into office.

Of course, his main concern, the money interests, will get their tax break, because the bill passed. Among other reasons, the tax giveaway is so horrible because of the very thing he did. Does anybody in Washington think these things through, or care about the little guys?

RICHARD THAYER

Santa Rosa

My worst fear

EDITOR: My worst fear and our country’s worst development is happening: It could be perceived that Donald Trump is having some success. This will pave the way for future presidential candidates and presidents to mock people with disabilities, brag about their sexual assaults, bring us to the brink of nuclear war, give other politicians and world leaders cruel and childish nicknames, appoint people as federal judges who have no legal experience, deny climate change, denigrate past presidents and have absolutely no common dignity.

We can only hope now that Robert Mueller’s investigation will clearly demonstrate that Trump and his political team participated in behavior that actively sought to undermine our democracy and that Congress will impeach him and remove him from office.

If this doesn’t happen, we will forever have to live with the consequences of this Faustian pact we have made by electing him to be our leader.

KEVIN CONWAY

Santa Rosa

A community service

EDITOR: We are outraged at the treatment of Mary Schiller (“SR culinary program leader put on leave,” Dec. 20). We are her neighbors and were treated to her generosity during the frightening aftermath of the fire that barely skirted us. We were without power for nearly five days, but we didn’t feel safe leaving our homes due to the looters who invaded our neighborhood several times. We stayed to protect one another.

Hearing her voice in the early dawn hours that fateful morning with her offer of coffee and breakfast was a heartwarming beacon. The truck became our gathering spot as she and the well-trained students under her constant vigilance served breakfast and dinner to more than 30 people at any given time.

It is our tax dollars providing jobs to John Laughlin, Debi Batini and Stephen Jackson, who see fit to condemn her community service during a federal disaster. Schiller deserves accolades, not the mean-spirited bureaucratic response she has received from them.

SAMANTHE and STEVE KADAR

Santa Rosa

Rescuers in action

EDITOR: Following our terrible firestorm, we stood in awe and appreciation of the skills and courage of first responders. Two months later, I again observed their professionalism in a rescue scenario.

As seven motorcyclists rode Sweetwater Springs Road, one of our party went off the road at a particularly precarious switchback and fell into a narrow ravine. He was badly hurt and couldn’t stand or help himself. Some of us tried unsuccessfully to bring him up the steep bank while others called for rescue.

Very quickly, the Sonoma County sheriff’s helicopter, the fire and rescue team from Guerneville and a CHP officer were on the scene. These people were mighty impressive in their prompt and skillful rescue of our companion. Though working below a 900-pound motorcycle precariously balanced above them, within a few minutes they our friend him strapped to a backboard and into a sled. They then hoisted him into the helicopter hovering near dangerous tree limbs.

They flew the injured man to the hospital where emergency medical care awaited. Though these first responders preform rescues like this often, to see it “live” was to feel deep appreciation for their skills, bravery and dedication. I’m sure any who observed such events would feel similarly.

TOM COOKE

Santa Rosa

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