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Continuing honors

EDITOR: Your Sunday memorial tributes to those who lost their lives in October’s firestorm show just how important it is to remember and bear witness to the lives of our neighbors and loved ones.

Now, we must continue to honor them moving forward, and in doing so never forget that extra kindness is needed in all our interactions — from small social courtesies to continuing to donate (whether it’s time, money, clothing, food, shelter, etc.), as those who survived these terrible fires will be in need for a long, long time.

IRENE BARNARD

Santa Rosa

Let’s have less

EDITOR: I don’t want more in 2018, I want less. Less people still supporting President Donald Trump. Less people not believing in climate change, including global warming and cooling. Less tragedy in the world brought on by nature and man. Less war, rumors of war and threats of war. Less chaos in a government that seems every day to be more about the rich and greedy and less for the less fortunate. Less talk of nuclear weapons, which if released again on this planet will truly be the demise of us all. Money and power will have no use to anyone then. How about less hatred, less contempt, less poverty, bull, moaning, groaning, gloom and doom, and, yes, lots less Trump?

RICHARD SMITH

Santa Rosa

Insurance obstacles

EDITOR: In reference to the article about homeowners rushing to increase coverage after the fires (“Wildfires a wake-up call to review insurance,” Tuesday), we had a totally different experience with USAA well in advance of the fire.

We have been with USAA for 49 years, and last June my wife, Roxanne, received advice from our financial advisers that our home on Rincon Ridge was greatly underinsured; they have an insurance specialist on staff but don’t sell insurance.

She called USAA, attempting to increase coverage to what we knew were local building costs on custom homes in our area, and after approximately 45 minutes on the call, USAA refused to raise our coverage, in spite of her protestations and even though we were perfectly willing to pay the increased premium. This left us underinsured with regard to rebuilding a similar custom home.

The USAA rep tried to convince her that, in the event of a total loss, our additional 25 percent home protector feature of our coverage would satisfy any additional building costs and code enhancements. The agent implied that it was a sure thing in the event of such a loss, not mentioning the conditions required to access that additional 25 percent, which under the circumstances was quite misleading.

BILL and ROXANNE EDELEN

Santa Rosa

A new perspective

EDITOR: At the age of 62, I found myself in a position to retire from a job I no longer enjoyed. Social Security and a small state pension pay for the necessities of my life and even a little more for some limited fun. The Veterans Administration and Medicare cover my medical costs. I don’t need to lift a finger if I don’t want to.

Guess what. Now that I no longer feel coerced into working, I want a job. My attitude changed completely. I enjoy working. And I know that if the boss gives me any unwelcome abuse, I can quit. But I won’t. It’s now easier for me to take a more understanding position vis-a-vis the boss’ pressures. I am no longer completely subordinate and helpless. So in spite of my subordinate position within the organization where I work, which I can understand as justified by the boss’ expertise and life experience, I can see the boss as an equal and as a fully human being. Instead of resentment, I can feel compassion and a fuller appreciation for the leadership of management personnel.

The universal basic income and universal single-payer health care would put everybody in the position I’m in. I am now convinced that these things are excellent ideas.

EDWARD MEISSE

Santa Rosa

The biggest threat

EDITOR: The editorial cartoon in Wednesday’s paper asked a simple question: Which poses the biggest danger to California in 2018? None of the four suggested answers are correct. The one that was left out, and the most obvious, is the press. It poses the most danger to California and America. But luckily Donald Trump is exposing the media for the liars they are.

ROBERT A. CASPER, SR

San Rafael

Trashy roads

EDITOR: There was an article written some years ago titled “The Broken Window Theory of Urban Decay,” which posited that as we allow our property, urban downtowns, etc. to deteriorate with forgotten buildings, graffiti and filth, it gives permission for further decay, the implication being that if no one cares, why should I?

As I ride the bike trail along Highway 12 out of Sebastopol each morning, I am saddened at the amount of trash alongside the road, and I wonder what it takes to get a crew out periodically to clean things up. I made numerous calls to Caltrans last year and was assured action would be taken. Nothing has been done. If it is a funding issue, I would be glad to join a crew, for free, to help get it done.

How we present ourselves to the world says a lot about us. Have a look around your environment, and ask yourself if it reflects your values.

RICHARD HERBERT

Sebastopol

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