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The Nunes memo

EDITOR: I read the Devin Nunes memo (“GOP releases secret memo,” Saturday). There is little of any substance. When did it become unethical or illegal for the Democrats to hire a consultant to investigate Donald Trump’s campaign, and why is it wrong for them to share their findings with the FBI?

It turns out that Carter Page and his boss, Paul Manafort, were up to their eyeballs in potentially criminal Russia-related activities, and it was the right thing to catch them in the act. Both have been indicted.

Is the FBI biased? The facts show that it was doing its job and suggest that these two are crooks who should go to jail for a long time.

KARL FISHER

Petaluma

Behind the memo

EDITOR: In the Sunday edition, Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Robert Costa shed new light on the disputed memo pushed by Republicans in Congress that accuses the FBI and the Justice Department of conspiring to bring down President Donald Trump (“GOP defying federal authority”).

The attack on our federal justice system is rooted in conspiracy theories concocted by “news outlets” such as Fox News and pro-Trump components. Conservative luminaries such as Paul Ryan, Devin Nunes and Rudy Giuliani, to name a few, agree on a punitive investigation into our federal justice system.

But a stronger measure was suggested by Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, who says there is convincing evidence of treason by James Comey, Andrew McCabe and Rod Rosenstein, which is punishable by death.

All of this is snowballing out of hand — and deliberately so. Just days ago, Trump was pressed by reporters whether he would fire Rosenstein. He responded, “you figure that one out.”

Here’s the problem: Trump should have delivered a more coherent response. The American voters placed themselves in Trump’s hands for the duration of his presidency. And what do we get in return? Butterfingers!

In the midst of a constitutional crisis, we deserved better.

ARMANDO GOMEZ

Santa Rosa

Curing spinal injuries

EDITOR: The tragic accident experienced by Carson Pforsich is all too common, with about 12,000 people experiencing such injuries annually in the U.S. and an estimated 1.3 million living with disabilities as a result of spinal cord injuries (“Hurt teen’s inspiring journey to recovery,” Sunday).

Fortunately, in 2004, 59 percent of California voters approved Proposition 71, the California stem cell research and cures initiative, which created the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

The institute funds stem cell research in the state, and spinal cord injury became the first condition targeted in a human clinical trial using cells made from embryonic stem cells.

Since then, much has happened in finding cures for a long list of diseases, including spinal cord injury, where studies are currently underway. Check out cirm.ca.gov to learn more about how stem cells are helping people recover from similar accidents. Short prognosis: There is hope. Best wishes to Carson for his continued recovery.

JAMES STEWART

Santa Rosa

Sharing the road

EDITOR: In reference to Sheila Lichirie’s letter (“Bikes and cars,” Jan. 27) expressing outrage at cyclists for taking the lane, I too am a cyclist and find it astonishing that Lichirie seems to imply that it’s unsafe to take the lane while riding a bike.

Cyclists are entitled to the whole lane if they’re traveling at or near the speed limit, as it is unsafe to hug the edge of the road at higher rates of speed.

We often reach those speeds while riding our beautiful county roads, in downhill sections. At those speeds, we are no different than any other vehicle on the road.

On several occasions, I have had vehicles illegally and dangerously pass me while traveling well over the speed limit, only because I was on a bike. Please remember that, legally speaking, a bike is a vehicle, and depending on conditions and speed, we may or may not safely take the lane.

In the meantime, may I recommend a review of the California Vehicle Code, some patience and respect. Perhaps it would help us all to share the road with more equity and less acrimony.

KAMRAN AZMOUDEH

Santa Rosa

Rebuilding the fence

EDITOR: I read about the destroyed Hopper Avenue walls with sadness and possible hope (“Burned walls have residents steamed,” Jan. 26). I believe that a strong case can be made for restoring this important “livability corridor” with available city funding.

The original walls were developer built as a city-required condition for a public benefit (not just soundproofing for my Coffey Park friends). Although the fences were built on the edge of the subdivisions, they were built to achieve city goals for the larger neighborhood: attractive, landscaped corridors for vehicle and bicycle traffic.

The city’s general plan supports and encourages these public benefits: “balance and strengthen the visual quality of major corridors that link neighborhoods;” “provide a more pleasing visual experience while moving through the community;” “creating ‘Livable streets’ is also an important aspect of quality urban design;” “provide street trees to enhance the city’s livability and to provide identity to neighborhoods;” “promote park-like landscaping along regional and arterial streets.”

Hopper Avenue is a city street for the public’s benefit. The decorative walls and tree landscaping also are a city streetscape for the public’s benefit. It seems reasonable that city funds, collected through park and traffic impact fees, should be used to create a new and beautiful Hopper Avenue “livability corridor” of which we all can be proud.

BOB HARDER

Windsor

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