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Mr. Rogers’ advice

EDITOR: In the days following the October fires, several people posted a film clip from “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.” Mr. Rogers was explaining that when he was a little boy and bad things happened, his mother encouraged him: “Don’t be scared. Just look for the helpers. When bad things happen, the helpers come.”

Upon reading Wednesday’s article about the contractor in trouble for temporarily housing the debris haulers working in Coffey Park (“Trailers on lot hit snag”), it seems the city of Santa Rosa didn’t hear Mr. Rogers correctly. He was saying find the helpers, not fine the helpers.

SHERRILL DUNNING-RILEY

Windsor

Party of vandals

EDITOR: As I go to bed Thursday night, President Donald Trump has called for a government shutdown, Speaker Paul Ryan had refused to commit to holding a vote on the Dreamers, which an overwhelming percentage of Americans support; and Sen. Rand Paul is holding a filibuster on bringing an amendment that he knows would fail.

The party of vandals.

PHIL GROSSE

Petaluma

Truck safety

EDITOR: Just after the cleanup in Fountaingrove began, while stopped at the light at Altruria Drive, I witnessed a dump truck rear-end a car beside me at full speed. The woman’s car was smashed-in fully to the back of the driver’s seat. It was amazing she wasn’t terribly injured or killed.

Through another man who stopped, the truck driver said his brakes didn’t work. When the safety officer from AshBritt called me for details of what I witnessed, he said the driver was a sub-contractor to a sub-contractor to the contractor for the job.

Then, on Jan. 16, as you reported in The Press Democrat, another dump truck driver coming down Fountaingrove rear-ended a car when his brakes “weren’t responding.”

And now the terrible massive nine-vehicle crash caused by a dump truck coming down Fountaingrove when his brakes failed and he lost control (“Dump truck slams into cars, injuring 6,” Tuesday). This truck belonged to a sub-contractor to a contractor for the clean-up.

It is truly horrible that it took a near-fatal crash before brake inspections were done on all trucks and safety protocols were reviewed with all drivers.

MARTI SWAB

Santa Rosa

Living with drilling

EDITOR: I am outraged that the Trump administration wants to open up our California coast to oil drilling.

I lived with my family in Sunset Beach, near Long Beach, in the 1960s. There wasn’t a day that I didn’t have to scrub the smelly black and brown tar sludge from my beautiful little children when they went anywhere near the water. Even the sand had oil residue at its edges. We had to construct an outdoor shower and use some awful smelling yellow soap to scrub them clean.

No more oil drilling off our coast. Please, all of you, fight this.

SARA SPAULDING-PHILLIPS

Santa Rosa

Parade or charade?

EDITOR: So Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump wants a swell military parade in the nation’s capital where he can salute as the troops march by.

Gee, he once had an opportunity to not only see but also be part of a military parade — in 1968, after finishing college a month before his 22nd birthday.

The previous year, fresh out of graduate school and drafted into the Army at age 22, I was in such a parade at the conclusion of basic training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Two brigades of young men who had answered Uncle Sam’s call — draftees and enlistees alike, all of us wearing Class A uniforms and with M1 rifles at right shoulder arms — marched in formation past the reviewing stand. It was an impressive display of military precision.

Trump instead sought and received a medical deferment. So he missed out on a training center parade and the subsequent possibility of serving his country in a place like Korea, Germany or even Vietnam.

Had he proved tough enough to complete the eight grueling weeks of basic training, his yearning for a military parade might have been satisfied for a lifetime. What’s more, as a candidate and as president, he could truthfully boast, “I know as much about the Army as the privates do.”

MAURICE FLIESS

Santa Rosa

Buying electric cars

EDITOR: Regarding Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to offer incentives to purchase electric vehicles, why not mandate that all city, county and state automobiles and light trucks purchased in the future be electric or hybrid (“Brown’s $2.5B plan for electric vehicles,” Jan 27)?

If the state invested in a gradual transition, it would provide thousands of low-tech jobs, reduce pollution and create business opportunities for automobile manufacturers and the parts manufacturers related to the industry. The widespread infusion of dollars into the state economy would be a boon for us all.

In the long run, if thousands of governmental employees drove hybrids and electric vehicles, many would realize they aren’t so different — they aren’t that “weird” — and would be more inclined to purchase them for personal use. And, in so doing, parents would be introducing them to the next generations of young drivers.

PAT CORCORAN

Occidental

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