Thursday’s Letters to the Editor


Living with change

EDITOR: I can’t agree more that the big steel monster is ugly (“Residents riled over PG&E power pole,” Sunday). Most everyone I know would rather look at a beautiful redwood tree than Godzilla. In fact, I don’t like looking at my neighbor’s satellite dish from my backyard. I also don’t like all the noise from commercial flights into the Santa Rosa airport; they fly right over our house. We never had them when we moved in many years ago.

From Sunday’s article: “The new equipment allows PG&E to detect and resolve issues more quickly, enabling it to diagnose certain problems and take the equipment off line without waiting for a worker to arrive at the scene.” Who knows, this might even prevent a wildfire from igniting along the grid?

Unless someone invents a working time machine, I guess we are going to have to get used these annoyances. Good luck.


Santa Rosa

Missing the point

EDITOR: Regarding Marc Thiessen’s column about the National Rifle Association (“Attacking NRA is slap at everyday Americans,” Friday), how do you even think about printing such rubbish? The entire thesis is based on one individual, Stephen Willeford, who thwarted a shooting. To be clear, he didn’t. Twenty-six were killed, but Willeford did jump in a car and chase the suspect until he crashed into a tree. Can you say strawman? Thiessen forgot to include the other 16,000 people murdered by guns each year.

The fact that the shooter had an assault weapon was the issue — and the availability of high-capacity magazines. Thiessen misses the point entirely in his discussion. Speaking of discussions, why has the NRA, whom Thiessen lauds with high praise and calls patriotic, gotten Congress to pass laws stopping any research on gun safety, while exculpating the gun manufacturers with anti-liability regulation? I find that despicable and dangerous to our citizens. Rather than being patriots, they seem to be more the opposite.

Lastly, Thiessen’s claim that the NRA has done more to promote safety than anyone else is laughable. America is awash, like nowhere else, in gun violence, because of the NRA, not in spite of it. I claim fake news on Thiessen.



Old school warnings

EDITOR: There’s been a lot of speculation, blame and woulda, shoulda, coulda for the lack of warning alerts for the recent firestorm. My cellphone is off when I am home, as I have a landline. Therefore, some kind of communal outside alert system might be helpful, at least to rouse people to any potential threat. There are schools and firehouses in almost every neighborhood. Why not go back to the air raid sirens? Have them on schools and firehouses.

The siren in Mendocino is heard throughout town to gather the volunteer firefighters. I have heard it on three occasions, and never has it been for a fire. It has been for rescues. However, the point is the same. It was heard, and people responded.

Perhaps a siren of that sort would alert people to either turn on their phones, call a neighbor or turn on the news. Old school, but sometimes we can learn from the past.


Santa Rosa

Teachers and guns

EDITOR: Many Americans have had concerns about Donald Trump’s intellect, decency and preparedness for the presidency but hoped he would learn on the job and do well for the good of the country. The president recommended that the solution to gun violence and mass shootings in schools is to arm teachers. This colossally stupid idea shows an utterly naïve view of American life. This absurd and costly idea is applauded by gun manufacturers and the leadership of the National Rifle Association but denounced by law enforcement, veterans teachers and school administrators.

As a teacher for the past 20 years, I would never accept a job in a school or allow my children to attend a school where teachers were armed. Furthermore, I expect many parents would fear that a troubled teacher would turn his/her gun on the students. Small children would be terrified in classrooms where their teacher has a gun. I expect the vast majority of prospective students who aspire to teach school would decide to change their career aspirations if this policy came to pass. More guns offers more opportunity for violence.


Santa Rosa

A case of hypocrisy

EDITOR: Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released their response to the Republican’s memorandum that claimed FBI and Justice Department abuse of powers in spying on Donald Trump aide Carter Page. Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-New York, said they “went to a secret court with secret documents for a secret warrant to spy on a U.S. citizen.”

Note the glaring hypocrisy: Last month, Zeldin was one of 256 House members who voted to expand government surveillance, ignoring widespread calls for reform from dozens of privacy and civil liberties groups. That vote was the missed opportunity to pass sweeping reforms to reign in the kinds of abuses that Zeldin now denounces.

To vote against surveillance reforms, then rail against surveillance is either dereliction of duty on his part or partisan pretense, both of which I have come to expect from Trump’s Republicans, who all seem to have consumed the Kool-Aid.

I hope that the American electorate will think long on the voting records of House members before the next election and with more consideration than what 256 members gave when voting to extend National Security Agency spying without balancing the needed privacy and surveillance reforms.


Santa Rosa