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Trump and Kim

EDITOR: Surprise or not, President Donald Trump will meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un soon. It must be more than a handshake-and-hug photo op to genuinely relieve the unstable situation on the Korean peninsula.

It also can’t be a case of a sitting U.S. president uttering words about how animosity against communism is in the past or how the U.S. somehow has an interest or stake in a communist regime’s future.

Animosity against communism should never be over, and no civilized being should have any interest or stake in a communist regime’s future, especially when there are alternatives such as freedom and democracy, something the U.S. has sacrificed so much blood and treasure for, even in Korea.

Let’s only go down a road that leads to success and not feel compelled to sacrifice an ally doing it.

RON ROMANO

Rohnert Park

Vets turned violent

EDITOR: The front page of Saturday’s paper covered the tragic story of the four deaths the previous day at the Veterans Home in Yountville. On page A5 was an article headlined, “Military parade planning underway.” In my opinion, it would have been appropriate to put the parade article on the front page, right next to the coverage of the deaths, with the headline: “What in God’s name are we doing to our young people?”

NORINE MOSES

Calistoga

The bigger picture

EDITOR: I read the article regarding the passage of a gun control bill by the Florida Legislature with mixed emotions (“Lawmakers defy NRA,” Thursday). While I applaud the Legislature for its courage in standing up to the National Rifle Association on certain points, such as raising the age for purchase of weapons and implementing a waiting period, I fear that the commitment to arm school personnel and increase campus security forces is misguided. What we need are fewer guns, not more of them.

The focus on school shootings obscures the larger problem that we have in our nation. Mass shootings don’t just happen on school campuses — they happen at concerts, in restaurants and bars, in post offices, in parking lots, in virtually every location in America. While shootings that involve children get more sympathy from politicians, our politicians need to move past the school settings and eliminate these weapons of mass destruction in all venues.

LYNN HAGGERTY KING

Petaluma

Seeing stars at SRJC

EDITOR: I was sadly surprised to hear that public shows at the Santa Rosa Junior College planetarium are to be eliminated. I have attended these shows for decades, and they have been a great, affordable, local form of educational entertainment that could be shared by everyone from young to old.

Outside of SRJC, the nearest planetarium is 50 miles away and substantially more expensive. Also, there is no live person to answer questions after the show.

I know that managing costs is a necessary thing and that the recent fires added to the difficulty in doing so, but I beseech the junior college to reconsider this decision. The planetarium is a unique gem and an asset to our community.

Perhaps there is a way that has not yet been considered, such as saying the planetarium could remain open contingent upon a certain amount of season tickets being sold at the beginning of the school year.

Have you experienced price gouging after the fires? Let us know! Email Janet Balicki at janet.balicki@pressdemocrat.com

WENDY R. BEHRBAUM

Santa Rosa

Gun march

EDITOR: After the Florida school shooting, I wrote a former colleague at Santa Rosa High School to ask if there was anyone I could contact to help students organize for the upcoming March for Our Lives: any teacher, club, student group. He replied that he hadn’t heard of it. He said the kids seemed fatigued — fire fatigue, gun fatigue, Trump fatigue, absence fatigue. The previous week, after a gun threat at school, attendance had fallen to 50 percent. A sad synopsis.

I realize that teens don’t read letters to the editor in their local newspaper, but maybe you are a parent or grandparent of one. The teens in Florida came to the assumption that if we couldn’t take care of them, they would take care of themselves. They organized this march. So please, search March for Our Lives.

On March 24, we will meet at 10 a.m. in Old Courthouse Square. Kids and families will take to the streets across the nation to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today. Meet me in the square.

JANYCE BODESON

Santa Rosa

Combating TB

EDITOR: As people fill out their March Madness brackets, we’re also approaching a little-known annual milestone: World Tuberculosis Day. The real madness is that we’ve allowed a treatable, curable infection — TB — to become the world’s leading infectious killer.

Why does this curable disease still kill more than 4,000 people every day? Why have we allowed it to remain a major cause and consequence of poverty? It’s because we haven’t made ending it a priority.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Right now, Congress is deciding how much we’ll invest in this fight next year. I hope we can count on our senators and representative to fight for strong U.S. funding to help end this epidemic. Its defeat would be a victory worth celebrating.

STACIE CHARLEBOIS

Sebastopol

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