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The housing crisis

EDITOR: We are Santa Rosa homeowners who were fortunate not to lose our home in the fires. Even before the fires, Santa Rosa, and California generally, desperately needed more housing.

Our son, born and raised here and getting married in July, dreams of the day when he can afford a home in the Bay Area. One way that could be made possible is through state Senate Bill 827. This bill would require cities to increase height and density limits on land near public transit. By increasing the supply of housing in this way, cities would encourage the use of mass transit, and a lot more would be done to combat climate change.

We urge state Sen. Mike McGuire, who chairs the Government and Finance Committee, to show leadership and help get this bill passed. We also urge our local government leaders to support this bill and to step up and move ahead on their own to increase this kind of new housing.

The SMART train will never reach its full potential unless it has dense housing near its stations. Sonoma and Marin counties need that now more than ever.

CHRIS and ELLEN BOWEN

Santa Rosa

Democracy at stake

EDITOR: Enough already. How much more do we need to see? This president attacks our FBI as if it were some foreign entity to be stamped out. “An attack on our country” and “a witch hunt,” he says of the Justice Department’s legal search warrant and raid of his personal attorney’s offices.

This president, by any objective standard, has shown himself to be a demagogue and, at times, a degenerate, who, because of his unsteady leadership, represents a clear and present danger to our democracy. And one who may (if the Mueller investigation is allowed to proceed ) be shown to be a traitor as well.

My Republican friends wonder why I avoid their company these days. “Is this over politics?” they ask. For many of us, this has never been just about politics. In the case of this administration, it’s about a lack of morality.

Sinclair Lewis saw something dark and terrible brewing in American politics in the 1930s when he wrote “It Can’t Happen Here.” Well it has happened. Wake up, America. Perhaps nothing less than the fate of our country and, quite possibly, the survival of our planet is at stake. It’s time to pull the plug on this experiment gone awry.

LARRY RESNIKOFF

Santa Rosa

No on toll hike

EDITOR: Your front-page photo of the daily backup on Highway 37 is the best reason to vote no on Regional Measure 3 (“Finding route to relief,” April 5). Why allocate $150 million for “pedestrian and bicycle segments” on the San Francisco Bay Trail and only $100 million for Highway 37?

Are walkers and cycle folk really more deserving than the literally hundreds of drivers who have to slog along the Highway 37 flats every week day? Or $30 million more than Regional Measure 3 would give to continue widening the Highway 101 narrows?

I guess nobody asked those who commute each day along either.

TOM FLIPPEN

Sonoma

Olivares for sheriff

EDITOR: I met Ernesto Olivares in August 1981 when I came to work as a police officer at the Santa Rosa Police Department. I was new to the department, and Olivares was warm and welcoming. His thoughtfulness and desire to help remained a constant theme during our quarter-century as co-workers.

Among his strongest attributes is his ability to connect with the community. He consciously applied for assignments that put him in close contact with organizations devoted to bettering our community. He engaged these groups effortlessly and established himself as a positive liaison for SRPD. He made significant inroads with groups that were suspicious of the police. Members of the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force frequently praised his positive leadership.

Olivares’ compassion, conscientiousness and ethics are beyond reproach. These attributes have become even more apparent during his tenure as a City Council member and mayor.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office employs some amazingly dedicated people. I believe Olivares is uniquely qualified to bring greater transparency and accountability to the Sheriff’s Office while simultaneously allowing the community to recognize just how wonderful and effective these dedicated public servants really are.

TOM SWEARINGEN

Santa Rosa

A real leader

EDITOR: With all of the good things that are happening since the election of President Donald Trump, both domestic and overseas, one must wonder if the name attached to these achievements were Barack Obama or Bill Clinton would the media be acting the same as they are now?

Of course, neither Clinton nor Obama was or is capable of such success. Obama knew nothing about running anything. I mean, come on, community organizer? Where I come from, we call that “poop disturber,” And, of course, Clinton promised more of the same.

We now have a dynamic leader who has the economy going strong, China and North Korea coming to the table for real negotiations and actually securing our border. And what does the mainstream media focus on? Porn stars. Really?

Luckily, we now have other outlets that are serious about journalism and columnists who want to write about substance. Maybe The Press Democrat can seek out these columnists so we can have a little balance in the opinion section instead of the same old “Trump is bad blah, blah, blah.” And, please, don’t point to George Will. He just puts me to sleep.

T.K. McDONALD

Cotati

Sanders’ math

EDITOR: Shame on Bernie Sanders. At an event in Mississippi, Sanders said the Democratic Party has been a failure the past 15 years. I find that comment to be deceiving, misinformed and distorted. The Democratic Party has been a failure for 40 years.

T.C. RANDOLPH

Rohnert Park

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