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Our contradictory views

EDITOR: Thanks to columnist Pete Golis for raising the issue of Proposition 13 and drawing attention to a crucial weakness of the philosophy of democracy (“After 40 years, this blue state still likes Proposition 13”). We want roads and public transportation and police and firemen. Shucks, some of us even want public schools and health care, and food and housing for the poor. But most of us don’t want to pay the people who provide these things.

Our feelings about government are contradictory, and in order to get elected, members of the government must avoid pointing out the costs of meeting the needs of the community. The idea that taxes are an injustice is a core argument of the Republican program, but it is clear that a majority of the community is sympathetic to this goofy notion. In fact, it is a sort of unifying joke. It is only a little funny for a second.

One thing that makes America or any community great is the willingness of its members to contribute to the wellbeing of all.

STEPHEN HAWKES

Healdsburg

Bad spot for dispensary

EDITOR: A marijuana dispensary is planned for the corner of Fourth Street and St. Helena Avenue in Santa Rosa, behind Foster’s Freeze (a family friendly place).

This is on a major thoroughfare where cars travel 40 mph. I walked across this intersection for years to get to the hospital where I worked as a physician. This was a lethal street to cross, without any stop signs or lights, and that was before a dispensary was planned. This intersection is three blocks from a school, a hospital, three busy surgery centers and a quiet residential historic neighborhood.

I have nothing against pot or dispensaries. However, this should be a building for neighborhood stores and not for 500 cars per day slowing down on a major thoroughfare to enter a dispensary. How about putting it on Cleveland Avenue, Santa Rosa Avenue or Todd Road?

What part of historic residential district, elementary school, hospital and surgery centers do our elected leaders not understand?

If people are being influenced by money, then it is time to vote them out. Wait until vehicular and pedestrian fatalities are on their hands and consciences. I wonder what they will think after that.

KATE E. BLACK

Santa Rosa

A liberal double standard

EDITOR: The liberal double standard is rearing its ugly head yet again. The divorce rate among registered Democrats in the United States is just over 55 percent, according to a recent article in Politico magazine. Instead of screaming about immigration policies written before Donald Trump took office, why don’t liberals get their own house in order?

The separation of parents and children from divorce in our country is what is truly appalling.

T.C. RANDOLPH

Rohnert Park

Hazardous roads

EDITOR: I agree wholeheartedly with Steve Cavalli (“Roads taking a toll,” Letters, June 22). Sonoma County roads are a hazard and an embarrassment.

I just returned from a trip with bike friends to Oregon, where we enjoyed smooth, well-paved roads everywhere we went. Oregon has real freeze-thaw winters, yet it manages to keep its streets well maintained. Perhaps they use better asphalt, a deeper foundation or just jump on the potholes before they become canyons. I have also ridden in Idaho and Montana and noticed the same thing — wonderful, comfortable roads despite the rigors of winter weather.

Sonoma County streets are rotten. After a rainy season, potholes are filled with black goo and rocks, which aren’t well flattened. When cycling, tar gets all over the bike’s frame and in the cables. Road repairs are done in pieces instead of entire stretches; erosion begins at the cracks with the next rain. Even when a whole road is resurfaced, such as Eastside and Westside roads, after a couple of winters the pavement starts sliding downhill, and cracks start looking like fissures.

I’m not a structural engineer, so I can’t explain this. But it sure doesn’t make sense that other states can make it work, and we can’t. Do we just need to commit more money to it?

If so, let’s do it.

PATRECIA GRAHAM

Petaluma

Brooks’ analysis

EDITOR: Thank you so much for publishing David Brooks’ Sunday column (“Republican or conservative, you have to choose.”) It explains so much about how and why people can support the current president, in spite of his inhumanity and cruelty.

HOLLYNN D’LIL

Graton

Fireworks at New Year’s

EDITOR: I have come around to believing that July fireworks, whether they are safe and sane sales or professional fireworks sponsored by communities, are out of place in our dry, windy climate and are a fire danger at this time of year. I also enjoy fireworks and think it is wonderful that nonprofits can raise money by selling them.

Instead of canceling these community practices, why not move them to the New Year’s holiday when the fire danger is much lower? Communities could have fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s night, and nonprofits could sell fireworks to citizens.

And while we are at it, why not sales countywide instead of in just four communities? Make all fireworks illegal in July, and make safe-and-sane fireworks sales legal between Dec. 26 and Jan. 2 in Sonoma County.

Maybe we could find some other observance for Independence Day that celebrates some of the more wonderful things about being an American, other than bombs bursting in air.

KIT MARIAH

Guerneville

Editor's note: The letter headlined "Bad spot for a dispensary" has been updated to reflect the fact that the owners of D'Argenzio Winery on Cleveland Avenue aren't involved in the proposal to open a dispensary on Fourth Street in Santa Rosa

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