Poor Rick Perry

EDITOR: In his outrage over the indictment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Jay Ambrose is quick to overlook the fact that political retribution has proven to be just as useful a tool for those he would defend (“Assault on Rick Perry is an assault on America,” Saturday).

House Speaker John Boehner’s stated goal of suing President Barack Obama is no less an “attack on our whole system of rights and liberties” than this effort by Texas Democrats to “get” Perry. Indeed, the indictment is probably specious on a legal level and, as such, will be thrown out of court. Still these invocations of politically motivated “fanatical assaults on fundamental principles” are over-dramatizations that serve no purpose but to inflame passions and further polarize the electorate.

Whether it is the absurd attack on Christianity or a nefarious plot to restrict Second Amendment rights, the political landscape is in danger of running out of victims on both sides.

Perry’s “extraordinary accomplishments as governor” could easily be questioned on many levels, but this is the bed that each party has decided to make. And politics being, well, politics, I don’t think this bit of bad press is likely to cause Perry any more embarrassment that his cringe-worthy debate ‘oops’ moment.


Santa Rosa

Emergency care nearby

EDITOR: The Napa earthquake brought all of us a very important point of order. Our public safety is fragile. The perception that we have free access to the hospital of our choice is incorrect.

During a disaster, the nearest hospital facility may just be too far away, or too impacted, to serve your immediate need.

Yes, it could cost you your life.

It is well documented that Palm Drive Hospital in Sebastopol has been shuttered since the end of April. It is also well documented that the Palm Drive Health Care Foundation has been working to open the hospital. We have a plan that will reopen the hospital and maintain its financial viability.

Our hospital is vital to the public safety of the west county and the county at large. That fact has been documented.

Let the Napa experience remind us to be proactive for our community safety. Let’s work to reopen Palm Drive Hospital, with an emergency room and acute care facility.



Obama’s fault?

EDITOR: In response to Randy Thomas’ letter asserting that the looting and rioting in Ferguson, Mo., is because people are “frustrated by a failed Obama administration” (“Tipping point,” Aug. 19), I have to emphatically say, Really?

Amazing how this is now a political issue. As if it’s just an oversight that yet another unarmed black youth was killed by a peace officer.

And to think The Press Democrat published this vitriol. Some writings just aren’t worth repeating. Leave this nonsense to Rush Lumbaugh and his ilk. And don’t insult our intelligence.



Police transparency

EDITOR: Paul Gullixson’s Sunday column (“A disarming approach to protests”) spoke volumes when it comes to some of the problems regarding law enforcement: “Why is it we have such a hard time discussing how those in the profession of public safety sometimes, like everyone else, make mistakes?” The need for greater transparency when it comes to police action is long overdue, and it’s time that police officers themselves speak out when injustices are committed on their side; such honesty would only help improve relations in the community.

And if residents near Moorland and West Robles avenues feel a park in Andy Lopez’s name would benefit all of Santa Rosa, let’s move on it; maybe an ice-bucket type challenge open to all of us would start the ball rolling.


Santa Rosa

Slaughterhouse cameras

EDITOR: There is a simple and inexpensive solution to monitor the treatment of all animals and employees at the new slaughterhouse: install webcams throughout the facility, first at point of entry and then at every stage as the cows, goats, sheep and pigs are herded, stunned, hooked, boiled, bled, gutted and butchered. This footage can then be uploaded daily at the facility’s website and thus provide visual proof of their newly stated goal of providing “ethical treatment” of all animals slaughtered there.

The footage of endless lines of fully sentient beings, trembling with terror and fear of their imminent death — just as your pet dog or cat would feel — driven and abused in every possible way, could also be on display at markets so we can see how our meat ends up in those tidy little packages marked fresh and locally produced.

This process allows those in the community who eat these animals to judge and see for themselves what the words ethical, humane and custom processing truly mean as they lift their forks. Let’s end the myths.


Santa Rosa

Try free parking

EDITOR: I agree with Charles Thompson’s logic as to what to do about Old Courthouse Square street remodeling (“The pitchfork test,” Letters, Sunday). All of the Santa Rosa City Council’s time and design costs wasted to date border on ridiculous. My resolution is to cover all the parking meters, creating a free-parking downtown. Maybe that will encourage downtown shopping and entertaining since that is supposedly the goal. Evaluate the results in a year and then reconsider spending millions of dollars that are needed elsewhere.


Santa Rosa