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Oakmont overexposed

EDITORS: My amusement over your continuing coverage of the Oakmont dispute about pickleball and its fallout has turned to dismay with your editorial about the dispute (“Oakmont dispute is no longer about fun and games,” Friday). Only those who live in Oakmont care a whit, and they already know the stories better than your reporters. I can only conclude that someone on your Editorial Board lives there, because the disputes certainly don’t deserve the coverage you have devoted to them. Let’s get back to covering the myriad issues that all in Sonoma County care about.

NANCY PEMBERTON

Sebastopol

The single-payer plan

EDITOR: Donald Trump’s mayhem multiplies. His campaign sold us a bill of goods. Now he runs his con as cover for the GOP Congress gang and Trumpcare’s bills of evils, which give real meaning to fantasy GOP “death panels.” Obamacare already has underinsureds (36 percent in California) unable to use their coverage due to cost, leaving them a serious injury/illness away from bankruptcy.

George Skelton’s July 1 column about Senate Bill 562, the single-payer health care bill, was untrue (“California speaker was anything but a coward”). The bill needs work, no doubt. The California Nurses Association’s University of Massachusetts analysis would be a superb guide. He said he read it, as should you all. It shows how possible it is to pay $331 billion for all residents with wider benefits, portability, full choices and no co-payments.

In 2016, $367 billion was spent on health care, with 71 percent paid by taxes. With $225 billion in future taxes, the University of Massachusetts report projects 18 percent savings (other expert studies expect savings of 30 percent-plus).

For the rest ($106 billion in 2016), a 2.3 percent sales tax (exempting housing, utilities and food) and a business receipts tax (exempting the first $2 million) would replace what we pay now. This is a win-win-winner.

DR. R.C. “JAKE” RUTHERFORD

Healdsburg

Exponential growth

EDITOR: I agree hugely with recent letters from Charlie Beck (“Population and climate,” July 18) and Leal Reinhart (“The greatest threat,” July 23) about over-population, our elephant in the room.

If life is sacred, are we to lavish more, more, more upon our dying oceans, disappearing forests and waning resources, resulting in more factory farmed animals, polluted air, water and earth, global warming and refugees? Exponential growth makes it impossible to attend properly to the life that’s here, that’s already sacred.

Humankind only reached our first billion people on the planet in the early 19th century. In this short 200 years, we’re up to 7.2 billion, with 350,000 new babies a day. Echoing Pogo: “We’ve met the enemy and he is us.”

JOAN INMAN

Santa Rosa

Unelected advisers

EDITOR: Imagine if your city council were appointed by some government official instead of being elected by city residents. The inability to choose our local government representatives is the situation we residents of Sonoma County’s unincorporated towns now face (“County to add citizen groups,” July 19).

On the surface, the advisory councils that the Board of Supervisors are creating to provide local government input for unincorporated areas sound like they will provide a voice for residents. But the reality is, the model Sonoma County is using is anything but representative.

In other counties, advisory councils truly represent their communities because they are elected. In Sonoma County, the councils will be appointed by the area’s supervisor. This allows a supervisor to have complete control of the situation and appoint individuals who will advance his/her particular agenda or point of view.

Also troubling here in the Springs area of Sonoma Valley is that there was no public, inclusionary process for all interested to give input into how we want to be represented.

Yes, elections cost money. But if the point is to give unincorporated residents a true voice in local government, then the advisory councils should be chosen via elections by the people they are supposed to represent.

GINA CUCLIS

Sonoma

The climate caucus

EDITOR: It was heartening to hear Sen. John McCain’s speech chastising both political parties for putting party loyalty above the time-honored democratic tradition of dialogue and compromise. People of all political stripes are dismayed by the dysfunction we see in Washington.

Happily, there is one issue where bipartisan progress is being made: climate change. The majority of Americans believe that climate change is real and human caused. Reflecting this sentiment is the emergence of the Climate Solutions Caucus in Congress. This caucus, which started with only 16 members less than two years ago has recently grown to 50. And the remarkable thing is that members of the caucus can only join in pairs, one Republican and one Democrat. The message is clear — solving the climate crisis is on track to be a bipartisan effort.

We should express our heartfelt thanks to our congressman, Mike Thompson, for finding a Republican partner and joining the Climate Solutions Caucus recently. For those in Congressman Jared Huffman’s district, we should encourage him to join Thompson in the caucus and start the dialogue on moving toward a climate solution.

DAVE WARRENDER

Sebastopol

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