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More gun violence

EDITOR: Once again, blindly embracing the Second Amendment’s “right to bear arms” has trumped (sorry, no pun intended) our Declaration of Independence’s long-cherished ideals regarding “unalienable rights, endowed by our creator … including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Twenty-six are dead in a Texas church.

The issue of gun violence in the United States is multi-faceted. This means that in order to address this our country must examine mental health support, the divisiveness of our current discourse, the access to and capacities of firearms available to individuals and the constitutional tenets written, some would argue, at a different time for a different circumstance. These issues cannot be addressed in isolation; they must be addressed concurrently.

Now is the time for us to demand of Congress a comprehensive, multi-faceted, fair, constitutional and honest package of legislation addressing this national disgrace. Now is the time to stand up for our nation’s citizenry, and for our Declaration of Independence, by facing down Guns, Inc. with its absolutist lies and sinister, dark money. To suggest otherwise is to accept being part of the problem.

The American public must expect and does deserve better than what we are seeing now.

DAVID DELGARDO

Cloverdale

America: It’s great again

EDITOR: So Donald Trump wants to “make America great again”? Last week, millions of citizens from Virginia, New Jersey and Washington state, to name a few locales, found their collective voices and responded with a resounding “no” to hatred, racism, sexism, genderism and willful ignorance. I’d say that’s pretty great.

RICHARD A DURR

Santa Rosa

Tax ‘help’

EDITOR: Ronald Reagan used an illustration to warn people of government actions. He said that if you were having some problem and folks approached saying, “We’re from government, and we’re here to help,” run in the opposite direction.

I’d like to borrow that concept to regard proposed tax changes. My warning to the average person is to run in the opposite direction when you hear, “We’re Republicans, and we’re here to help with taxation.” The results of such changes can be damaging to you. (But not if you are wealthy or a large corporation.)

PHIL WEIL

Santa Rosa

Emergency alert systems

EDITOR: We didn’t know about Nixle when the fires started. We live two miles south of Coffey Park. I smelled smoke about 10 p.m. but assumed it was a neighbor’s fireplace. I didn’t see their chimney smoking, so I called the fire department. The dispatcher said, “fire’s in the hills. If you’re not in danger, I can’t talk to you now.” “In the hills” didn’t raise a red flag, so we went to bed. A neighbor knocked on our door at 3 a.m. to tell us about the approaching fires.

Nixle and other wireless alerts are useful, but they carry the assumption that everyone has a cellphone or a computer that they leave on 24/7.

Hawaii has an outdoor emergency warning system. The sirens are tested the first Monday of every month when a one-minute tone sounds. The system is designed to alert people day or night to check radio, TV or the internet for further instructions in an emergency.

Sonoma County needs a siren system in addition to wireless alerts and phone calls. That way, in an emergency, no one is left out.

JANET BAROCCO

Santa Rosa

Hunt Club permit

EDITOR: What’s in a word? With the Hunt Club’s permit extension, “event” has become “activity” and “gathering” for members who pay up to $65,000 to join, so both the applicant and the county Permit and Resource Management Department claim there’s no problem. This project comes before the Board of Zoning Adjustments at 1 p.m. Thursday.

From the beginning of the permit process, planners have ignored serious inconsistencies and discrepancies between the Hunt Club’s stated plans in its use-permit application and its website and member PR. A new 26,802-square-foot clubhouse with full kitchen, demonstration kitchen, restaurant, bar and plans for numerous events has an entirely different usage intent than the simple hunting club that received the original permit in 2012.

The 500 members entering the Hunt Club are projected to generate only 13 peak-hour trips per day, though up to 40 members will be attending events regularly.

In recommending that the BZA approve this project despite specific and detailed opposition by the appellants, planners have ignored the traffic safety impacts on the almost constant heavy traffic on Highway 37. Planners have ignored the effects on groundwater supplies, the ability of septic systems to serve peak uses and potential county liability for flooding on land already below sea level. Zoning guidelines are being ignored.

MEG BEELER

Sonoma

Wind and power

EDITOR: There is a lot of conversation about improving the fire warning system to be better prepared for wildfires in the future, but I am not seeing anything about preventing them.

Weather reports 48 hours in advance of the Oct. 9 fire predicted the winds, wind direction and humidity. Had there been a system for assessing the risk of fire from such a weather condition, the appropriate response would have been for PG&E to turn off all electricity in areas where lines are above ground. There was plenty of time to let everyone know it would be happening.

It’s inconvenient to have had a 12-hour power outage, but it’s nothing compared to the result of not doing it. A consortium of all the fire chiefs could have the responsibility for making the decision.

ROBERT BRENT

Sebastopol

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