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We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, we posted 390 stories about the fire. And they were shared nearly 137,000 times.
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Friendly advice

EDITOR: As a registered Republican, my advice for the Republican Party and Donald Trump to understand in 2018 includes the following:

— The family is important, and all families are important. Never lie. Always tell the truth. Keep promises.

— Only surround yourself with smart and honest people.

— Know that the worship of hatred, money and greed will destroy you.

— Don’t abuse or abandon women, the young, the sick, the poor or the elderly. Lift up all Americans, everyone.

— Educate well every young American, not just your own, to prepare them for their future.

— Correctly engage our enemies, and don’t make enemies of our friends.

— Don’t be afraid to confront and mitigate violence, hatred and divisiveness in America.

A nation divided will not long endure.

JOE CLENDENIN

Santa Rosa

An anti-labor screed

EDITOR: Your Dec. 12 editorial criticized the tentative labor agreement between Santa Rosa City Schools and the Santa Rosa Teachers’ Association (“Fire leaves funding unknowns for SR school district”). The contention was that the district cannot afford this contract because the district is broke. However, what the editors didn’t do in their typically anti-union, anti-labor screed was to ask a basic journalistic question: Why is the district broke? Where have tens of millions of dollars gone seemingly overnight?

Why hasn’t The Press Democrat investigated the charges that the district has spent millions more on consultants and programs than other comparable districts? Has there been mismanagement for the past few years, losing and wasting tens of millions of taxpayer dollars? Shouldn’t the public be apprised of the situation?

We can’t get the best and brightest teachers since our district doesn’t offer health care or other benefits like other districts. We are losing excellent teachers to neighboring districts. Don’t our students deserve better? Instead, teachers are asked once again to fall behind in pay, in real dollars.

I can see a future editorial asking: Why can’t Johnny read? Editors, you will have to look yourselves in the mirror for the answer to that.

Do your journalistic duty.

DAVE FRANZMAN

Santa Rosa

Design for disasters

EDITOR: We have just driven along the west coast of Mauritius, where all the structures are built out of concrete to reduce destruction from natural disasters, in this case, cyclones. Maybe something to think about in rebuilding Santa Rosa?

HARRIET PALK

Santa Rosa

Wrongful suspension

EDITOR: I and several members of my family were evacuated from our respective homes during the fires. As most fast-food places and restaurants were closed for several days, a couple of us found that the evacuation center at Windsor High School was providing regularly scheduled meals, along with snacks and drinks. It was wonderfully staffed and many students were volunteering. What a beautiful example of community service these young people provided.

I would like to think that the Sonoma County Office of Education would have been proud of Mary Schiller and her students for providing meals to fire victims and making good use of food that might have gone to waste had she not kicked into gear and done the right thing (“SR culinary program leader put on leave,” Dec. 20).

It’s shocking to read of such a wrong-headed power play in the way the county office of education has treated this beloved and well-respected teacher as she used this great asset, the food truck, to serve the community in its time of need. This, too, was an example of community service and volunteerism.

What a horrible example to the very students the county office of education charged to inspire — suspending the teacher who inspired them the most.

Reinstate Schiller at once and give her the honor, dignity and thanks that she so richly deserves.

JUDITH A. MEAD

Santa Rosa

Trust in Thompson

EDITOR: With all due respect, Steve Long (“Thompson’s position,” Letters, Sunday) is clearly living in a world of alternative facts.

Rep. Mike Thompson has been a vocal advocate for pay-as-you-go budgeting, which would ensure that bills passed by Congress don’t increase our debt. He is so committed to fiscal responsibility that he has even voted against his own legislation because the underlying bill wasn’t paid for and would have added to the deficit. From Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush to Donald Trump, the party of “fiscal responsibility” continually adds trillions of dollars to the debt and funnels more wealth to corporations and the top 1 percent.

I Thompson’s fiscal knowledge and experience, and am proud that he represents our area in Congress.

JOE PLAUGHER

Guerneville

Raising our voices

EDITOR: Lori Saltveit (“Just plain wrong,” Letters, Dec. 20) is right that cutting safety net programs such as SNAP and Medicaid after going $1.5 trillion in debt to give a tax break to millionaires is “just plain wrong.” We need to raise our voices in a way that will prevent this. Call or write your senators and representatives and tell them, “No cuts to safety-net programs like SNAP, Medicare and Medicaid that millions of Americans need to put food on the table and keep a home.” Instead, ask them to look at the underlying causes of problems such as hunger and homelessness in America and work to end them. This is the right thing to do; enough of the “just plain wrong” efforts.

WILLIE DICKERSON

Snohomish, Washington

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