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Reckless drivers

EDITOR: I am seeing more and more drivers who, while trying to rush to someplace, pass cars using the middle turning lane. This is not only illegal but highly dangerous. Is it that important to get to your destination two to three minutes earlier? No one wants to cause an accident that could kill or maim innocent adults and children that is so preventable. Please. Take a breath, relax and you will get to your destination. It isn’t worth it.

ALAN MURAKAMI

Sebastopol

Organic changes

EDITOR: The Trump administration ruled on Friday that animals raised for food under the “USDA Organic” label need not be treated any less cruelly than those in conventional farming. The decision reverses years of U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, which held that the “organic” label should impose minimal ethical, health and environmental standards. For the animals, this included adequate space, light, and access to the outdoors.

Under the Trump administration, this will no longer be the case. “Organic” farm operations will be allowed to cram laying hens five to a small wire cage that tears out their feathers and to grind or suffocate millions of male chicks at birth because they don’t lay eggs. Mother pigs will spend their miserable lives in tight metal crates, as their babies are torn from them and mutilated with no anesthesia. And dairy cows will continue to cry for their babies torn from them at birth, so we can drink milk.

Caring consumers opting for “organic” animal products, to reduce their role in subsidizing these abuses, will now have no choice but to switch to plant-based foods, including the widely available nut- and grain-based meats, milks, cheeses and ice creams.

LARRY ROGAWITZ

Santa Rosa

Tasting rooms ban

EDITOR: Kudos to the Sonoma City Council for pulling the plug on more tasting rooms around the plaza in Sonoma, in light of the current 26 existing establishments with five more approved. Besides ensuring more retail diversity around the square, the moratorium is also smart business.

As the founder of the Silicon Valley Bank Wine Division, Rob McMillan has warned the Sonoma County wine industry: “The greatest obstacle to tasting room profitability is more and more competition from more and more tasting rooms.”

We must all protect and support existing wine and hospitality businesses, especially since the downturn caused by the recent fires. To continue to build and develop more competition will only hurt those who have already invested in our community. It’s just bad business.

PADI SELWYN

Co-founder, Neighbors to Preserve Rural Sonoma County, Sebastopol

What the Bible really says

EDITOR: Letter-writer Dean Davis says, “the God of the Bible thunders against things like abortion” (Letters, Saturday).

Many fundamentalist Christians unfortunately believe that the Bible condemns abortion. Not so, perhaps because abortion was so widely practiced and accepted in Biblical times.

There are many extremely vague Biblical passages which pro-lifers infer to be God’s position on abortion. Ironically in the Bible’s 1,700-plus pages, with slews of common human practices like eating pork getting condemned, abortion is never mentioned. Not once.

In one noteworthy passage (Numbers 5: 11-28), God sanctions and literally causes an abortion (for a woman who’s been unfaithful to her husband).

The Southern Baptists originally applauded Roe v Wade back in the 1970s. Unfortunately some in the Republican Christian right disapproved of this and turned abortion into a political rallying cry.

A majority of Americans and religions believe God has no “position” on abortion but rather gives us “free will” and his love for making the best decision possible when these difficult and frequently “no-win” situations arrive in our lives. Those who think they know what God wants and try to dissuade and/or thwart women from freely making their own private, spiritual decisions do them — and society — a grave harm.

RICK CHILDS

Mendocino,

Just plain wrong

EDITOR: With one in eight Americans below the poverty line, why would we jeopardize health, nutrition and other basic programs just to pay for tax breaks for the wealthy? The tax plan now moving through Congress threatens the future of basic assistance for millions of hardworking, low-income families, all to deliver huge tax cuts to millionaires and big corporations.

I was glad to see that Rep. Jared Huffman gets it and that he co-wrote “Close to Home: Disaster food programs at risk under GOP budget plan” on Sunday in support of SNAP and the Redwood Empire Food Bank.

This year we’ve already seen attempts to gut essential programs like Medicaid and SNAP. So after giving away $1.5 trillion in tax breaks to millionaires, those same critical programs are on on the chopping block. This is bad public policy and just plain wrong.

LORI SALTVEIT

Corte Madera

Replacing ‘weed’

EDITOR: I would like to take notice of your newspaper’s usage of the term “weed” within various articles about marijuana culture and entreprises. I believe that term is a remnant of the past prohibition ideology of fear and misinformation. There are numerous other terms that can be used when referencing this product, i.e. flower, cannabis, etc. Since wine has never been referred to as “booze” in your numerous articles about the wine industry, I would hope your journalists would do the same for marijuana discourse and give it the due respect it deserves.

RICHARD WEICHE

Calistoga

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