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Look for what’s best

EDITOR: Regarding Paul Gullixson’s column (“Food truck fight creates pointless PR mess,” Saturday), I second his observations. There is nothng about our lives, right now, that is, can be or, I suspect, ever will be “business as usual” in our lifetime.

We live in interesting times, with extenuating circumstances coming at us from all directions, and we have yet to grasp the best way to respond for the greater good. Mary Schiller was able to see what was for the greater good and courageously took action at a time it was needed.

Let all involved be spacious, forgiving and look for what is, in the long run, best for everyone concerned. May this sad set of circumstances resolve themselves without lawsuits but with grace, dignity and apologies from and for all involved.

ELLEN DRAPER

Sebastopol

Schiller’s inspiration

EDITOR: When this uproar about Mary Schiller started, I had to read the article twice to be sure I wasn’t missing something (“SR culinary program leader put on leave,” Wednesday). A teacher was punished for feeding people during a horrific disaster?

Some years ago, we took under our wing a young boy from a very difficult background. At Carrillo, Mary Schiller was a huge inspiration to him. Her humor and ways to make preparation of food a means of social interaction endeared her to students and parents alike. He beamed when she taught him to cook us a holiday dinner, complete with all the trimmings.

Mary Schiller helped turn around his life.

Should we prefer the lesson students would have learned from locking up a truck loaded with food at the same time our friends and neighbors were rendered homeless and food less by a terrible disaster?

During this Christmas season, we can give thanks for teachers like Schiller who help students understand what concern and compassion for others really means.

DOUGLAS BOSCO

Santa Rosa

The reason for rejection

EDITOR: The reason for the Santa Rosa City Council’s rejection (“SR rejects housing project in burn zone,” Wednesday) was that the area went through the “worst wildfire in California history.” Does this also mean the council will reject Coffey Park?

What if every place that had a natural disaster was not allowed to replace their housing stock? San Francisco, Chicago, Los Gatos, Houston and others would just be bare land. You cannot not rebuild. That is moving backwards or standing still, because there might be another disaster. You have to move forward and be better prepared.

JOHN POYSER

Santa Rosa

Values of tax plan

EDITOR: Whatever values the GOP once had are now boiled down to just one — money. Yes, the GOP has just paid its campaign donors back with the new tax bill. Now the GOP will go after the entitlements and safety net of the less fortunate.

Never again do I want to hear the word deficit uttered by the GOP. Let’s face it neighbors, the Washington swamp is alive and well, and the GOP is as corrupt as the summer day is long. We can only hope the midterm elections come before the GOP gets its hands on the laws that oversee the fair voting system that the county has built over the past 100 years.

NOEL J. O’NEILL

Willits

Appalled by plans

EDITOR: As a college student who cherishes our nation’s wilderness, I am appalled by our federal administration’s assault on our scenic places. Currently, the GOP tax bill would allow for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a pristine arctic treasure home to breathtaking species like polar bears and musk oxen.

Additionally, Trump recently proposed massive cuts to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. And Congress is considering multiple bills that would collectively open America’s wild places to motor vehicles and other unchecked intrusions, which threaten the delicate health of these ecosystems.

Protecting nature for future generations, just as we now do, does not “hurt the economy” as some lawmakers claim. In fact, safeguarding our wilderness boosts the economies of rural communities surrounding it, by attracting outdoor tourists who support those local residents’ businesses. And we cannot have thriving timber and seafood industries without responsibly managed forests and waterways. I encourage my fellow citizens to call, email and write our legislators to voice support for protecting our wild places by opposing the above-mentioned bills. Let’s strengthen our collective voice to protect our ecosystems.

REBECCA CANRIGHT

Sebastopol

Amid the crisis

EDITOR: The report on the Maria Carrillo culinary instructor and the Santa Rosa school district’s food truck got me remembering the chronology of the fire (“SR culinary program leader put on leave,” Wednesday).

By Monday, Oct. 9, dozens are dead and thousands of houses are gone. On Oct. 10, food logistics for firefighters are not fully implemented and some restaurants are closed with credit card terminals out of service. On Oct. 11, there are more mandatory evacuations for Santa Rosa east of Summerfield Road and a massive smoke plume appears from backfires on Bennett Peak. Also on Oct. 11, the school district wants its food truck back. One wonders if the district had a plan for it.

And then there was the Friday night, Dec. 2 Christmas dinner and dance of the Holy Spirit Parish Men’s Club. Talk about a group ready to party. The board had two “Italian Bartender” slots. Cocktails were at 6 p.m. Dinner at 7 p.m. with complimentary wine on the table, no host full bar, food catered by Maria Carrillo High School.

Into this festive atmosphere insert SCOE’s minder ready to report any infraction. One wonders if overtime was being paid.

KERRY RICHARDSON

Santa Rosa

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