Smaller and safer
EDITOR: There has been much interest recently in downsizing homes — eliminating unused stuff, keeping only what you really need, use and love. A clutter-free environment takes less time to maintain and brings peacefulness to daily living. People buy books about downsizing and even hire experts to help.
Would it be insensitive to comment that 4,658 households in Sonoma County were recently downsized 100 percent, free, by wildfires? All those homeowners have a clean slate.
Many of these households were under-insured; insurance won’t cover the cost of building a replacement home. Here’s where the tiny house movement can teach. A smaller house, if designed wisely with multi-purpose areas, tailored storage and design innovations, such as wall beds, feels much bigger than its low square footage would suggest. There are many architects in the area who can help with affordable replacements.
And, of course, replacements should be fire-resistant. Stucco walls and metal roofs can be built without waiting for changes in the building code. Windows are a weak point, but the already mandated 30-foot defensible area surrounding homes helps with this problem.
May the Phoenix arise.
EDITOR: I read about teacher Mary Schiller’s dilemma over the food truck (“SR culinary program leader put on leave,” Dec. 20). It seems to me that many schools’ entire resources were used by employing them as emergency shelters. Classes were canceled, and cafeterias and gyms became staging areas for the displaced. Using the school food truck to feed the same people that other school resources were used for is in line with that goal.
It seems that the Sonoma County Office of Education is upset that Schiller thought of helping before it could their act together and take credit. If what she did was wrong, then it should be held responsible for turning over other school resources to help without proper due process, public comment or the blessing of who knows who.
Give me a break. They owe her a public apology.
Amusing, but an error
EDITOR: I am writing because there was a serious, if more than a little amusing, error in the Sunday Forum section article headlined “The story of Christmas rooted in working poor.”
The second paragraph begins with this sentence: “The Gospels tell us little about Mary other than to say that she was a parthenon, a young woman, a virgin, most likely illiterate.” (Emphasis added.)
Wrong. Mary was not a Greek temple in Athens. Instead, she was a parthena (Greek for virgin).
My surmise is that the author originally typed “parthena,” and somewhere along the line auto-correct struck again, changing “parthena” to “parthenon.” And no human being caught the mistake.
My first impulse on encountering this obvious error was to think, “Doesn’t anybody read this stuff?” I do hope that The Press Democrat will bear in mind that it has many terminally erudite readers and will make a special effort to catch such problems in the use of non-English words in the future.
Sonoma West’s survival
EDITOR: I have always respected and admired Gary Harris for his commitment and dedication to the Forestville community. That said, I was surprised by his letter regarding Sonoma West Medical Center (“Propose a parcel tax,” Tuesday).