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Friday’s Letters to the Editor

A mass shooting epidemic

EDITOR: The gun issue in the U.S. is astonishing. How can the U.S. pretend to go into foreign nations to keep the peace when it cannot keep its citizens from gunning each other down in public spaces on a daily basis? How is it that mass shootings are now so commonplace in our nation that no one really bats an eye? Why are so many concerned for the right to life of unborn fetuses, but not for living, breathing children in schools?

Other nations have been shocked and horrified by mass shootings and acted to restrict guns — but not the U.S. Japan has an excellent model of gun owner evaluation and licensing, and the U.S. would do well to follow this example if we continue to have more guns per capita than any other nation.

More guns does equal more deaths by guns — it is simple math. Intentional and accidental gun deaths have increased parallel to gun ownership. A few weeks ago, some foreign press reports on the first gun massacre of children in a school in Russia compared this slaughter to the American tradition.

America is better than this.

NATHAN MEYJES

Santa Rosa

Health privacy violations

EDITOR: Has anyone at the Press Democrat ever heard of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act? This is a very stringent law. The state is not entitled to divulge the fact that an individual has, or has not, received a vaccine (“To fully reopen, California needs vaccine passports,” editorial, May 27).

In fact, it's probably against HIPAA to ask if you have had COVID-19, or if you have been near someone who is infected. Anyone who wants this information should be requesting that individuals sign a release.

And the biggest violators of this are physicians. When you go to their office for an appointment, you need to answer questions before being admitted. It's only after you get admitted that you must sign a form. Just taking your temperature is likely a violation of HIPAA.

SHEL LEADER

Sonoma

Don’t blame RP council

EDITOR: As a resident of Rohnert Park, I too am upset that the ordinance to ban fireworks was not allowed to take effect for the 2021 fire season. What people need to know is that a petition signed by 3,100 residents, and not the City Council, stopped the ordinance from taking effect. The council has voted to put the fireworks ban ordinance on the ballot on Sept. 14, the same day as the recall election for Jill Ravitch, the Sonoma County district attorney. Please continue your letters in support of keeping the fireworks ban and support those of us in Rohnert Park who want to end fireworks sales and use in our community. We appreciate all your help.

CHRISTINA MEYER

Rohnert Park

On the wrong track

EDITOR: I cannot believe what Gov. Gavin Newsom is doing. Paying people off with debit cards and entries into a lottery to entice them to get vaccinated. I guess if you hold off long enough, the government, no, the taxpayers, will reward you if you go along with what Newsom wants you to do.

He has been awfully free with our money. Sounds like he is a little worried about a recall in the offing, and he can buy people off. He probably believes that, recall or not, his political career is toast. All these money giveaways are nothing short of pandering for votes.

A person holding off on vaccinations, with or without a valid reason, is putting him or herself and others at risk. Instead of financial incentives, how about showing these people photos of the sick people in India, intubated COVID-19 patients of all ages in hospitals and weeping relatives trying to bury their love ones? Would that cause them to change their minds?

Thanks to all who got their vaccines early because it was the right thing to do. Newsom is on the wrong track with this latest ploy.

ART HACKWORTH

Petaluma

Overloading roads

EDITOR: There are 943 units being constructed between Santa Rosa Avenue and Petaluma Hill Road, bordered on the north by Colgan Avenue and the south by Burt Street. If everyone has two cars, that’s 1,886 added to the commute.

Why does Santa Rosa approve all these projects before street improvements are completed? Permits use verbiage such as “street improvements in alignment with future city upgrade.” What upgrades?

Think of the traffic nightmare if repairs ever get started. Adding to the drama is the new In-N-Out Burger approved for Santa Rosa Avenue. Plus the approved 5.5-acre commercial cannabis operation at Yolanda Avenue and Petaluma Hill Road.

The Hearn Avenue overcrossing was built in the 1950s. Caltrans funded replacement of the overcrossing in 2016. Didn’t happen. Recently pilings were added to strengthen abutments.

With the extreme drought, where will the water come from? Colgan Creek? Sorry, homeless already are using that precious resource.

The U-turn accident rate by the In-N-Out will impact our already underfunded services. Let’s not wait for the tragedies that are sure to come.

SHARON RIDLEY-SMITH

Santa Rosa

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