Friday’s Letters to the Editor

Tilt toward union labor

EDITOR: Your recent endorsement of nonunion contractors bidding on school work was ended by your justification that it would level the playing field (“Don’t tip the scale on school construction work,” Tuesday). That is off the mark.

Unions have training programs for their members. Classroom training as well as field training for apprentices. That’s not a level playing field; fortunately, it’s tilted toward the union.

I’ve worked on union and nonunion jobs. The union work is so superior it’s noticeable immediately. The way tools are used or left idle while not being used, the way rules of safety are enforced, as well as and most importantly the skill level and regard for other workers is markedly superior. That is not a level playing field; again, it’s tilted toward union labor. If you want a level field, literally a level field (pun intended), union labor is the way to go.

This debate is too often justified by the same words you used. It has never been and most likely will never be a level field if nonunion labor is used. Those not having experienced it may have a difficult time understanding, as the editorial so aptly displayed.



End the debt madness

EDITOR: Congress passed legislation to raise the federal debt ceiling, ending a political stalemate that had gone on for weeks. This self-imposed political crisis took the country and the financial markets on a needless roller coaster ride. But the drama is not over yet. The legislation “only” increases the debt ceiling by $480 billion, an amount the Treasury Department estimates will be enough for the federal government to pay its bills through Dec. 3.

In a few short weeks the partisan wrangling will begin anew. But Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell promises not to be so accommodating to the Democrats. Political tensions will bring the country once again to the edge of default. It’s time to end this madness.

The debt ceiling is an arbitrary value with no economic justification, based purely on the whims of Congress. Paying federal debts should be an automatic act, not subject to the whims of political brinkmanship.

The debt ceiling doesn’t control federal spending, needlessly burdens Congress and hampers the Treasury from doing its job. It’s time for the U.S. to join most other industrialized countries and abolish the federal debt ceiling altogether.


Santa Rosa

Fosse: All-around all-star

EDITOR: Although the Press Democrat tends to concentrate on articles about the Giants, I appreciate the article about the passing of Ray Fosse (“Fosse, voice of the A’s dies at 74,” Thursday). Not only was he an all-star catcher, he was an all-start announcer. His knowledge of baseball and dedication to the A’s organiza-tion is unsurpassed. I would hope that everyone will cast a ballot for Ray Fosse for the 2022 Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball announcing.



Protecting your home

EDITOR: By highlighting the accelerating wildfire risk in Sonoma County (“No good news in wildfire forecast,” Oct. 7), you bring to the foreground the administrative challenges experienced by coastal residents in mitigating fire danger on our own properties.

To protect a home by removing a dead tree or even dry shrubbery, permits are often required by the California Coastal Commission and Permit Sonoma. The process is onerous, confusing and extremely time-consuming. Often, the expensive proposition of hiring an environmental engineer or forester for inspections is required prior to gaining the necessary permits. Homeowners are given a Sophie’s Choice of running afoul of regulations or losing their home to a wildfire. In my experience, many choose the former option and hope for the best.

To their credit, Permit Sonoma and the Coastal Commission are working to improve the process, and at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday will host a Zoom meeting on vegetation management (Zoom meeting 988 3816 2230, pass code 619849). We hope coastal residents take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about what we can do to save our property and homes from wildfire.


Chief, Timber Cove Fire Protection District

A green congressman

EDITOR: I take issue with Jason Kishineff’s characterization of Rep. Mike Thompson’s stand on climate legislation as “too weak” (“Thompson climate record,” Letters, Oct. 6). The Green Act, sponsored by Thompson, has powerful tax incentives to decarbonize our energy system. Were it not for such tax incentives, the burgeoning solar industry would not have taken off.

Incentives contained in the Green Act will continue to push solar and wind, hydrogen and other sources that don’t produce greenhouse gases. No one piece of legislation will do everything one could want. But when a congressman pushes a significant law like the Green Act, he deserves better than “it doesn’t go far enough.”

Thompson has been an environmental leader since his days in the state Legislature. He can be counted on to sponsor and support a wide range of bills dealing with climate change and its impacts. The Green Act is only one of those measures, and a highly significant one.


President, Sonoma County Conservation Action

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