Friday’s Letters to the Editor

Press Democrat readers comment on endangered sea turtles, and more.|

Endangered turtles

EDITOR: The highly endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle is the official marine reptile of the state of California. Back in 2012 this ancient sea creature was named an official state symbol, listed with the grizzly bear and the golden poppy. It is so sad that a leatherback was just found caught in a drifting crab trap (“Crab fleet suffers another blow,” Saturday).

Few Californians realize this rare sea turtle exists, let alone that it has relied on our coast for millions of years to feed on jellyfish. They have one of the longest migrations in the world, crossing the Pacific Ocean from California to Indonesia where they nest, 6,000 miles one way.

These are the largest turtles and one of the largest living reptiles in the world. They weigh up to 2,000 pounds and reach 8 feet in length. This prehistoric species has a soft, leathery shell unlike most turtles that have a hard shell.

The near extinction of the leatherback is due to drowning on fishing lines and in nets, illegal harvesting of eggs and climate change impacts. The local crab fishery isn’t the main factor in their demise, but every leatherback we lose is a tragedy.



Unsafe schools

EDITOR: The violence at local public schools right now is outrageous. I have kids who will be in middle school in a couple short years. We live right around the corner from Montgomery High. Do you think we want to send them through the Slater Middle School-Montgomery track right now? No one does.

I grew up in local public schools, and it was a great experience. Our family is pro public school. But I sure would consider private school right now as it looks like nothing is being done to address safety concerns at public schools.

Law enforcement says we have a growing gang problem. The red flags are everywhere. Kids are regularly experiencing lockdowns and panic attacks. And how did the superintendent respond about the most recent incident of violence at Slater? She put in a request to add school safety to the agenda. It wasn’t even on the agenda. School safety should be the No. 1 item on the agenda at every single meeting until this situation improves.

I cannot in good faith send my kids into an unsafe situation. This has to change.


Santa Rosa

Unsustainable agriculture

EDITOR: I dispute the assertion in your Dec. 2 editorial that animal agriculture is sustainable and healthy (“A new pandemic in Sonoma County”). All animals are thinking sentient beings and deserve a natural life. Animal agriculture pollutes land and water. It is a significant contributor to climate change. Consuming animal products is unhealthy for people. And it’s really bad for the hapless slaughtered animals. I will happily sign the Direct Action Everywhere petition to end animal agriculture in Sonoma County.



Protests go uncovered

EDITOR: As a loyal subscriber to The Press Democrat, I’m troubled by the lack of reporting on local protests in support of a cease-fire in Gaza. Aside from coverage of the first protest in Old Courthouse Square in October, the paper has remained suspiciously silent on the growing local cease-fire and Palestinian solidarity movement. This movement includes Jewish and Palestinian voices. It is peaceful and focused on human rights. It is not antisemitic.

Every Sunday, Jewish, Palestinian and other peace protesters gather in Old Courthouse Square. Nothing is reported in the paper. In November, protesters gathered at Rep. Jared Huffman’s office in Petaluma and marched downtown. Nothing was reported. On Black Friday, entire families marched in Santa Rosa Plaza to raise awareness. A reporter was there. Nothing was reported. On Dec. 3, a car caravan in support of the Palestinian people traveled from Franklin Park to Old Courthouse Square. Again, nothing was reported.

Everywhere, voices calling for a cease-fire and a just political solution for Palestinians are being ignored, censored and punished, while thousands are dying in Gaza. These are scary times for anyone who cares about human rights and free speech. Press Democrat, please do better.


Santa Rosa

Power corrupts

EDITOR: Donald Trump should be believed about the plans and threats he will institute if voted into power by the Electoral College. I was curious when he said that he would be a dictator for just one day. Are there any current or historic examples of a dictator giving up absolute power? I see current dictators — Viktor Orban, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Daniel Ortega — continuing in power for decades. And, hey, doesn’t Trump state his admiration for them? No, I don’t think Trump would only be dictator for a day. Remember Lord Acton’s axiom: “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”


Santa Rosa

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