Monday’s Letters to the Editor
EDITOR: I also miss Donald Trump, but not exactly the way T.K. McDonald does (“Missing Trump,” Letters, April 20). The news is so boring now, without his endless ranting, lying and scandals.
The COVID-19 bill doesn’t consist of only 9% for coronavirus relief. This is a common lie that has been refuted by many neutral sources. Similarly, the infrastructure bill does provide around 6% specifically for roads and bridges. However, as should be obvious, infrastructure encompasses much more than roads and bridges, so the claim is disingenuous.
The bills mentioned are the first big attempts to improve the fabric of our society, which deteriorated markedly in the time of Trump, in almost every important way. This is only unfathomable to those who selfishly yearn for a return to the past.
Regarding attempts to perpetuate power, the filibuster hasn’t yet been ended, and the Supreme Court hasn’t yet been “packed.” However, all the Trump states have bills pending or passed (Georgia) that seek to suppress voting by non-Trumpers, mostly people of color, in order to perpetuate the power of the minority Republicans.
Trump did say many mean things. He also said racist, stupid, untrue, dangerous, insulting, narcissistic and perhaps treasonous things. He should, and one day may be, in jail.
JEFFREY A. RAPP
EDITOR: Sadly, many elderly citizens continue to be victimized by phone scams even though warnings have appeared in hundreds of publications and are regularly discussed on television and radio (“Officials warn of financial scams,” April 8). In 2020, phone scams cost Americans $19.7 billion, most of which was never recovered.
To help elderly relatives and friends avoid becoming victims, download and review with them the Federal Trade Commission’s comprehensive article on phone scams: consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0208-phone-scams. The AARP’s monthly bulletin is an excellent source for timely information about phones scams (aarp.org).
Emphasize to your elderly relatives and friends that sending money, accepting financial advice, disclosing personal information or agreeing to purchase a product or service in response to a phone call they did not initiate are sure ways to become a scam victim. Encourage them to be wary of suspicious phone calls and discuss them with you before they take any action.
Small cell controversy
EDITOR: After several years of study sessions, the Santa Rosa City Council will finally get the chance to approve a small cell ordinance on June 29. Meanwhile, there are bills in the California Legislature that, if passed, would severely hinder local governments’ ability to control the placement of small cells in our communities.
Most alarming is SB 556, which would mandate that all streetlights, traffic signal poles, utility poles and support structures be available for small cell placement. This puts local small cell ordinances and state mandates on a collision course. Why are telecom companies pushing so hard for the small cell build-out, and why would the state want to override local regulations?
Telecom has been billing customers for decades with fees supposedly earmarked for fiber-optic networks that haven’t materialized. Fiber to the premises is faster, safer, easier to upgrade, more reliable with multiple users and the best way to bridge the digital divide.
What’s wrong with this picture?
EDITOR: The opinion expressed by Estella M. Sterner that Georgia’s voting law “will not suppress anyone’s right to vote” assumes a Social Security card, a utility bill and a bank account (“Georgia’s voting law,” Letters, April 16). Put aside for the moment recollections of “Let them eat cake” as the most out-of-touch utterance of the unaware and overprivileged. Focus on the belief behind the opinion: that only those who work, pay utilities and have money in a bank should be entitled to vote.
In short, only “the established,” those wealthy enough to have a home with utilities and a banker. That better defines a republic than it does a democracy, but like it or not we live in a democracy. Wealth and property are not voter qualification criteria.
Utility bill? Who doesn’t have one in their name? Maybe a spouse, partner, tenant, student, retiree or someone who just moved. How about those living in a car, on a boat or in a hotel? What if PG&E spelled the name wrong?
How about that bank account? Oh, so last century. Many ways to pay and get paid these days from cash to PayPal to bitcoin.
Some people don’t have a Social Security card. Good people, too.
DONAL B. BOTKIN
Doing the right thing
EDITOR: As every aware Sonoma County resident knows, we are in a drought crisis. On Wednesday, Supervisor Lynda Hopkins was quoted as saying that the county will start “asking people to do the right thing” with regard to water conservation (“County declares a drought crisis”).
The supervisors’ supportive stance toward conversion of agricultural lands in Sonoma County to commercial pot farms that use six times more water than vineyards, including Hopkins’, is not the right thing with regard to water conservation. We ask the supervisors to do the right thing and reject the proposed regulations that promote and enable water-gluttonous cannabis farms, which in this time of drought are unsustainable and counterproductive to water conservation.
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