Monday’s Letters to the Editor
Speeding and fireworks
EDITOR: Like Laurie Seale (“Too loud to stay,” Letters, Aug. 3), my husband and I have lived in our house for a long time, purchased in 1989. We put a lot of money, time and effort into upgrading, remodeling, landscaping, etc., and we had a beautiful home on a quiet street. We now have a beautiful home on a very loud and dangerous street. The speed limit is 25 mph but more cars go down at 50 mph, and that’s not mentioning the side shows and the one-month celebration of the Fourth of July. On the Fourth, we called 911 to give them the address of a house on our block that had professional grade fireworks going off all evening, continuously. Our neighbors reported them, also, and no police showed up.
Santa Rosa is loud, and the lack of enforcement makes traffic conditions dangerous. These professional grade fireworks made our neighborhoods sound like a war zone. They frighten everyone, including pets, and they bring back memories to veterans of wars fought.
If the city of Santa Rosa cannot afford a police department that can keep the peace and enforce the laws, then they need to stop spending money on feel-good and look-good projects and concentrate on public safety.
MARY CAY SPRAGUE
EDITOR: Ballots will be mailed mid-August for the gubernatorial recall. A yes vote might get you Larry Elder, a radical conservative libertarian. If yes wins on question one, the candidate with the most votes on question two becomes governor, even with a tiny percentage of the vote. Forty-six candidates are running. This is an irresponsible power grab, and we know it. Please vote and please vote no.
EDITOR: If a CHP officer parked on Occidental Road during his/her lunch hour with a radar gun, I imagine that more than $1,000 could be made from speeding tickets. There is a small two-lane stretch between Highway 116 and Mill Station Road and the mean speed of trucks and cars might be as high as 75 mph.
I ride this road regularly on my bike, and it never ceases to amaze me that drivers use this stretch as a highway and drive at those speeds. It is a dangerous road all the way to the coast. I veer off on Mill Station to avoid the rest of this frightening road.
This would be a creative way to raise some public funds for Sebastopol and create some safety for pedestrians and cyclists. A full shift parked along this road would bring in thousands of dollars per day. How about this idea?
KATE E. BLACK
Fires and leadership
EDITOR: When President Joe Biden met with Western governors on the wildfires, they didn’t discuss past shortfalls that exacerbated the crisis. For example, the poor federal salaries that resulted in many qualified firefighters leaving, or California doing only 10% of the brush clearing and controlled burns scheduled to reduce fire risk. If they had, they might have taken much greater steps than increasing federal firefighter salaries to $15 an hour (same as Chick-Fil-A). They would have considered a major coordinated acceleration of hiring, training and remediation, especially since smoke from these fires endangers the health of millions of citizens, lives and property are being lost, and the massive carbon released exacerbates global climate change. This should be a major federal and state initiative like the Manhattan Project.
Gov. Gavin Newsom should initiate the program by donating the $14 million he raised to oppose the recall to fund a training program for 500 new firefighters. Then, he should outline his plan of action to prevent or reduce future fires.
Rescued — at a cost
EDITOR: Congress recently passed the America Rescue Plan. Hooray! Rohnert Park will be getting $8.1 million for schools and rental, utility and mortgage payment assistance. Similarly, Petaluma, $8.75 million; Cotati, $1.25 million; Windsor, $5 million; Healdsburg, $2.2 million; and Santa Rosa, a whopping $36 million. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
But, wait, the federal government had to borrow the money, so eventually you are going to have to pay it back. The combined 321,500 citizens of these six cities just taxed themselves about $200 each. A family of four makes it $800.
I’m sorry. I forgot to add in an additional $100 per citizen for the $50.2 million that Sonoma County gets. So, your family of four has now taxed itself $1,200.
Don’t worry, though. You probably won’t have to pay back all $1,400 of your stimulus payment, if you received it. Others who didn’t get the payment will pay some of it back for you.
But you will probably get tapped for some of the $300-a-week in extended unemployment benefits.
Please remember to send a thank you card to your representative for voting this tax increase on your behalf.
PATRICK T. FLOWER
Vote no on recall
EDITOR: I remember so clearly hearing that seniors were abandoned in an assisted living facility as the Tubbs fire approached. I thought to myself, what kind of person owns a facility like that without a solid, detailed evacuation plan and employees trained to keep residents safe during a disaster? Well, it seems I have my answer. The same person who gets so angry that his company was investigated by District Attorney Jill Ravitch for this epic catastrophe that he single-handedly mounts a recall against her in a quest for revenge. Let’s send a clear message to this wealthy developer that we will not help him get his revenge. Vote no on the district attorney recall.
KATY ROSE LUSSON
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