Saturday’s Letters to the Editor
Test with vaccines
EDITOR: After reading Sunday’s editorial (“Feeling good? Get tested anyway”), it seems that a simple way to increase testing is to add a testing step to vaccinations. You already have a captive audience. It would seem that the information provided for a vaccination tracking is the same as needed for COVID-19 testing. One stop for both procedures.
EDITOR: It’s understandable that the Sonoma County Library decided it wasn’t cost-effective to go after fines for late returns. But human nature being what it is, lots of people are going to keep books and other material, some literally forever. I’ve already experienced longer waits for some books than ever before. Has it occurred to the library to send periodic emails urging people to be good citizens and get books back on time, even though there’s no penalty anymore? And maybe to open drop boxes more than just two days a week?
I predict lots of books and other material will never come back, the library won’t have the budget to replace them, and the taxpayers will be asked, as usual, to approve a sales or property tax measure for the library to replace inventory.
Transit, not cars
EDITOR: While we are fairly neutral as to whether or how the city of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County decide to collaborate on constructing shared facilities, we agree with Supervisor David Rabbitt’s statement: “It’s a huge project, a generational thing. You want to make sure you do it right and look at everything” (“Governing together,” Sunday). For that reason, advocates for sustainable transportation noticed the number of times your story mentioned concerns about parking for automobiles.
The city and county have adopted climate action plans. Both profess a desire to reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions. They should be doing everything in their power to set a good example and discourage private automobile use.
Research shows that when parking is free and plentiful, more people drive. Providing publicly funded storage for private property is outdated, counterproductive and unsustainable. A shared civic center downtown would be convenient to bus and train stations. Reducing parking, coupled with other incentives (Clipper card discounts, bike parking facilities and showers, reserved parking for carpools only, flexible hours) will encourage workers to use alternative transportation, increasing demand for and investment in those systems.
As the city and county consider their next moves, Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition encourages both to invest less in automobile parking and more in transit and active transportation.
Executive director, Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition
Keep pets safe
EDITOR: We as a community mourn with Susan Standen over the loss of her dog, Baby Ruth (“Outcry grows after SR dog attack,” Feb. 26). Many of us are aware that what happened to Standen could happen to us. We might not see a dangerous animal leaping from a car to maul our companion.
But we could be Angela Stevenson and Bobby Kumparak, who had their French bulldog Lucy stolen from their fenced front yard two years ago. Or we could be the woman in my neighborhood who recently spotted people reaching over a fence to give food to her dogs over her protests; she had no idea what they were being fed.
The last time I took my dog to the local dog park, I finished the day with over $2,000 in veterinary bills. I don’t know the people who brought the dogs that injured mine. They left before I knew what had happened.
Stories about dogs being stolen from cars or from in front of cafes or shops pop up in the news regularly. There are many more that do not. Our canine and feline friends need to be watched and protected as diligently as our human children, it seems. Maybe more, since there are fewer repercussions for their injury or loss.
Guns and insurrection
EDITOR: Yes, there need to be background checks for firearm purchases (“It’s time to close the loophole on background checks,” Feb. 26). At least there should be background checks for semiautomatics and certainly to own high-capacity magazines.
But why is this so controversial? The country isn’t swarming with deranged serial killers who are lobbying against gun laws. It’s because the country is swarming with would-be insurrectionists who no longer believe in democracy and want to rule the country through the barrel of a semiautomatic with a big magazine.
They are worried that this belief/fantasy of “watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants and patriots” might just not pass a background check. It shouldn’t. They are right.
Detention of teens
EDITOR: President Joe Biden made a great start in reuniting separated migrant children with their parents. And then he reopened one of the substandard temporary holding facilities to house migrant teenagers. Even as a short-term solution, that’s not America. California has stepped up to provide $28 million to help all asylum seekers and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has begun a fund raising campaign to help these children. I agree with her words of protest, “This is not OK, never has been OK, never will be OK — no matter the administration or the party.”
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