Saturday’s Letters to the Editor
The ‘Trump vaccine’
EDITOR: Just as we refer to the Affordable Care Act as Obamacare, we should refer to the coronavirus vaccine as the Trump vaccine. He’s the one that pushed for it. It was his administration that claimed it was safe and effective, and it seems he’s the one who wants credit and praise for it. So, from now on, let us all call it the Trump vaccine, and then maybe a few more people will go in for their free shot. And if you want to, give special thanks to Donald Trump for doing such a wonderful job with Operation Warp Speed.
End Cuba embargo
EDITOR: In the wake of protests across Cuba, the Biden administration is being pressured from the left and the right, reminding us that Cuba is a domestic political issue, not just a foreign policy one.
Although our 60-year-old embargo of Cuba has failed to dislodge the government, some on the right want to support the opposition, even with arms or troops, tighten the embargo or impose new sanctions. These options would perpetuate the hardships and suffering of Cubans and provoke more repression, bloodshed and possible civil war.
An alternative would be to lift the embargo, allow Cuban Americans to send money to their families, remove restrictions on travel and allow Americans to invest and trade in Cuba.
Lifting the embargo would relieve acute shortages in food and medicine; removing restrictions on remittances would help Cuban families with relatives abroad; allowing travel would spark tourism, the major source of foreign exchange; and lifting restrictions on investment and trade would spark economic growth in the private sector.
Instead of isolating Cuba, the embargo has isolated the United States and failed to remove the Cuban regime. To convince our friends “America is back,” President Joe Biden should lift the embargo and close Guantánamo.
Fireworks ban is unfair
EDITOR: Nonprofits that rely on safe and sane fireworks will no longer raise money by providing product and service to the surrounding community, but instead will be given government handouts to compensate.
The Rohnert Park city government is breaking the legs of vital community organizations, stealing money from everyone else to pay for their crutches and then claiming that without government these organizations would never walk.
If Jamie Black (“Fundraising options,” Letters, July 22) is upset about $90,000 being spent to put the vote to ban this American tradition up to the people of Rohnert Park instead of the bureaucrats, as opposed to the $324,000 Black claims the grant award pool costs, then the problem in Black’s reasoning is evident.
County’s ‘for-profit’ jail
EDITOR: I read with interest the article about phone calls for county jail inmates (“Cost of jail calls questioned,” July 24). We’re thrilled that the jail is allowing inmates 10 free minutes a week during the pandemic, as we can hear from our son who’s been in there for several months while they take their time deciding what to do with him. But phones calls are the tip of the iceberg for the fees the jail charges inmates — and ultimately families, since inmates rarely have money. Every bar of soap, tube of toothpaste and toothbrush must be purchased. Nothing other than the clothes on their backs and the miserable food they serve is free. And the cost is outrageous.
Sonoma County’s jail is a for-profit endeavor. They offer zero services for inmates. They keep them locked in cells for 23½ hours per day. Mental health assessment and treatment is a joke. We need to be looking beyond the cost of phone calls and start to investigate their entire system, as it's seriously flawed.
EDITOR: California’s unexpected cash surplus from taxes this year should have been spent on our No. 1 crisis, a crisis that supersedes all other crises — climate change, specifically the drought.
Look at the town of Mendocino (“Mendocino wells running dry,” July 23). They must truck water into their town — if they can find it. And they are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars just to survive.
Our state should be strategically looking to the future to offset the effects of living in a desert that was never meant to support this many people and farms. I see three areas where we could start: control evaporation (solar panels over reservoirs, no open ditches, pipe the California aqueduct); use less water (fix leaks in public water transmission pipes, rebates on efficient appliances); and storage (rebates to install large, water storage tanks in yards and farms).
Just some thoughts, but we need to look to the future to avert the crisis that is only about a half-mile down the road. Are we going to start strategically planning for our future or just cross our fingers hoping that it will rain this winter?
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