Saturday’s Letters to the Editor

E-bike questions

EDITOR: Why do humans — and the newspaper articles they write — make things so complicated? Regarding e-bikes in state parks (“Tension on trails,” Aug. 21), the relevant questions are: do e-bikes, or do they not, degrade state parks more than conventional bikes? If they do not, allow them. If they do, can those greater effects of degradation be mitigated? If they can be, do so and allow the bikes; if they cannot be, ban the bikes.

That the riders of the e-bikes sometimes suffer the effects of age, cancer, bruised egos or a sense of entitlement and therefore think that theirs is a special case is irrelevant. For the record, I am 72, have experienced cancer and its aftereffects, have had my ego bruised and sometimes need a slap upside the head for expressing entitlement. Also, irrelevant.



Biden’s debacle

EDITOR: Rejecting advice from the Department of Defense, the intelligence community and allied leaders, President Joe Biden turned a hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan into an embarrassing retreat and, now, an unconditional surrender. The botched withdrawal will go down as one of the most embarrassing, disastrous and predictable foreign policy blinders of my lifetime.

President Joe Biden publicly denied that his administration made any mistakes by pulling out the military first, thus eliminating any chance for orderly departure of civilians, allied and partner nation personnel. As a result, Americans, our allies and Afghans who supported us are left scrambling to escape.

Our NATO allies, who have been with us since the beginning of this war, are outraged that they were not included in the planning and coordination of Biden’s plan to withdraw U.S. forces, leaving everyone else in the lurch. Under no circumstances would they agree to a withdrawal that didn’t include a conditions-based exit and an orderly departure of civilians, forces and equipment.

Nevertheless, Biden’s retreat order was his decision. This poorly executed debacle has caused unnecessary death and destruction and irreparable harm to U.S. foreign policy for decades to come. Who will trust us and stand by us in the future? Not many.


Santa Rosa

The toughest DA

EDITOR: At the conclusion of the O.J. Simpson trial, I recall consoling my mother, assuring her there was a prosecutor right here in Sonoma County who would have cut through the smoke screen of O.J.’s dream team and quite possibly achieved a different result. That prosecutor was Jill Ravitch. When she retires at the end of 2022 this community will owe her a deep debt of gratitude. Speaking as a retired Superior Court judge, I say she is the toughest, smartest district attorney I ever saw.


Santa Rosa

Emerging information

EDITOR: Mick Menendez raised several topics that pressed my buttons (“Biden’s legacy of failure,” Close to Home, Aug. 18, but I’ll address only one in this response: current information vs. consistent information.

Concerning an infectious disease that we’ve never dealt with before, our most learned scientists and medical experts are discovering how it behaves month to month, or even week to week. Menendez and others complain about mixed messages or recommendations for the public’s response that change frequently.

My question is: Would you rather have up-to-date information delivered to the public in a transparent way, or would you prefer the message to remain unchanged over the months and be out of date? This virus has changed over time, the effect it has had on the world’s population has changed, so it makes sense and is desirable that the advice we get to try to stay healthy should be changing as well.

I suspect this was simply an opportunity to criticize the president using a stock complaint of ever-changing messaging. We are lucky the experts and our leaders inform us at every turn in our battle against COVID-19. Our best response would be to heed their advice.



Gallaher agreed to settle

EDITOR: There are no words to describe Bill Gallaher. He has now thrown away $1.6 million on a revenge recall of District Attorney Jill Ravitch, all because he doesn’t think he should be responsible for employees who abandoned seniors in one of his facilities that burned to the ground in 2017.

Note it was his attorneys who settled out of court, so there was no trial. They agreed to the settlement, so why is Gallaher trying to recall the district attorney?

Just think what $1.6 million could have done at the Redwood Empire Food Bank, and because his priorities have shifted he has withdrawn funding of a program that would have benefited at least 900 at-risk children. Does he have no conscience at all?

Vote no on the revenge recall.


Santa Rosa

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