Saturday’s Letters to the Editor

West County Wild Cats?

EDITOR: Kudos for the Sept. 4 editorial (“Stop fighting West County High School”). I have lived in Sebastopol for 40 years and had two kids, and now my grandkids, attend Analy. The changes occurring at our west county high schools are an opportunity to create something even greater, combining the unique abilities of even more wonderful teens.

Parents are poisoning the process with their own agenda. We can see stronger clubs and teams with a larger pool of participants. I’m sure we could come up with a lion and tiger, arm in arm, West County Wild Cats mascots. Maybe a student drawing contest.

Change brings opportunity. To think otherwise seems a little shortsighted. Are the names Analy and El Molino worth fighting for? Most of the kids don’t think so.



Troubling recall rules

EDITOR: Do I have this right? Just as an academic question, if 55% of the voters vote to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, and 45% vote not to recall him (vote for him), he is recalled. Then, whomever of the many candidates running for governor gets the most votes replaces him. Let’s say that the person who gets the most votes gets 20%. By my logic, if Newsom gets 45% of the vote — in this example twice as many votes as the other candidate — shouldn't he remain governor? Something is wrong with this law.


Santa Rosa

A voice of reason

EDITOR: Following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the San Francisco Chronicle published an article by the late Sonoma County resident Theodore L. Eliot Jr., a former American ambassador to Afghanistan. It was titled: “An attack on Afghanistan won’t stamp out terrorism.”

In it, Eliot warned that such an attack would “spawn new anti-American terrorists throughout the Muslim world”; that a long-term U.S. strategy should examine the causes of terrorism — in particular, the grievances that have flowed throughout the Middle East from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The only way to prevent the Middle East from becoming a breeding ground for terrorists, he felt, was for the Bush administration to launch an effort at the highest levels to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Eliot was a guest-lecturer in several of my Sonoma State University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute courses. His commentaries on the counterproductive policies involved in the invasion of Afghanistan — and later Iraq — had the same theme: Looking to the root causes of a conflict, rather than blindly reacting militarily to the threat of the moment, and greater understanding and respect for Middle Eastern peoples, their religions, traditions, languages and cultures, can go a long way toward mitigating tensions that can otherwise spill over into conflict and violence.

Twenty years later, Eliot’s voice of reason continues to resonate.



Sharing trails

EDITOR: I disagree with Sandra Vanvoorhis (“A danger to horses,” Letters, Sept. 4). That “she has had to relinquish the trails to those who feel entitled” is ironic. The bikers that I’ve seen over 30-plus years treat equestrian encounters with kid gloves and typically warn passing bikers to slow down well in advance.

Many horseback riders are great, but there’s a healthy segment who just resent cyclists. Even as we wait with bated breath for them to pass atop their high horses, it shows on their faces. I’m not a huge fan of e-bikes either. I like to feel like I earn the solitude on tough trails, although I don’t begrudge those with disabilities.

Last I checked, you don’t have to be in great shape to sit atop a horse, and at least e-bikes don’t leave huge piles of poop all over the trails. Maybe the equestrians should have an “easily identifiable license on the front and back” of their horses so we can report them if they don’t have a trash bag and shovel?

Really, it comes down to taking issue with everything — or who just wants to get along. I’m in the latter group.


Santa Rosa

Gallaher’s self-destruction

EDITOR: Bill Gallaher’s misinformation campaign of character assassination appears to have been highly successful, although probably not in the way he intended. He seems to have assassinated the character of himself, his family and all of his businesses. Most people can sabotage and humiliate themselves for free, but Gallaher has found a way to do it for $1.7 million. From pillar of the community to pariah of the community with a few petulant and vindictive actions. Such a high velocity descent usually requires a parachute.


Santa Rosa

Out of time?

EDITOR: For those who still think we will be able to continue living our lives like we do, think again. Climate change is the biggest threat to all living things. Mega fires, hurricanes and severe drought conditions are here now. Why didn’t we do something 100 years ago to save Earth as warming of the planet was predicted even back then?

Instead, we keep pretending all is well. I believe our politicians and leaders, past and present, should be accountable for putting all life in grave danger. They knew, scientists knew, about climate conditions and the impact they would have on life. Instead, the leaders chose to turn their heads and give in to the greed of big oil and fossil fuels.

I do not think we will have time to repair the damage because humans will not change. I think God is trying to tell us something: Either get it together and use the brains I gave you or good bye.


Santa Rosa

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