Saturday’s Letters to the Editor

Reader write in on Dr. Sundari Mase’s departure, robust reporting, the electric water heater mandate, and “wokeness.”|

A note of gratitude

EDITOR: Sonoma County has managed to drive off another exemplary professional, one who worked tirelessly, who made the tough calls through a pandemic, all to keep the people who live and work here safe and healthy.

Sonoma County did well for the first few months of the pandemic. Tragically, the story soon shifted from a tale of public safety to one of a hard kick to get cash registers lit up. No surprise. Once the business sector, in partnership with our previous sheriff, began pounding on the Board of Supervisors, that was it.

Predictably, Dr. Sundari Mase would be compelled to move on, preferring to engage with leaders and communities committed to putting public health before profit. And that may be the story (along with the pressures of living in a place where racism is no stranger, where justice seldom prevails in response).

Farewell and thank you, Dr. Mase, for your ethical dedication. I see 545 souls are not here to likewise extend their gratitude, but I am, and I wish you endless blue skies ahead.


Glen Ellen

A ‘reassuring beacon’

EDITOR: I am so proud of Dr. Sundari Mase. When we needed a competent and knowledgeable leader to guide through a terrifying pandemic, she provided calm and resolute directives and advice based firmly on the best scientific understanding.

She responded to criticism with fairness, even when the criticism was not. She didn’t back down when we needed her to stand resolute. Perhaps most notable was the gracious and kind manner she brought to every interaction. When so many of us were overcome with fear, she was a reassuring beacon. Knowing someone of her competence was running the local response was so reassuring.

Though I’m sure Mase has received a lot of personal criticism due to the role she played, she can be sure that a great many of us in Sonoma County will remember her with gratitude and affection. I’m sure I speak for many when I send best wishes for all the future holds for her.



A costly mandate

EDITOR: The Bay Area Air Management District's decision to mandate only electric water heaters and furnaces will have far reaching impacts on hundreds of thousands - if not millions -- of homeowners (“Switch to electric devices over gas,” March 17). The cost to convert to heat pumps and other types of electrical heating when replacing gas units will be enormous.

In many older homes it may be impossible to use the alternative electrical units because of location and limited available electrical power since these units pull amperage that may be considerably higher than what is available in the area of the existing units. Rewiring and replumbing (for heat pumps for sure) will costs tens of thousands for people who can ill afford these costs.

Since they are so keen on reducing these "terrible" emissions, why not ban gas automobiles now. Why wait a minute longer?



Robust reporting

EDITOR: The March 17 story regarding the alleged failure of certain Subway sandwich shops in Petaluma to pay employees’ wages and tips was exceptionally well reported (“Teens allege Subway wage theft”). It is a perfect example of the important investigative reporting we’d never get without a robust local newspaper serving as a watchdog. Congratulations to reporter Phil Barber and his editors.



Tired of ‘woke’

EDITOR: There have been 2 letters in the last 2 days about the word “woke.” Both letters are very supportive of the word, and the authors assume it means being aware or awake.

However, conservatives use the word to describe political correctness. They even have anti-woke bills. It would be a good idea to abandon that word completely, and use more precise language, which both sides could agree meant the same thing.

Another suggestion for my liberal buddies out there is to also abandon the word “cisgender,” which was used in one of the pro-woke letters. It’s a relatively new and misunderstood word, meaning “a person whose gender identity corresponds with their sex assigned at birth.” So, do we really need to force it into the language for the benefit of the 0.5 percent of the population that is transgender? Apparently so.

Meanwhile, our country is waiting to see if Trump will ever actually face criminal charges, the world has never been closer to a nuclear war, climate change continues to wreak havoc everywhere, banks are failing, and our fragile democracy hangs by a thread. Good thing all of us are so woke — we can appreciate the reality of what is actually happening.


Santa Rosa

DeSantis’ rants

EDITOR: I’m not from Florida, that neck of the woods or palms, but I’ve been hearing a lot lately about their governor, Ron DeSantis. In the news, he rants on and on about “woke” this and “woke” that. I guess he must have trouble sleeping — woke all the time. Tell him to count Bambis or Simbas to get some sleep instead of all those liberal bogeymen he seems stuck on. It might help his angry disposition some. Then we all could sleep a lot better.



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