Sunday’s Letters to the Editor
Clean cars, clean air
EDITOR: California is the place where America's future first shows itself. Innovations developed here transform the world. Our dirty transportation system is long overdue for transformation. Electric vehicles are the future. Market forces and advances in battery technology are rapidly dropping the purchase price and increasing the range of EVs. Already they are much cheaper to operate and maintain than internal combustion engines.
California's electric grid is dramatically increasing its percentage of renewable energy sources and has the potential to reach 100 percent by 2030. By transitioning to all-electric vehicles, we can clean the air as well as reduce climate pollution. Britain and France have mandated the transition to all EVs by 2040, the Netherlands by 2030. China recently announced its intent to remove all internal-combustion cars from its roads by 2025.
A bill in the state Assembly, AB 1745, would let California join Britain and France in birthing a new era of clean transportation. If you would like to learn more about exciting initiative, you are invited to attend a free public meeting at 6 p.m. on March 22 at Santa Rosa's Glaser Center, where the Center for Climate Protection will launch the Clean Car Campaign.
EDITOR: There has been an abundance of coverage about the inadequacies of evacuation notifications as the onslaught of the Tubbs fire inundated our community. However, in our case it all worked.
We live on an isolated road in the Porter Creek/Calistoga Road area. All but one of the 12 homes on our road were lost (including ours) within a few hours of the fire's start. We don't have telephone landlines, only cellphones. On the night of Oct. 8, we received numerous official and unofficial messages on our cellphones between 10:30 p.m. and midnight.
But one of the most important things probably was the arrival of two sheriff's deputies in a squealing, lit-up SUV around 11:30 p.m. These men were adamant about the necessity to flee. They questioned us about who else we knew who would be home that night on our road and were intent on warning as many of us as they could. It was their arrival that hastened our departure. We know now that the fire likely reached our property minutes, not hours later.
So it is with much respect and thankfulness that I laud the deputies for their efforts that night.
Stopping gun violence
EDITOR: I believe all human lives are equally valuable. If we arm teachers, do we also arm theater ushers, post office workers, concert and shopping center security guards, letter carriers, store clerks, restaurant/club servers, college professors, pastors, government workers and, now, vets' home workers? Who would ever want that?
There is no simple or quick fix. But we must change the gun culture of our country. Start with small successes (perhaps the Florida legislation) and, over time, establish a respect for firearms for limited purposes but also restrict semiautomatic weapons and large quantity ammunition magazines. Most importantly, we must stop glorifying guns in our culture.
EDITOR: Similar to the Hamilton family, when my 90-year-old grandmother died at home in 2003, we called on Jerrigrace Lyons of Final Passages for help (“Sacred rituals,” Sunday). She walked us through everything we needed to know to have a wake for grandma at home, where she remained until her funeral Mass. I'd made the decision long before that there was no way I was going to allow my beloved grandmother to be violated by having her unnecessarily embalmed. I was able to get a simple coffin from A Plain Pine Box in Sebastopol.
Unlike the grieving Hamiltons, we were able to bathe and anoint my grandmother while we said our goodbyes. My children learned that dead bodies aren't to be feared, and that death is a natural part of life. I encourage everyone to think about reclaiming our death practices. A home funeral can be sacred, healing for family and a powerful final gift to our loved ones. My condolences to the Hamilton family.
EDITOR: Regarding the Trump White House, things do indeed get crazier every day. I awoke Tuesday to discover that President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. A sane voice in the administration. With Tillerson gone, and so many others, there are few left to present a balanced view on treaties, global climate change, gun control, women's issues, offshore oil/gas exploration, health care, environmental issues, infrastructure priorities, immigration, education and so on.
After reading Monday's Bloomberg View editorial (“In Kim meeting, Trump must be less like Trump”), I was struck with the adjectives and expressions that used to describe Trump. As follows: outlandish, impulsiveness, intemperate, self-impressed, overconfident in deals and negotiations, suspicion of experts, refusal to study and prepare, general incoherency.
Add to those views what others have said about Trump's narcissism and anger issues and that some have said that he is sociopathic and too quick to seek aggressive and often vile reactions to persons and problems.
Add this all up and we have a dangerous man at the helm of the most powerful nation in the world. The stakes are too high to sit back and see what happens. But are there any good solutions?