Sunday’s Letters to the Editor
A life interrupted
EDITOR: As I write this, the assisted-living community (in San Diego) we moved our mother out of during COVID has just sent word that 12 residents, all vaccinated, have contracted COVID. Four have been hospitalized. They are the canaries in the mine.
Being elderly comes with lowered immunity. Their immune systems don’t respond as well to vaccines. Although residents in the facility got vaccinated, and joyfully rejoined the world, it is not to be. Due to anti-vaxxers and the vaccine-hesitant, they must return to painful isolation.
My mother is living in her home, with a caregiver and family. Again, there is a painful discussion among my siblings of the reality that we most likely cannot keep our mother safe. Due to the irresponsibility of others, her world will shrink back to no visitors and little venturing outside. Visiting her has become complicated.
I have had enough. My mother is 96, brave, fairly healthy for her age, and she isn’t afraid to die. But COVID isn’t the kind of death we wish for her. If you are taking the wait and see, justifying why you are the exception, or you know better than all the science that produced this moonshot of vaccines, keep this woman in mind.
Ease the suffering
EDITOR: Californians voted to implement more humane confinement practices for pigs, chickens and veal calves. The pork industry has not complied. No wonder — it will cut into profits. The industry would like to overturn laws relating to cruelty to animals.
In the Aug. 1 article headlined “Saving California’s bacon,” restaurant owner Jeannie Kim says “pork is huge, almost like bread and butter” for some of her customers. Bread and butter don’t have thoughts and emotions. Pigs are intelligent, with funny and sweet personalities. Isn’t it bad enough to squeeze these poor creatures into tiny crates until their death just so some can have triple bacon on everything?
Meat is only served on special occasions in some countries, and this should be our practice, too. The future is plant-based; there is no doubt about it. The Earth will not be able to sustain the billions of animals that are factory farmed. Until then, the very least we can do is ease the suffering of these creatures as much as possible.
EDITOR: Sometimes a subheadline, like “historic lawsuit” in the Aug. 5 paper is as informative as the headline above it, “Mexico suing gun companies in US court.” History was made in a Boston federal court when the government of Mexico filed a lawsuit against five American gun manufacturers — Glock Inc., Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc., Colt’s Manufacturing Company, Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, Inc. and Barretta U.S.A. Corporation — as well as against Interstate Arms, a Boston-based wholesaler. Interstate Arms supplies guns to dealers across the United States. While some legal experts may doubt this case will go very far forward, the mere fact of its existence is important.
For decades, cartels have killed tens of thousands of Mexicans, using weapons made by U.S. gun manufacturers. It is charged that these five American companies have engaged in “negligent and illegal commercial practices” in supplying weapons through dealers to the murdering cartels.
For those of us who understand the depth of the misery to both American and Mexican families caused by 77,000 killings, this could be a pivotal step in the right direction.
Ravitch ‘did her job’
EDITOR: As a concerned senior, looking at the upcoming recall of our district attorney has me puzzled. It seems District Attorney Jill Ravitch did her job because a rich developer did not do his. Think about the seniors who were left high and dry when they were promised safety and security by the developer. The rich developer promised to help build a Boys and Girls Club, but backed out — promises made, promises not kept. When your ballot arrives, take a moment to think of the terror those seniors experienced during the Tubbs fire. Seniors deserve better. When your ballot arrives, think of all those thousands of boys and girls who will not have their clubhouse. Sonoma County deserves better. I’m voting no. Join me.
Electric car questions
EDITOR: With new emission regulations moving toward all-electric vehicles, how will that work? And now no more gas stations being built? My electric bill is already stupidly high for just two of us, without plugging in a car. And what about rolling blackouts? We all know the public safety power shut-offs aren’t ever going away. How does that work? And what becomes of our gas-powered vehicles that we just paid off? I obviously don’t own an electric or hybrid vehicle, and am painfully ignorant in that regard, so I’m curious.
EDITOR: As the Biden infrastructure bill gets closer to passing, I ask all to join me and request that Reps. Jared Huffman and Mike Thompson work to include raising Coyote Dam at Lake Mendocino in the bill. Unlike most other reservoirs, which get water from the Sierra Nevada snowpack, we rely on rainwater to fill lakes Mendocino and Sonoma. It might be very soon that water isn’t diverted from the Eel River and Lake Pillsbury anymore, and raising Coyote Dam will be needed to guarantee our water supply. I believe raising the dam is the most important infrastructure project needed in their districts.
TEMPLE O. SMITH
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