Sunday’s Letters to the Editor
Enough casinos already
EDITOR: You reported that within four years a large new Koi Nation casino could likely be built in Windsor on East Shiloh Road (“Tribe unveils $600 million plan for casino resort,” Sept. 16). My Google search revealed there are 76 Indian casinos in California. Three are within a 20-minute drive of my house in Santa Rosa. There are a dozen casinos to choose from within a 60-minute drive, including Graton Rancheria, Twin Pine, River Rock, Parkwest, Cache Creek, San Pablo Lytton, Napa Valley, Konocti Vista, Running Creek, Robinson Rancheria, Garcia River and Sherwood Valley. (COVID-19 has closed several temporarily.)
We already bet on horses, buy California lottery tickets and gamble on many online sites. Considering the strains of extra traffic congestion and gasoline shortages, increased water usage, power grid needs, sewage backup and additional crime that follows, can we afford another multiroom casino? Police staffing per capita is shrinking, and our local taxes are already pushing 9%. There are more than enough casinos here already.
Stop the coal train
EDITOR: Coal trains have left an indelible mark on my memory. My father was from a small mining area on the West Virginia-Kentucky border. Coal trains ran on a regular daily schedule, delivering their cargo to power plants and leaving behind a gritty, grimy residue of black filth. When we visited relatives, we could not play outside, go to the park or swim in the community pool — all because these trains ran through and alongside neighborhoods, defiling the environment.
A hearty thanks to California legislators for their work to block a plan that would run coal trains along the North Coast to an export terminal in Humboldt Bay (“Coal train battle heating up,” Sept. 25). At a time when the climate crisis is at the forefront of concerns, we certainly do not want to sell coal to countries that are continuing to build and use coal-fired plants.
Our coastal communities are proud to be increasingly powered by sustainable, renewable energy. Let’s support communities and countries abroad to do the same.
What about nuclear waste?
EDITOR: David Von Drehle’s column on nuclear power was almost convincing, except for the glaring omission (“To solve carbon crisis, we need nuclear power,” Thursday). He did not address the issue of waste disposal. When a small reactor is spent, or a large reactor is refueled or overhauled, how and where do you safely dispose of the waste? This question is the reason so many reactors are being put out of operation. Another concern for large reactors is how to dispose of the waste heat from the cooling system without environmental damage.
EDITOR: Most citizens in the United States want to build a nation based on social and economic justice, the rule of law, compassion and inclusion. Grave threats to building such a nation have always existed.
One such threat was the short-lived Confederate States of America, built in our midst by white supremacist slavers afraid to lose the economic advantages of free labor. Their country was defeated on the battlefield, but the white-
supremacist ideology was not exterminated at the war’s end. It lives on, passed down generation after generation. It thrives in the hearts and minds of millions of American citizens like a dangerous virus.
We are living in a time when some U.S. citizens — white supremacists, states’ rights advocates, religious fundamentalists and Republican political grifters — are trying to rebuild a white-supremacist nation in our midst through fraud, brainwashing propaganda, fear mongering, defiant stupidity and baldfaced lies.
Those among us who want to live in a nation based on social and economic justice, the rule of law, compassion and inclusion must not give in to fear or hopelessness and continue to fight vigorously. Losing our nation is not an option.
Risking others’ health
EDITOR: Matthew Dubois wonders why the unvaccinated can’t eat in restaurants since both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can still “get and transmit COVID-19” (“Vaccination restrictions,” Letters, Sept. 27). It sounds logical, but it’s missing some critical information: The unvaccinated are far more likely to be infected, which makes them a much higher risk to the rest of the diners in that restaurant.
In the context of driving, not all drunken drivers cause accidents, just like sober drivers aren’t all accident-free. But the likelihood of a drunken driver having an accident is so much higher than a sober driver that, for the protection of everyone else on the road, we don’t allow drunken driving.
The anti-vaxxers are welcome to join us in a restaurant when they do their part to reduce the risk of infecting others.
Enforcing mask mandates
EDITOR: I appreciate the local restaurants and businesses that are enforcing the mask mandate for their staff and customers. I also want them to know that any restaurants requiring a proof of vaccination to dine will get my business first. Please commit to supporting these businesses that are prioritizing public safety, and help ensure they profit from their efforts.
MICHELLE VON KNORRING
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