Thursday’s Letters to the Editor

A fireworks compromise

EDITOR: The controversy over banning fireworks sales in Sonoma County has given me a compromise idea so the many organizations relying upon fireworks sales for fundraising can still make some dough. Let’s allow fireworks to be sold and shot off on Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve. Personally, I am in favor of doing away with fireworks and replacing them with things that don’t create so much pollution and trash and require a huge cleanup afterward — something many people don’t bother to do. I look forward to hearing thoughts on this idea.



A vindictive recall?

EDITOR: I was so grateful when I found out the Sonoma County district attorney was investigating what happened at the Villa Capri assisted-living facility during the 2017 Tubbs fire. But I went from grateful to disappointed when I found out there was a settlement with Oakmont Senior Living and the victims would not get their day in court. I know firsthand the epic failure at Villa Capri that night because I was there.

Then I heard of a recall attempt for Jill Ravitch, Sonoma County’s district attorney. Upon further research, I found out that the owner of Oakmont Senior Living is behind this effort and apparently the sole funder. I’m not much of a believer of coincidence. Could it be that he is angry that his company was investigated and wants revenge? If so, this recall attempt seems to be not just vindictive, but it also sets a very dangerous precedent.



Water storage plans

EDITOR: Wake up, county and state officials. Why are you waiting for the next drought disaster to happen before you start talking again about new reservoirs and desalinization plants? Stop issuing permits for new houses. Work on plans to develop new water resources to support housing and businesses. If you don’t help the people you represent, perhaps we should make some changes at the next election.



Ready to serve

EDITOR: Over the next 18 months, the federal and state governments are going to allocate billions of dollars in assistance to state, county and city governments for pandemic, infrastructure and climate resiliency projects.

These dollars will be distributed directly through a government agency, or a government agency will distribute the money via grants to nonprofit organizations. Understanding the procedure that will be followed for each allocation of funds and then developing and successfully executing a plan for obtaining these funds is no game for beginners.

For Windsor to receive funding in the shortest time possible, we need to have someone on the Town Council who understands how the game is played. Oscar Chavez understands the problems facing our community. He has raised a family here, is a former trustee on the Windsor school board, has been involved with local nonprofits and is employed as assistant director of the Sonoma County Department of Human Services.

With his vast experience in senior management positions in government and large nonprofit organizations, Chavez is uniquely qualified to hit the ground running. Oscar Chavez knows how the game is played, and will deliver the goods.



Sideshows in SR

EDITOR: Here we go again — a sideshow from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday in the Roseland area. Multiple calls to Santa Rosa police received this reply from dispatch: “It’s on private property. There is nothing we can do.” Since the sideshow was on a private lot, how about calling the property owner? The owner could request removal of trespassers and impoundment of cars. How about charging the participants with destruction of property?

As other cities continue to make it uncomfortable for participants, they will be headed back up this direction. Let’s not wait for a death or major private property damage.

Prior to the 4 p.m. start, several cars performed doughnuts in our neighborhood. Unfortunately, my camera didn’t get the license plates — too much smoke.


Santa Rosa

Returning to class

EDITOR: A reopening classrooms story that has gone under the radar, despite its significance, occurred March 31, when teachers from the Sonoma County Office of Education’s alternative education program returned to their classrooms at juvenile hall.

The importance of our county’s incarcerated youth finally being able to see a teacher in person wasn’t lost on the Probation Department staff who greeted the teachers with signs that said: “Welcome back” and “We missed you.”

For more than a year the teachers conducted distance teaching, while their students gathered in small, supervised groups around digital devices in juvenile hall for their lessons. Thanks to the strong collaborative relationship between the Probation Department and the Office of Education’s alternative education staff, this process went smoothly.

The Sonoma County Board of Education is the school board for the alternative education program. Our alternative education and probation staffs have a strong working relationship as they all care deeply about supporting incarcerated youth in getting back on track and making better choices.

They stepped up to the challenge this past year and deserve recognition for expertly providing service to a group of students who most people forget about.


President, Sonoma County Board of Education

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