Thursday’s Letters to the Editor
Texting and driving
EDITOR: Since losing my wife and mother in a texting and driving accident seven years ago, it has been disappointing to see that the number of deaths nationwide has remained above 3,000 per year. I see this all the time while driving in Santa Rosa, and all I can say is that I am pleased to see increased enforcement (“SR police add distracted driver patrols,” Friday). It won't stop most of this activity, but maybe it will cause drivers to think first and turn the thing off. Perhaps lives will be saved. I hope so.
On the ground
EDITOR: Peter Coyote points out the environmental damage done by every rocket that punches a hole in the ozone layer while spewing exhaust (“A race to our demise,” Letters, July 15). A few minutes in a Cessna at 10,000 feet (minus the weightlessness) will give anyone a new perspective. Then let’s get back on the ground, keep working on electric airplanes and use all that space ride money for housing the homeless.
Putting society at risk
EDITOR: Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg was spot on in his critique of the anti-vaxxers (“Anti-vaccine hysteria is anything but pro-life,” July 14). Does it matter to them that the vaccines were developed on the watch of Donald Trump in his “warp speed” program? Apparently not. Does it matter to them that Donald Trump, his wife and his daughter have all been vaccinated? Apparently not.
If the Biden administration were to call these “Trump vaccines,” would it matter to them? Probably not. This resistance goes beyond pure politics. It reflects generally less-educated people (Trump’s favorites) who prefer to indulge in lemming-like responses spurred on by Fox News personalities. Many of them will get sick, spread the virus/variants to others or even die. Do they care? Apparently not.
In 1906, a conservative U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public health vaccine requirements override claims of personal liberty. If the current court upheld that precedent, would they comply? Probably not. This is how a society falls apart.
EDITOR: I have lived in Rohnert Park for 38 years. For many reasons, I supported the ban on the sale of fireworks. Local nonprofits were concerned that they would lose a source of income if fireworks were banned. Therefore, it’s important that everyone know about the replacement funding program.
The five-year program was established on April 13 by the Rohnert Park City Council. First year grants would be available to nonprofits that sold fireworks in 2019 or 2020. The grant award pool was to be $324,000 and matched the total funding that local nonprofits received in 2020. Individual grants would equal each nonprofit’s net proceeds from 2020 fireworks sales.
The replacement funding program was placed on hold on June 8, because fireworks sales were reinstated pending the Sept. 14 referendum on their sale. Many people did not know about the program but, when explained, ask why the nonprofits did not take advantage of it and have now forced the city to spend thousands of dollars on a special election.
Please keep Rohnert Park safe. Protect our future — vote yes on Measure D.
EDITOR: What a unexpected headline on July 11: “Relocation of homeless divides Guerneville.” Can The Press Democrat tell me how many people they interviewed to get such a differential opinion on this? Because the local citizens and business owners I have spoken to have not the same opinion.
It is extremely hard for businesspeople to serve their customers when they have homeless people near them. Guerneville has a small downtown area, and it is never free of homeless. Those of us who use the businesses there are frustrated, as I know everyone dealing with homeless is.
There are no easy answers, but out of 10 people I talked to maybe one feels like we are divided about not wanting relocation of this population. Can The Press Democrat please tell us the numbers that divide us?
EDITOR: The military is having difficulty finding recruits (“The US military needs a lot more recruits,” July 16)? Vietnam and Afghanistan are two good reasons why.
These were unwinnable wars that had no national security consequences. Gen. Douglas McArthur told us that Vietnam was unwinnable, and the experiences of other countries in Afghanistan should have led us to conclude that it was as well. I wonder if any of our generals has read what Sun Tzu had to say about supply lines.
Vietnam was fought to avoid a democratic election that someone we didn’t like was going to win. The reason given for Afghanistan was to capture Osama bin Laden. The fact is that the Afghans offered to turn him over, and we made no attempt to actualize any of those offers.
These are the two longest wars in American history. As long as our government keeps misusing the military in this way, few people will want to be involved. Use of the military should be for national security purposes only.
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