Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor
EDITOR: The political push to force teachers back into classrooms before they’re safely vaccinated is chilling. Acknowledge what that means: a willingness to sacrifice the lives of teachers and their family members. Is the thinking that perhaps not many lives will be lost, that we’ve lost so many already? Are we that tired, that lacking in perseverance? Have we become inured to the loss of life?
I can tell you as a retired teacher that distance learning works online, but distance learning in an actual classroom does not. Children will breach the safety protocols, not from willful disregard, but because they’re children.
Teachers, too, will breach the protocols to help students in need of assistance. Teachers at schools with mask mandates and hand sanitizer have been among the coronavirus dead.
Children are learning life lessons during this pandemic. Among those should be that principles shouldn’t crumble in the face of adversity and that every human life is precious. Protecting lives is the greatest good.
Let the political pressure be to vaccinate every teacher within the next few weeks for a joyous return to the classroom for all.
Ignore Ravitch recall
EDITOR: Beware. People are outside local storefronts being paid a premium to con us into signing a petition to recall Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch, who already announced she will not seek reelection. The petitioner who approached me brazenly admitted his home even isn’t even in Sonoma County, but Redding.
This petition drive is funded by a disgruntled wealthy developer who was charged with leaving seniors unprotected during the Tubbs fire. He settled for $500,000 and a five-year injunction and is now subject to state oversight. Now he wants vengeance and is looking to us, the taxpayers, to pay for an election to unseat the district attorney (estimated cost for said election — $500,000 to $800,000).
He’s already spent tens of thousands of dollars on this recall attempt. Think how much good that money could have done in our community if it were spent on real problems like homelessness, hunger, health care or many other worthy causes. If the recall is successful, it would shorten Ravitch’s term by less than a year.
Ravitch has served Sonoma County well. I urge everyone not to sign this recall petition. Don’t waste taxpayer dollars on this sham.
EDITOR: The Sonoma city code requiring hedges to be no more than 3½-feet tall seems draconian (“Code complaint leaves gardeners feeling clipped,” Feb 16). Why not put that height limitation on hedges on either side of the driveway for maybe 6 feet. That would allow pedestrians to see any cars coming out and drivers to see any pedestrians about to cross. Then allow the remainder of the hedges to be of sufficient height to provide privacy for the homeowner.
A civic treasure
EDITOR: It’s great to see that the city of Santa Rosa is looking closely at what to do with Bennett Valley Golf Course. Hopefully, the $150,000 that the city is paying the consulting firm will show that the 18-hole course, which has been enjoyed for 50 years by residents and visitors, is a civic treasure worth saving and improving.
Golf is a sport that has been enjoyed for centuries by people of all ages and abilities, and it’s a great way to enjoy the restorative powers of being outdoors. The estimated 70,000 rounds of golf that were enjoyed in 2020 at the course were 70,000 good days in a year full of bad days. We are lucky to have a municipal course as scenic and enjoyable as Bennett Valley.
How about we focus on preserving the good things we have in our community and not tearing them down as fashionable trends come and go? Golf will always be something our residents want to participate in and enjoy — perhaps now more than ever.
Fairness in taxation
EDITOR: John Washam’s statistics are correct, yet it must be remembered that stats need to be considered in the correct context (“Wealth and taxes,” Letters, Feb. 7). It is true that the wealthiest 1% of filers paid about 41% of federal income taxes. Yet as Warren Buffett famously stated, he pays a lower percentage in taxes than his secretary due to the inequity in capital gains taxes.
The rich pay most of the taxes because they make most of the money. But the percentage of income they pay is paltry when compared to the majority of taxpayers.
We have a massive budget deficit, which is growing thanks to a pandemic and four years of massive corruption and gross mismanagement. In addition, we need money to better educate our population, shore up our infrastructure and provide safety nets for our population. All things are coined as socialism by self-serving right wing fanatics in our country.
We need to adopt a fair tax code, tax corporations fairly, get rid of loopholes, get rid of fossil fuel subsidies and understand that there are no socialists in Congress, just socially conscious administrators who believe in things called facts.
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