Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor

Driving up rents

EDITOR: Your July 26 article on tenant evictions underscores the increasing problem of investor-owned properties in California (“Tenants fall through gaps in eviction moratorium”). In my neighborhood, landlords are anything but the affordable housing saviors people think they are. On the contrary, they’re the ones pricing out so many would-be homebuyers with all-cash offers well over the listed sales price.

They then charge astronomical rent that no one family can afford, so the property becomes a multi-family home with neither the space nor parking to accommodate such use. We have four such homes on our street, all of which had been owner-occupied when we bought our house 13 years ago.

We could solve a lot of our affordable housing issues, without the need to build more homes, if we could find a way to put a leash on these out-of-area investors who are largely responsible for driving up rents and home prices in Sonoma County.


Rohnert Park

Michael O’Brien’s legacy

EDITOR: There was a celebration of life for Michael O’Brien, iconic restaurateur of Cricklewood fame. A sailor played taps, the color guard folded the flag for Lynette, his wife, and a lone jet flew over, trailing smoke into the sunset. Good food, Sonoma County wines and a whole lot of friends, plus a bagpipe finale. O’Brien would have loved it.

The Press Democrat once said he was a combat pilot, but the reporter was technically incorrect. O’Brien was a Navy pilot with more than 150 missions in Vietnam, but he never fired a gun nor dropped a bomb. His airplane carried cameras, taking pictures for the Pentagon, with a wingman on each side.

Guardian angels, he called them, protecting him as he flew straight and true for the generals back home. Men died so he could complete the mission. He never forgot the ultimate sacrifice those men made so he could live.

War changes people. Perhaps war changed him in a good way. O’Brien was the kindest, most compassionate and caring man I have ever known. He helped me to better understand life and death on my return from Afghanistan. He was a celebration of life to everyone he met.


Santa Rosa

Too loud to stay

EDITOR: This is an appeal to help us all with the loud, louder, loudest cars that now go up and down our street all day and night. We used to love our home; where we live is close to shopping, a park and a hospital. We have great neighbors and bought our home in 1997 thinking it would be our forever home. Now we spend time looking at homes in states with quieter places to live due to the stress of living anywhere in Santa Rosa.

A police officer told us there are so few of them they are unable to take the time it takes to write noisy car tickets and that there are only five officers assigned to traffic enforcement for all of Santa Rosa.

That is crazy and not at all the officers’ fault. We support local law enforcement. We are grateful for the difficult tasks they handle. We know they aren’t responsible for the incredible lack of traffic enforcement officers needed to maintain law and order with regards to the insane flow and extremely loud cars with modified exhaust systems that nobody seems inclined to do anything about.


Santa Rosa

A responsible decision

EDITOR: So many more people getting sick and dying, others with long-term side effects, all preventable. Young people, children, healthy and compromised, all unvaccinated. Forcing all of us back into masks and worse. Unvaccinated states with the worst infection rates. Will common sense prevail or, like lemmings, will unvaccinated people blindly run off the cliff?

This selfish decision affects us all. Then when it hits close to home, it becomes real. All the families getting vaccinated when it’s dad’s dying request.

I am getting really angry. My compassion is wearing thin. This self-centered decision is nothing short of assault and, in some cases, manslaughter — the unintentional taking of another’s life through informed neglect.

Each person needs to look in a mirror and seriously ask themselves if being unvaccinated without a good medical reason is worth this new wave of death and sickness.

Please drop this self-centered righteous attitude and make a small sacrifice, with a very slight risk, that may save you, your family or your neighbors’ life.



A failure to serve

EDITOR: Jill Ravitch is a politician who has not served the public of Sonoma County. I asked her to stop the city of Petaluma from misappropriating water and sewer ratepayer funds to pay for general fund services in violation of the constitution of the state of California. She refused despite her oath of office to uphold the state constitution. All she needed to do was write the city a letter.

I had to engage an attorney on a contingency basis to sue the city of Petaluma. It took a couple of years, but we won the case, and Petaluma was compelled to make restitution to the ratepayers and pay legal costs and fees. I will not vote in favor of a politician who does not serve the community.



Spinning for the city

EDITOR: Your July 25 editorial makes me wonder again why the city of Santa Rosa even has a PR department (“A move downtown can benefit county and community”). Wouldn’t an 18-story office building lead to more traffic congestion? Not mentioned by The Press Democrat’s editorial board. Should the county explore further the idea of neighborhood county centers? No comment from the board. Have restaurants, apartments and condos developed around the existing county center? No, but believe us they will with a downtown relocation.

All good, no bad, just read The Press Democrat’s PR.



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