Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor

Sideshow solution

EDITOR: The sideshow phenomenon has invaded an intersection near where I live. The circular skid marks are unsightly, and the noise is infernal and almost always late at night. Here’s what I’d do: Pick out three or four heavily abused intersections and turn them into traffic circles. The sideshow drivers have shown us they love driving in circles. Let them.


Santa Rosa

Draconian law

EDITOR: For the past few weeks I have been worrying about the future of women and girls in Afghanistan. Now, with the passage of the draconian anti-abortion law in Taliban Texas, I find myself worrying about the future of women and girls in that state and  all states governed by radical right white men. Such hypocrisy.

The radical right insists that it is a violation of individual rights for a state to require masks, but seemingly it is just fine for a state to exert control over a woman’s body. In fact, this Texas law encourages citizens to spy on each other and turn suspected violators in for a cash reward. The Taliban is no doubt taking notes.

And let’s be clear, this law is not pro-life; it is pro-birth. Once a child is born, the radical right couldn’t care less about early childhood education, children’s health care or affordable child care. Once a child leaves the womb, the far right leaves the room. Who does this hurt the most? The poor, the vulnerable, the marginalized.

And make no mistake, none of us is safe. As Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.”



Reform the recall

EDITOR: Regardless of Tuesday’s outcome, the state’s recall provision needs to be reformed. Any unqualified attention-seeker with $4,000 for the filing fee can become governor of the largest state in the Union, so long as they survive a battle royal where dozens of depressingly dimwitted dolts compete to be California’s last political comic standing. No need for a majority of the vote if you’re one of this year’s 46 replacement candidates. After all, Hollywood action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger received 48.6% when he replaced Gov. Gray Davis in 2003. If Gov. Gavin Newsom is recalled, his replacement probably will take over with at best half of Schwarzenegger’s percentage of the vote.

For California’s sake, we must change the law to ensure that this is the final curtain call for the recall circus. (And we Californians are paying $276 million for this malarkey.)

In addition to eliminating the clown car of candidates, the law should be reformed so that if a future governor is recalled by the voters, the sitting lieutenant governor becomes governor.



The recall choice

EDITOR: Alert! If you would like to circumvent the will of the people (like what happens in a free and fair election) get yourself at least one rich guy to buy you a recall. But if this turns your stomach, be sure to vote no on Tuesday.


Santa Rosa

Forest management

EDITOR: Terrific story about students at Santa Rosa Junior College learning forest management skills (“Learning to prevent devastating wildfires,” Sept. 7). In this era of extreme fire conditions, it must be extremely satisfying to learn such valuable expertise and the science that can help make wildfire effects less severe.

Two concerns, however, about the way The Press Democrat presented the story. First, I’m sure the students would be the first to tell us that they are not learning to “prevent devastating wildfires.” The headline writer fell into the common belief that we can prevent the largest of these fires. We can’t. These folks are learning practices to make them less devastating, not prevent them.

Second, the front-page photo gives the impression that removing trees of 10 inches is a way to reduce fire danger. It isn’t. Again, the students would say that their main goal is to remove brush and small fuels so that prescribed fire can be introduced. It’s the carefully controlled fire, ignited under a precise prescription of temperature, wind, fuel moisture and other factors that will do the work of making wildfire behavior less extreme.

Nevertheless: Great work, students and SRJC.


Fire issues chair, Forest Unlimited

For a moratorium

EDITOR: Drought, drought, drought. Sonoma County is experiencing its worst drought in decades. Our reservoirs are approaching an all-time low, and even with conservation measures, officials estimate there’s only enough water for another year or so. It’s safe to assume homes relying on wells are facing the same dire consequences.

Sonoma County is appealing its new housing allocation (requesting a lower number), citing the drought and an unclear picture on where the water would come from. On Aug. 3, the state issued emergency orders to take only enough water out of the Russian river for “basic human health and safety needs.” Supervisor Lynda Hopkins was quoted as saying, “In my opinion, if it’s not something you’re going to eat, maybe you shouldn’t be watering it.”

In response to Sonoma County’s recent draft amendment to the cannabis ordinance, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Marine Fisheries Service said a complete and thorough water study is necessary before proceeding with new projects.

In light of the uncertain water future, the Board of Supervisor should place a moratorium on commercial cannabis cultivation operations until our water supply is assured and safeguarded.



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