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Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor

Contemplating war

EDITOR: Just a few questions concerning the American response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Is it sensible to blame any American president for Vladimir Putin’s deadly atrocities? Did America jump immediately into World War I or World War II? Did President Woodrow Wilson and President Franklin Roosevelt consider carefully before entering into those wars? Did appeasement work with Hitler? Did isolationism work?

Are the American people willing to endure the realities of war with Russia — cyberattacks, young American soldiers killed on foreign soil, nuclear weapons? I will support the will of the American people, whatever their decision may be. I will not support the will of a loud minority bent on shaming their political opponents for political gain.

Putin must be stopped. He is the Hitler of this generation. How that is done can’t be left up to fatuous people.

DAVID M. HEANEY

Petaluma

Springer’s platform

EDITOR: Andy Springer, a pastor running for 4th District supervisor, says he’s not anti-vax (“Local businessman looks to unseat supervisor,” March 7). But he refused vaccination, and his wife ended up in the hospital with COVID-19. That could have been avoided had they been vaccinated. He still won’t get vaccinated, claiming antibodies make him immune, though science says vaccination is more effective. Springer says his wife “is everything to me,” but he won’t protect his family by getting the shots.

Springer held rallies at his church for anti-vax Healdsburg Councilwoman Skylaer Palacios and Make America Free Again, a group that fights against public health efforts to combat the pandemic. In what way is he not anti-vax?

He says he wants to help farmers, but he hasn’t the first notion about the problems they face. He says people call or email and representatives don’t respond. Really? I’ve contacted Supervisor James Gore’s office several times, and they’ve been very responsive and helpful, as has every other elected official I’ve called.

And I’d be interested to see what his church teaches about the family, and whether I’m one of those to be consigned to the eternal flames for nonconformity.

No thank you.

ELDEN McFARLAND

Healdsburg

Carnage and brutality

EDITOR: Not since World War II has the world, especially Europe, seen the degree of carnage and outright brutality by one side against another as we witness daily in Ukraine. Millions of civilians are on the run, with no end in sight.

Ordered by a ruthless tyrant, Vladimir Putin, Russian military forces are targeting and killing defenseless civilians, attempting to break the will of an entire nation. If there is anything to the spirit of NATO, Ukraine, led by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has embodied it.

If I have to pay $6-$10 per gallon for gas to support Ukraine, I say it is more than worth it. An estimated 10,000 volunteer soldiers from Eastern Europe, including many women, are fighting side-by-side with Ukraine’s soldiers.

The U.S. is doing much, although many say it is time to employ a no-fly zone over Ukraine. So far, we are abstaining, as imposing a no-fly zone might touch off World War III. Still, a wider scale war could lie right around the corner.

FRANK H. BAUMGARDNER III

Santa Rosa

A chance to grow

EDITOR: Thank you for reporting on the Rohnert Park Warriors cheer team’s national first place win in Florida (“Cheerleaders take 1st place at national competition,” March 15). It was a fitting story for Women’s History Month. Kudos to the girls, coaches, volunteers and parents. Their win represents an incredible amount of hard work. The athletic teamwork of cheerleading challenges middle school girls to work together, practice hard, take risks, and be afraid and perform anyway.

My daughter participated in cheer throughout her middle and high school years. The physical and inner strength the sport developed in her benefited her long after graduation. It is especially valuable at a time when many girls are challenged by social development.

My daughter, an only child, learned the power of sisterhood and went on to join a high-achieving sorority in college. She is now an executive in a multinational retail corporation, leveraging her bravery and team skills. I’m so proud of her and the local Warriors young women.

KATHLEEN MEADOWS

Santa Rosa

Gas stations and cancer

EDITOR: Why is gas station location an equity issue? Gas stations have strong negative health impacts on those living near them. Every gas station has a set of vent pipes reaching 12 feet high. These release vapors from the underground gas storage tanks. Vapors are also released when tanker trucks refill the tanks and every time a motorist uses the gas pumps.

Benzene constitutes 1%-3% of the volume of gasoline. It is a carcinogen associated with six kinds of cancer. Long-term exposure can cause blood cancers, affect bone marrow and result in anemia. Numerous studies have shown increased risk of leukemia for people living near gas stations. For citations to these studies, see the Environmental Law Reporter, 51 ELR 10058.

Your March 13 article discussed many reasons why governments should ban new gas stations (“Bans on new gas pumps advance,” March 13). The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors should also consider this one: every time a new gas station is built, another neighborhood is exposed to high levels of benzene.

CATE STEANE

Santa Rosa

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