Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor
A silent alarm
EDITOR: I recently traveled between the Vallejo area and the Mendocino coast. Usually when I travel in the spring on Highway 101 and adjoining routes my windshield needs to be cleaned at least once, more likely twice, due to the number of insects. This time I couldn’t help but note that my windshield was virtually clean. This is a silent alarm we should all be deeply concerned about.
Insects, bothersome though they may be at times, are food for many animals we are used to having around. Without insects, what do birds eat? I used to see 40 or more robins seeking insects on my property. Now I see one or two. What do fish eat? What do reptiles and amphibians eat? What do we eat?
Insects are pollinators of plants; that means food. Our planet’s hospitable environment is in trouble. Other concerns pale in comparison. We all need to be conscious of what we are doing every day and try to minimize our negative impact and protect our environment. When millions of people make changes, the impact can be significant.
Can we do it?
EDITOR: In Joe Biden’s plea to end racism and hate, he used the words, “we can do it.” A lofty goal when you consider our nation’s history and its current ideological division. Can we, I thought. I guess it’s possible. But there is something that seems more doable: Eliminate the availability of specific weapons whose sole purpose is to kill as many humans as possible in as short a time as possible. Think about that definition when you are pondering the meaning of the Second Amendment.
That is the line that must be drawn in response to those who scream about the right to bear arms. Approaching the problem from this angle would have been more meaningful, but as is becoming more and more clear, the National Rifle Association and other moneyed interests have a stranglehold on any efforts to end America’s identity as the only country in the world with such a lack of humanity and common sense.
The church vs. Pelosi
EDITOR: If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s church official publicly denies her religious access because he so wants to influence her politically, why in the world is his church getting tax-free status from the U.S. government (“Catholic official cuts off Pelosi,” Saturday)? The church is obviously political and should lose its status. You shouldn’t be able to have it both ways.
EDITOR: Lynn Haggerty King kindly warns future city council candidates to heed her warning that the job has a huge time commitment (“Challenges of service,” Letters, May 8). She wrote in response to Kerry Benefield’s April 24 column (“Why are so many local officials quitting?”).
King’s warnings come with good intentions, but what bothers me is that she sees the “wave” of officials quitting as a result of not having prepared themselves to take on the work ahead. If all this quitting is a fairly recent phenomenon, then we are led to assume that people are somehow more naive about the demands of the job than officials in the past. Doubtful.
We need to be cautious that we aren’t pushing working people in 9-to-5 jobs away from opportunities to serve in what are fundamentally volunteer positions. Most council members work for themselves or have flexible schedules and, no doubt, they work a ton. But those 9-to-5 employees are the bulk of the working class. We need their voices and leadership — and we need to be on guard so that the structure and schedule of city council obligations aren’t inadvertently harboring a tendency toward elitism.
A savvy warrior
EDITOR: I do not agree with The Press Democrat’s endorsement for 2nd District supervisor (“Rabbitt stands out in supervisor race,” May 10). I am grateful to have a chance to explain why. First, I take issue with your dismissive remark regarding Blake Hooper’s hope to identify sources of federal and state funds that the region can leverage. You say that there is a staff that does this work. True, but what is wrong with a person in this position manifesting an aggressive approach to obtaining grants? Why turn a virtue into a vice?
Second, you do an excellent job demonstrating the accomplishments and the experience of David Rabbitt. I tip my cap to him for the many fine things he has done for us. But there are major benefits to be had for this region by supporting a person with a fresh vision for how to face the newly minted challenges we face. Hooper is a person whose insightful approach to all he does will serve to benefit the public in a multitude of ways for many years.
Thus, I will vote to pass the baton to him as the savvy warrior on behalf of the public good that he surely will become for us.
STEVEN M. DELUE
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