Wednesday’s Letters to the Editor

Child care needs

EDITOR: Nicholas Kristoff’s column about the lack of child care in his rural Oregon hometown resonated with me, as I grew up in a small town in rural Washington state with many of the same issues related to poverty (“A revolutionary plan for children, working parents,” March 28).

In 1970, at the age of 20, I decided not to have children. My decision was based on the sense that the women’s movement wouldn’t achieve the goal of universal child care in my childbearing lifetime. Having a husband wouldn’t necessarily improve child care prospects. In those days you didn’t see men pushing strollers. Caring for children was the work of women alone.

Later, when I became a construction electrician, I was relieved I chose not to have kids. Construction workers often work long hours and have to travel long distances to get to the job, requiring child care to be available early and late hours. Women, and especially tradeswomen, need accessible child care to succeed at our jobs.

As Kristoff writes, President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan includes a proposal to establish a national pre-K and child care system. Tradeswomen look forward to building some of that infrastructure too.


Santa Rosa

Where is my well water?

EDITOR: Our supervisors are rapidly marching toward approving a cannabis ordinance that will significantly impact our wells and groundwater at the same time that “officials are asking for voluntary reductions in water use,” according to a Press Democrat article published Saturday (“Bracing for water cuts as reservoirs get lower”).

According to a Napa County report published in 2020, cannabis uses at least six times the amount of water compared to grapes per crop. The draft cannabis ordinance has targeted 65,000 acres for commercial cannabis development without analyzing the cumulative impact all that cannabis will have on our precious groundwater.

If you rely on well water, it is imperative that you start logging your well water availability now. Your well log will be your only defense against a commercial cannabis grow in your neighborhood that sucks everyone’s well dry.



Don’t hesitate on vaccine

EDITOR: You reported that 23% of North Bay residents are hesitant to get vaccinated for COVID-19 (“Vaccine doubts in North Bay,” April 1). I am 73 and have been fortunate to get the first and the second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Other than a slightly sore arm after the first vaccination, there have been no side effects. Zero.

Both my sisters live in Alaska, and they have been vaccinated. One had no side effects, and the other mild side effects that went away in a few days. My best friend has been vaccinated, my next-door neighbors have been vaccinated, with minor if any side effects.

Folks, do yourself, your family, your friends and neighbors a favor. Get yourself vaccinated against this pandemic virus. Let’s get this under control so we can all get back to a more normal life.



Beyond parody

EDITOR: It is beyond parody when Republicans confuse a publisher’s decision to stop printing some books because of racist caricatures with censorship and totalitarianism.

It is manufactured outrage, a trite-and-tired tactic well worn out by the GOP. Thirty years ago, Newt Gringich and company were screaming to the rafters about “political correctness.” Now we have such luminaries as Sandy Metzger, president of the Santa Rosa Republican Women Federated, decrying imagined riots and fantasized repression of free speech (“Media gag order,” Letters, April 1).

Her opinion is belied not only by it being printed in this newspaper but by the existence of One America News Network, Newsmax and Fox News, which continue to present everything but the facts. The “truth” that she believes is a constructed fairy tale held up by propaganda. I encourage her to come back to this planet and have a real conversation about the problems of this country.


Rohnert Park

Essick and transparency

EDITOR: It comes as no surprise that Sheriff Mark Essick is being investigated for bullying a female, Supervisor Lynda Hopkins (“Sheriff accused of bullying,” April 4). His temper tantrum about the early COVID-19 restrictions imposed by public health officials Barbie Robinson and Sundari Mase suggested he has problems with women in authority.

It is also unsurprising that Essick seeks to hide his bad behavior behind privacy laws. He and his staff are trying to use the same laws to undermine Measure P’s goal of increased oversight and transparency of his department.

We, the voters, are his boss, and we deserve to know what he is doing and has done. If Essick is unwilling to be transparent about himself and his department, we need to look for a new sheriff.



Ballots not bullets

EDITOR: Except for Trumpublican politicians, I think we can all agree that in America, voting should be easier than shooting people.



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