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Wednesday’s Letters to the Editor

Blankets made a difference

EDITOR: Reading about the recognition given to Jenny Giacomini, coordinator of the Sonoma County Chapter of Project Linus, brought back years of warm memories of these blankets being freely donated to Women’s Recovery Services (“Wrapped in love,” May 30). We were so fortunate. Every infant and young child living with their mother in this 90-120 day residential treatment program received their very own Linus blanket.

Giacomini and her volunteers have made a real difference in countless numbers of little ones living in transition and whose lives were made better by having their very own, new blanket. Many loved their “blankies” much like her son did all those years ago.

CHERYLE J. STANLEY

Yountville

Being heard

EDITOR: As a high school English teacher in Santa Rosa schools for 38 years, and a speech and debate coach for 36 years, I supported young people as they “found” and developed their rhetorical strategies: vocabulary, tone, post of view and syntax. Reading fiction often afforded us more potent opportunities to learn about the “truer” things happening in society.

What struck me about the May 30 Latino Living section highlighting “Wanting to 'have a voice,’ “is the theme selected to share stories of our Latinx community members.

The opening page ends with: “Here we present the stories of those who aim to give Latinos a voice.”

What I have learned about voice, especially adult voices, is they have a voice but it has not been heard. The complexity and the tension of feeling unheard is familiar to me as one who has read and listened to adolescents’ narratives and responses to conflict.

This is not a criticism of the intention or effort to share community members’ stories, but as an observation. I am a long-time subscriber and love receiving my tangible, daily, local newspaper. Editor Richard Green’s experience, attentiveness, and voice is a gift to Sonoma County in these times of economic inequity, climate crisis and innovation.

BRIGETTE MANSELL

Healdsburg

A rare thank-you

EDITOR: I can't remember the last time I felt gratitude for Republicans in elected office, but grudgingly I am going to make an exception for their votes against A.B.1139, which was crafted by California's 3 major investor owned utilities to impose draconian fees on rooftop solar owners. If passed, it would have greatly slowed the pace of this robust business at a time when we need to be expanding local generation rapidly to reduce our dependence on increasingly unreliable, dangerous, and expensive transmission lines from distant power plants. Without Republican opposition this bill would have become CPUC policy. So I am saying, “Thank you, Republicans, and Democrats, wake up, if you are going to lead, choose a path that doesn't lead to a cliff.” Regulations are supposed to protect us from powerful interests and lead to progress, not slavery.

JONATHAN MCCLELLAND

Santa Rosa

‘A rich man’s grudge’

EDITOR: I found a “Recall Jill Ravitch” flyer stuffed in my mailbox today. As political hit pieces go, it’s pretty weak, especially since District Attorney Ravitch will retire soon.

Why do the flyers featured community members want Ravitch recalled? Well, she's a “constant impediment” to “people… who seek to do good,” she allegedly doesn’t take criminal reports seriously, and they don’t think she’s much of a leader. Such nonspecific opinions hardly seem worthy of a $400,000 special recall vote. Isn’t that what general elections are for?

At the bottom of the flyer is the name of a single major funder: William Gallaher. This isn’t surprising, because the recall effort is really a thinly disguised personal vendetta. Gallaher’s company was successfully sued by Ravitch’s office for abandoning 100 frail seniors at the Villa Capri and Varenna Senior Living facilities during the Tubbs fire. (They escaped, barely, thanks to the heroic actions of family members and police.)

Gallaher has spent nearly a million dollars in his quest to humiliate Ravitch. Hopefully he’ll learn an expensive lesson on election day. A taxpayer-funded recall vote is no way to settle a rich man’s grudge against a district attorney who did her job.

MARK SLOAN

Santa Rosa

Not a fan of judge’s rifle simile

I have one question for the federal judge (Roger Benitez) who recently opined that, “Like the Swiss Army knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment.” When was the last time a mass murder was committed using a corkscrew and a pair of tweezers?

ELLIOT LEE DAUM

Santa Rosa

Sonoma school squabbles

EDITOR: Steve Page got it right: “The students and families of Sonoma Valley would be far better off if (school board member John) Kelly would step down” (“Kelly should go,” Letters, June 2). In addition to Page’s specifics, Kelly, within 18 months of election to our local school board, announced for the Santa Rosa Junior College board against Jeff Kunde. Our local board was apparently not his goal.

Plenty of us lit candles hoping we’d be free of him. Sadly, he was soundly defeated. Worse, within six months of his 2016 election, a special Saturday board session was held. There, then-Superintendent Louann Carlomagno told the community that she’d contracted with three successive consultants to do board building. Kelly refused to participate in any; all three consultants declined.

Carlomagno, who’d been with the district for 25 years, was beloved, and planned to retire here, quit. Her letter of resignation cited her inability to get work done with the board, making continued service untenable. She thrives today with the Hillsborough district in San Mateo County. Kelly should go.

GARY DEMET

Sonoma

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