Wednesday’s Letters to the Editor

CDC vs. the state

EDITOR: If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says vaccinated teachers and students don’t need to wear masks inside school buildings, I cannot see how California’s health services director, Dr. Mark Ghaly, can require fully vaccinated students to wear one (“State to require masks at schools,” Saturday).

His argument that some schools cannot comply with the 3-foot physical distancing requirement may have some merit, but those schools could be given a waiver to mask up. The one size fits all approach is not the answer.

His second argument — that nonvaccinated mask-wearing students will be stigmatized by those students who are fully vaccinated — is even weaker. I thought we were encouraged to teach diversity in our schools. Does everyone have to look the same?

Of course, schools that accommodate students under 12 is another matter, but I am still at a loss why the state doesn’t require all eligible students to be vaccinated.


Santa Rosa

A ‘brute-force’ recall

EDITOR: Bill Gallaher’s “Recall Ravitch” website is almost comically dishonest. Click on the “Why Recall” tab and read Gallaher’s rambling grievances, ranging from District Attorney Jill Ravitch’s hiring practices to her allegedly unkept campaign promises. The charges are duly footnoted, lending the site a scholarly shine.

Here’s the problem: all the articles cited were published between 2011 and 2016. In other words, voters knew of some of these issues in 2014, when Ravitch garnered 65% of the votes cast, and all of them by 2018, when she was reelected with 74.4% of the vote. Given the opportunity to remove Ravitch for such alleged misbehavior, voters declined in droves.

So, if voters have already chosen to retain Ravitch twice and Gallaher produces no new evidence, why are we being subjected to this costly do-over?

The answer is in the “Top Funders” tab. There’s only one name — Bill Gallaher, the same guy who’s been trying to bring down Ravitch ever since she caught his company abandoning seniors during the Tubbs fire.

This recall election isn’t really about Ravitch’s phantom misdeeds as district attorney. It’s about one very wealthy man’s brute-force attempt to control local politics.


Santa Rosa

A matter of public safety

EDITOR: Of course, a public safety employee has a right not to be vaccinated — a questionable choice (“Doubt over safety officials,” July 6). The city has a right, and a duty, not to employ those who chose not to be vaccinated.

Eligibility for employment can, and should, require public safety employees (and all employees who deal with the public) to be vaccinated. This requirement is necessary for the control of the virus and to protect the public.

We are all put at risk when authorities (Santa Rosa Councilman Tom Schwedhelm) refuse to ask the question, “Have you been vaccinated?” It is the responsibility and business of us all to do whatever is necessary to control the spread of this virus (and variants) and protect the public.

Get vaccinated.


Santa Rosa

Anti-consumer decision

EDITOR: We were stunned and angry at the California Public Utilities Commission’s unanimous vote against rooftop solar and in favor of corporate utilities such as PG&E.

We made an investment in combating climate change by adding rooftop solar to our home. The climate crisis is real, and we must do all we can to stem the destruction of our air, water and natural resources.

The CPUC’s mission statement reads, in part, “The CPUC regulates services and utilities, protects consumers, safeguards the environment, and assures Californians’ access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services …”

The anti-rooftop solar ruling does not protect consumers, safeguard the environment and assure Californians access to safe, reliable utility infrastructure and services. Instead it rewards corporate greed at the expense of homeowners, nonprofits and businesses.

PG&E is one of six regulated, investor-owned electric utilities in California. Who is regulating these utilities, because it most certainly is not the CPUC. Let Gov. Gavin Newsom know that he has to step in to stop this corporate profiteering.


Santa Rosa

Columnist’s bad advice

EDITOR: I read Susan Deitz’s July 7 column in disbelief, wondering the entire time if I was in some sort of 1950s time warp (“The mystery surrounding women’s femininity”). Assuming it was satire, I kept looking for the punchline. Advising women to “cut down on the verbiage”? This is another blatant attempt to muzzle women and make them subservient to the patriarchal norms we are desperately trying to change.

To further advise that engaging in dialogue is actually second to “sniffing the bath oil you’ve strategically splashed on,” she concludes by espousing the importance of a woman being mysterious and so purposefully omitting her opinions for a future date. This is another disempowering strategy best kept in the distant past, not one to be teaching to impressionable young adults.

My mother always taught me to be true to myself and that my real friends would always be there for me. This is a healthy framework for friendships — and all other relationships — based on honesty and respect. Deitz’s method is disingenuous and unhealthy. It reflects poorly on the editorial standards of my newspaper.



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