Wednesday’s Letters to the Editor

Wells running dry

EDITOR: Sonoma County has been my home since the early 1950s, including the past 35 years in west county. As we all know, California experiences very dry years. Sonoma County has been well aware for a long time about climate change. It has also known for a long time about water shortages and decreased aquifers.

Even with that knowledge, I’ve watched Sonoma County change from dry farming apples and prunes as well as small family farms to huge vineyards that, unlike the dry-farmed vineyards in Europe, are dependent on more and more water with deeper and deeper wells.

Money is everything in Sonoma County. Homeowners who have wells can’t possibly compete with the vineyards and are going dry earlier and earlier in the season. Where is the county that approved all these wells for big business while we run dry? Water supply companies are not only increasing their fees, but they are so busy that the wait time for delivery is now over a month.

Where are you, Sonoma County? You were eager enough to let big business cover every square inch with vineyards.



Taxing carbon

EDITOR: Ugh, smoky air and another town lost. With the incessant wildfires here and all over the West, plus flooding and hurricanes in other parts of the world, most of us are beyond arguing over whether climate change is real. Now we must focus on what to do about it, as our representatives in Washington are currently doing.

Among all the policy solutions floating around, one idea shows the most promise for fast and effective results. Putting a steadily increasing fee on carbon-based fossil fuels will quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The proceeds can be returned to the people as a dividend or in the form of economic aid.

We can make this happen by calling and emailing our senators and representatives now, while they are working on infrastructure and budget legislation. Tell them to follow the advice of economists and Nobel laureates and put a price on carbon. For a fast and easy way to email your senators, go to



Protecting the population

EDITOR: I take issue with T.K. McDonald when he writes that a Newswatch item about vaccination rates item is “lying with statistics” (“False narratives,” Letters, July 23). The U.S. may well have more people vaccinated than Canada, but preventing the spread of the coronavirus requires minimizing the chance of an infected individual contacting others who are unprotected.

The chance of spreading the virus depends on the chance of coming into contact with someone who is susceptible to it. What are the chances of someone who has the virus coming into contact with someone who is susceptible to it? A rough approximation is the number of people the individual encounters times the percentage of them who are not vaccinated.

In order to minimize the risk of transmission, you need to minimize the percentage of unvaccinated people; in other words, maximize the percentage of vaccinated people.



County priorities

EDITOR: Before the county spends our untold millions of dollars on their new digs and renovations of their old one, I think they should stop and direct the money first to an old problem. The old county hospital site on Chanate Road needs to be taken care of. They can spend the needed money to demolish and get rid of the asbestos and other hazardous wastes. They then can make it a park or sell the land. This problem has gone on long enough and will only get worse and more costly as time goes on. I should have thought of this earlier, before their final greedy decision — not that it would have mattered.


Rohnert Park

Reframing the DA recall

EDITOR: In Buddhism, the three poisons of greed, hatred and delusion are the basic mental states that cloud one’s mind and manifest in unwholesome actions. This dynamic appears to be what’s playing out in Bill Gallaher’s singlehanded effort to recall District Attorney Jill Ravitch. As best I can determine, Ravitch has done nothing that remotely merits being recalled. I propose that voters reframe this election in their minds. Instead of viewing it as a vote to recall Ravitch, look at it as a vote against Gallaher and his personal effort to subvert the electoral process and intimidate elected officials. That should make it very easy to decide how to vote. Let’s go for a crushing landslide.


Santa Rosa

A narrow perspective

EDITOR: I had to laugh when I read that San Francisco food critic Soleil Ho had panned the Sebastopol Thai restaurant Khom Loi for “cultural appropriation” (“Making it to Michelin,” Aug. 6). So, a white chef with a very American name becomes passionate about Thai food and opens a Thai restaurant. What if a Black man from Ghana became passionate about French cuisine and opened a French restaurant in San Francisco? Would she accuse him of cultural appropriation? And why is a woman with a Vietnamese surname critiquing a Thai restaurant? Isn't that cultural appropriation? And her first name, Soleil, means “sun” in French. Cultural appropriation? I thought she might celebrate a white guy falling in love with Thai cooking. Ho should broaden her cultural awareness.


Santa Rosa

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