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Wednesday’s Letters to the Editor

Grow pot elsewhere

EDITOR: The cannabis industry disclosed important facts during the county’s public outreach to develop a vision for an updated cannabis ordinance. Their notion that cultivation will become a marquee industry that will generate wealth and create new jobs is problematic.

As reported in The Press Democrat, California is producing so much pot that outdoor prices are about $600 per pound. Prices may soon descend to $400. After state cultivation taxes, county taxes and expenses, growers cannot make a profit. Labor and land cost more than in Southern California and the Emerald Triangle, making Sonoma County uncompetitive. Unlike some regions, we have water supply problems.

The industry’s hope to distinguish itself using appellations to garner higher prices is a chimera. Plants grown in plastic tubs of chemicals and additives from elsewhere don’t reflect Sonoma terroir, nor do plants screened from local light and air in white plastic hoop houses. State appellation law forbids appellation status for cannabis grown in pots, artificial light or hoop houses.

Why should rural residents accept vast changes for a business model that seems predicated on P.T. Barnum’s infamous phrase, “There’s a sucker born every minute”? Dispensaries will have plenty of cannabis even if little is cultivated here.

CHARLENE STONE

Santa Rosa

Make COVID a memory

EDITOR: Look up the 1918 flu pandemic and you may find that the means used to suppress that deadly virus were no different from what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging us to do now to combat COVID-19.

In 1918 and 1919, washing hands, wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings were encouraged just as they are today. After two years the disease disappeared. When the virus reached the point where it was unable to find enough hosts for it to be transmitted, it simply died out. It’s called herd immunity. For COVID to die out, we need about 70% of the populace to become immunized.

In 1919, people didn’t have a vaccine. Back then it wasn’t a political issue. It was a matter of people looking after one another and complying with scientific recommendations to do what they could to end a pernicious disease that took the lives of 675,000 Americans.

Today, more than 90% of children receive vaccines to protect them from diseases like polio, measles, diphtheria and hepatitis. Most anti-vaxers received these vaccines too. Still they find issue with the COVID vaccine. Strange.

The research is clear. Vaccines save lives. Masks help prevent the spread of the disease. Who is doing their part to protect lives and make COVID-19 a bad memory?

MICHAEL O’LOONEY

Santa Rosa

For ‘the people’

EDITOR: Steve McLaughlin wrote that “this government now in place hardly represents ‘we the people’ as much as it does ‘we, the wealthy donors’ ” (“Not my government,” Letters, Sept. 6). It’s clear that he has our present administration confused the previous one. Our current administration might be accused of not being for “we the people” (not by me), but the Trump administration was all about Trump and his oligarchy. Not one iota for the people. Remember Jan. 6.

RICK FULKERSON

Windsor

The ‘biggest blunder’

EDITOR: Robert D. Shoptaw’s monocular vision fails to recognize the biggest blunder in the history of U.S. foreign policy (“Biden’s failure,” Letters, Sept. 4): invading Afghanistan in the first place, so we could stop a Saudi terrorist group headed by a Saudi, Osama bin Laden. Include in that the massive blunder of invading Iraq to get Saddam Hussein’s cache of weapons of mass destruction that didn’t exist. The Bush administration’s knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 was off the rails deep into the forest of stupid.

JACK BURGER

Cazadero

A nation divided

EDITOR: When 9/11 happened, we got together as a nation to combat the attack. We are once again under attack, by COVID, but we cannot seem to come together to fight what is now jeopardizing our way of life. Will someone please explain me to how come?

CARL MERNER

Holualoa, Hawaii

A need to compromise

EDITOR: E.J. Dionne Jr.’s Labor Day column spoke to a point that too many of us miss these days (“Labor Day is a celebration of solidarity — and freedom”). Freedom means different things to different people. If we are going to live together, we are going to have to make compromises.

I’m fine with the more productive people in our society living lives of relative economic privilege, whether their productivity is a result of creativity, diligence or dumb luck, but I don’t want to be under their power. I vote anti-Republican all the time for this reason.

Universal access to health care, education and a living wage in addition to a sense that one’s policy ideas have a chance for adoption and won’t just be automatically rejected at the behest of the economically powerful is the surest path to economic and political stability, two stabilities that I value highly (the third is environmental).

Inability to compromise and to share power in a democratic way has led to violent revolution in countries around the world and has led to the kind of turmoil we see in Venezuela and other places. Democrats in particular, and non-Republicans in general, need to start talking like Dionne if they value liberty and justice for all.

EDWARD MEISSE

Santa Rosa

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