Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor

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Lax enforcement

EDITOR: “Sonoma Strong” echoes throughout our county, but the support being echoed is qualified by three long-standing and unresolved issues:

The Russian River, a focus of pride, is being compromised by human and animal waste. The river and local trails cry for awareness and solutions. The answers exist in our present laws, but codes are unenforced.

Bicycles offer a way to enhance the quality of life and address a changing climate. The roads must be shared with cars and trucks. Riding in large groups; disregarding local laws, including stop signs and traffic lights, compromises everyone’s safety. The answer is enforcement of existing highway and local laws and respect for our diverse community.

Homelessness is ubiquitous; respect for every human being requires an acceptance of responsibilities. Camps on public trails and properties and the arbitrary establishment of homeless communities, are prohibited by the California penal and vehicle codes. Enforcement is sporadic and nonexistent. Sadly, the dignity of every individual is ignored.

Enforce existing laws and assess how to enhance laws and mitigate laws to strengthen and enrich our community.



The view from Ukraine

EDITOR: I was in Ukraine on behalf of the city of Santa Rosa to help our sister city, Cherkasy, celebrate its 733rd birthday when the Donald Trump extortion scandal broke. The Ukrainians were shocked and angry by Trump’s actions, especially because they have been fighting a hot war against Russia for five years, which has cost more than 14,000 lives and displaced more than 2 million people.

My friend Serhiy, who is on Cherkasy’s City Council, just sent me this message: “I feel so sorry that Trump is bringing disbalance into a once very firm Western World, which is a balm for Russia and enemies of the USA. I think that if Trump will be elected one more time, the Western World will be broken forever and Russia and China will celebrate the victory.”


President, Sister Cities Santa Rosa-Cherkasy

The GOP explanation

EDITOR: OK, let me get this straight. According to Republicans, the Democratic National Committee conspired with the Ukrainians to hack their own email, resulting in the firing of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, which helped throw the election to Donald Trump. And this was done why? To help Hillary Clinton, of course. And provide cover to the Russians, with whom Ukraine is at war. Makes perfect sense to me.



Steinbeck’s example

EDITOR: Remember when the Joad family, in John Steinbeck’s novel “The Grapes of Wrath,” came across the “Weedpatch” camp in California? They couldn’t believe their luck. They found relief in the fact that they no longer had to camp out on the road. In reality, these migrant “Okies” endured tremendous hardship and prejudice and were viewed as uncivilized, indigent people.

Weedpatch was an authentic Works Progress Administration government-built and sponsored “rescue center” in Bakersfield for migrants fleeing the Oklahoma dustbowl.

Today we find ourselves facing the same situation with the poor and unfortunate homeless population living on our streets, back alleys and community trails. Forget the reasons and circumstances that led them to homelessness, give them a Weedpatch, and let them govern themselves. Why not implement a humane answer to their needs? A safe place with running water and toilets. It can’t be that difficult.

It also makes sense that if there is only one locale where the homeless are allowed to live openly, there will be only one place for all social, medical and mental health services to minister to.

Call me a dreamer and idealist, but this could be a successful resolution in solving our homeless encampment crisis.



Rail to ferry

EDITOR: The Bay Area has a proud history of rail to ferry transit connections. In the last century, travelers alighted from trains at piers in Tiburon, Sausalito, Vallejo, Berkeley and Oakland to board ferries to San Francisco. Soon we’ll have rail service to Larkspur intended to serve today’s ferry commuters.

But this station isn’t at the ferry terminal. It’s on the Greenbrae hillside above the Larkspur Landing shopping center. I’m awaiting word of the shuttle service that will spare seniors, disabled riders and tired passengers the half-mile hike between the ferry and the rail station. Our transportation planners have arranged for this, haven’t they?



British injustice

EDITOR: I am appalled by a recent event in my hometown: a nasty piece of work was knifing people on London Bridge (“Mayhem on landmark,” Saturday). Some very brave passersby overpowered and held the assailant on the ground. So far, so good. Along came the police who put a couple of bullets in him.

Is this British justice? Why wasn’t he handcuffed, jailed, given a cup of tea and a lawyer and then hauled up in front of a judge and jury?

Of course, shooting him saves time and money, but should we now take our justice system from the Texas/Mexico border in 1850?


Santa Rosa

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