Thursday’s Letters to the Editor

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Woefully unprepared

EDITOR: Regardless of whether we end up facing the same crisis as China with the coronavirus, our county and country should view the Jan. 25 article as a wake-up call (“China lockdown grows to 35 million”).

I know for a fact that Sonoma County hospitals and medical facilities are ill-equipped for any type of crisis that comes our way. Even without any dire emergency facing our greater population, my ailing mother has been told on more than one occasion that there aren’t enough hospital beds to care for those who need them. A friend recently had to wait more than 24 hours in an emergency ward with a painful hip fracture at a local hospital because there wasn’t a bed to admit her.

And let’s not forget the insane cost of our health care and treatments and prescriptions.

What would we do if and when we are faced with a dangerous flu epidemic here — or a multitude of injuries from another fire? We all need to realize that our country’s and county’s priorities regarding our health care are woefully askew.



Abandoning the poor

EDITOR: I guess Joe Rodota Jr. missed receiving his irony gene at birth, since his heartfelt sympathies for homeless humans along his father’s namesake trail seem at odds with his four-year stint working for President Ronald Reagan who, during two terms, slashed federal spending for subsidized housing by 69%, from $26 billion to $8 billion (“What would Joe Rodota think of SR trail” Sunday).

Thus began a bipartisan trend: The wholesale abandonment of federal responsibility for the homeless and housing policies that continued under the next four presidents — and now manifest in the Calcutta- like human degradation for the world to see on our streets under the fifth, President Donald Trump.

The result has been the slow, inexorable shoving down of public responsibility for housing the hundreds of thousands of destitute children, men and women to state, county and city governments across the country, offering only a downward spiral of inadequate resources to address what is, in truth, a growing national crisis. The money just ain’t there — and the feds are absent.

Is this who we are? Short answer, so far: Yes.



A smarter donation

EDITOR: I noticed with interest the $1 million donation by the Graton Rancheria tribe in support of the SMART tax-extension measure (“Tribe’s $1 million backs SMART tax,” Jan. 28). It is a generous and community-minded gesture, typical of the local tribe. Perhaps the funds might have been better utilized had they been donated directly to the SMART operation. It may well have allowed for extension of the line another 125 feet closer to Healdsburg.



What has Coursey done?

EDITOR: Bob Higham clearly didn’t do his homework about Supervisor Shirlee Zane before spewing forth such vitriol (“Leadership failure,” Letters, Jan. 19). While Zane and Santa Rosa Councilman Jack Tibbetts worked tirelessly with county staff and state officials to reopen the armory for the homeless on cold nights, Chris Coursey opposed doing so.

While Zane worked to obtain additional funding for the Palms Inn to provide supportive services for previously homeless vets and others, Coursey worked to close the bathrooms at the transit mall to keep the homeless out and opposed expanding the Sam Jones Hall.

For the first three months of 2019, while Zane was busy collaborating with city and county officials as well as local nonprofit partners to open the tiny homes Veterans Village to house homeless veterans, Coursey was off skiing.

Zane has been walking the walk, and Higham has misplaced the AWOL label. Zane has had the political will in the face of much opposition to successfully house homeless individuals. The question community members must ask is, what has Coursey ever done to help the homeless?


Rohnert Park

Nurses vs. doctors

EDITOR: Nurse practitioners are a great asset, especially because we have a shortage of family physicians (“ ‘Super nurse’ may be cure for health gap,” Friday). Autonomy may be good for access to care, but perhaps the lack of physician backup may lead to some problems.

I am sure physicians welcome nurse practitioners to our communities. Just be aware that 90% of nurse practitioners have a master’s degree, i.e. two years of post-grad education. Family physicians have seven years of post-grad education. The extra five years just might make a difference in some cases.

Therefore, I would not criticize family physicians — as George Skelton’s column does — if they thought they should maintain some oversight.



An earnest choice

EDITOR: There are terrible things happening all over the world. Most of us can’t help in those problems. Voters in Sonoma County’s 3rd Supervisorial District, though, can make a huge contribution to improvements in our county by voting for Chris Coursey on March 3 — or sooner, if you vote by mail.

We face problems here that are local and ones that are of a national scale. We need honest, earnest county supervisors who are not tied to special interests. Voters in the 3rd District can help to make this happen by voting for Chris Coursey.


Santa Rosa

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