Friday’s Letters to the Editor
What would TR say?
EDITOR: According to a recent wire service article in The Press Democrat, Russian President Vladimir Putin is putting a nuclear plant in Argentina for peaceful purposes and hopes to build satellite bases and cooperate for the use of “military technology” (“Russia, Argentina make energy deal,” Sunday). Members of Congress are busy planning their vacations, so their views will have to wait. I wonder what Teddy Roosevelt would say?
EDITOR: Reading over all the articles about Andy Lopez, I’m wondering why haven’t the parents been brought up on charges for child endangerment. When a 13-year-old is using marijuana and carrying a gun that looks real, why aren’t they responsible? The police have gone through a lot of training to keep themselves and the community safe. They had no ability to know that this was a 13-year-old child who was smoking marijuana. They only knew that he did not put down the gun when asked to do so. We have had many shootings done by children his age. Police have a very difficult job, and it’s up to us as parents to know what our children are doing.
EDITOR: As noted in Tuesday’s paper, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has refused to respond to reports of an intimate relationship between a USDA inspector and a Petaluma slaughterhouse employee (“Answers sought in Rancho closure”). Early this year, federal regulators ordered a nationwide recall of 8.7 million pounds of beef from the Rancho Feeding Corp., and they shut the facility down in February. Although Reps. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, and Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, have called on the USDA to provide answers, the agency is using the cover of “pending investigation” to shroud itself in secrecy.
Unfortunately, the animal agriculture industry regularly colludes with government agencies including the USDA to hide operations from the public. Meanwhile, the understaffed USDA often fails to enforce the law, putting the public at grave risk. That’s why the Cotati-based Animal Legal Defense Fund, supported by a broad coalition of public interest groups, filed the nation’s first lawsuits against state “ag gag” laws (in Idaho and Utah) that silence whistleblowers on factory farms and slaughterhouses. The industry talks about transparency while shutting the public out at every opportunity. Taxpayers deserve some answers.
Executive director, Animal Legal Defense Fund
EDITOR. I replaced my back yard lawn a few weeks ago with synthetic turf. I was told that by doing this I could get a rebate from the city of Santa Rosa. Replacing the lawn should greatly lower my water use. When I contacted the city agency that handles the rebates, I was told that because it was synthetic and not natural landscaping it didn’t qualify for the $250 rebate.
Oh, by the way, the synthetic lawn cost $3,900. With the drought, I would think that spending the money I did would help a little on our water situation.
I could have replaced my lawn with rocks and weeds as the city representative suggested. I should have; then, I would have gotten the rebate. I just wish the city would decide that synthetic lawns are a drought-saving measure.