Saturday’s Letters to the Editor

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Swindler freed

EDITOR: It boggles the mind when people such as Gary Armitage get out of prison early for good behavior (“SR swindler Armitage out of prison,” Wednesday). Isn’t that what his crime was, convincing other people he is a good guy when he is not? I would almost feel more comfortable if he were released after demonstrating some outward hostility since that is a more honest reflection of how he feels about people.


Santa Rosa

Congress is the problem

EDITOR: I read the Dallas Morning News editorial in Monday’s paper (“A chasm is looming for Social Security”). This view from Texas that we cannot sustain Social Security without restructuring and diluting the program is a recurring theme from the Republican right. It was put forward by the George W. Bush administration as a basis to privatize Social Security.

The real problem is Congress has been borrowing from the program ever since the Reagan administration moved the monies and investments into the general fund. Unless we elect a Congress that will raise taxes on the rich and clean up the corporate loopholes that allow too many corporations to pay no taxes, we will have a much bigger fiscal problem than underfunded Social Security. Our dysfunctional Congress is the real problem. We need to work for real change.


Santa Rosa

Publicizing killers

EDITOR: Murders in the news, especially mass shootings, have had the intelligentsia, such as the editorial writers of The Press Democrat, calling for more restrictions on the ability to buy weapons. I can abide by the slight loss of my Second Amendment rights, but how about the reason for many of these shootings?

Many shooters want their moment of fame, to be an anti-hero. To see the smirk of the Aurora, Colo. shooter when he spotted a TV camera made me sick. Basically every behavioral expert has explained that these criminals want this coverage; in some cases, it is the reason they do it. The press needs to ignore the desire to give us the details of a criminal’s political or social leanings.

If I were to call the news and tell them I have a lengthy letter explaining all that is wrong with society, there is no way I would be taken seriously or published. However, if I then went out and committed a horrible crime, my thoughts and actions would be read and analyzed. This needs to stop. I will give up some of my Second Amendment rights if the media will limit some of its First Amendment rights.


Santa Rosa

Homelessness budget

EDITOR: If you divide $110 million by 3,100 people, it looks like $35,000 per person to me. That’s what’s budgeted to solve homelessness in Sonoma County (“County’s battle plan on homelessness”). Where in the whole world have efforts been successful? Is there a success formula to follow? Supervisors met for three hours to study this serious issue. Maybe success stories were included in that study? Many communities need a homeless success formula. Let’s hope that Sonoma County efforts to solve homelessness are a shining example.


Fort Bragg

Wineries and sustainability

EDITOR: Gabriel Froymovich, a wine industry financial adviser, cries “mendacious hyperbole” in response to winery critics (“Keeping the grape debate in perspective,” Close to home, Aug. 22).

Let’s look at some facts. Sustainability? According to him, “roughly one-third” of wineries are sustainable. That leaves 66 percent that are not. How is dumping nearly 2 million of the approximately 2.25 million pounds of chemicals into our air, land and water in a year (2012 analysis of county data) sustainable? How sustainable is the wine industry’s unregulated water grab in a drought?

Then there’s the fuzzy math he used to claim that wineries average “less than 12,000 cases annually.” Here are actual statistics from the county. Out of the 384 permits issued as of June 2014 (the most recent report I saw online) Gallo, Clos du Bois and Sonoma West Holdings top the list with 11.7 million cases (27 percent). In fact, 12 wineries (1 percent) were permitted for production of 1 million or more cases of wine, 70 percent of the total production capacity. The number of permits issued to those producing 12,000 or fewer cases per year (60 percent), accounted for just under 2 percent of production in the county. Now who’s lying?



Regaining a foothold

EDITOR: It’s embarrassing to read of the shameful resistance to the proposal of Lytton Rancheria Pomos to develop a tribal housing project outside Windsor (“Transparent forum,” Tuesday).

These folks were the original residents of this beautiful county that settlers wrenched from their control. It has taken a long time for them to develop business interests that allow them to buy back their original territory at very high prices. Who are these people who feel they are more entitled to this property than the original residents, and why can’t the current residents welcome and support this development the way Windsor has welcomed numerous other residential developments?

The statement that “the beautiful place you all love is being invaded by a cancer” makes me sick. Think of the loss and sorrow of the original residents who lost their homeland to ambitious settlers and entrepreneurs.

I congratulate the Lytton band members for their hard work and perseverance to regain a foothold in their historic homeland.



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