Thursday’s Letters to the Editor

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Middletown looters

EDITOR: I was shocked to learn that there are looters in Middletown (“Patrols beefed up as looters descend,” Wednesday).

I’m shocked always that they exist in this country, but this is too close to home. How despicable. Who didn’t raise these people? Better yet, who did raise them? How dare they disrespect their fellow man, especially in a time of crisis.

In Japan, there is no such thing as looting. It is incomprehensible to them. They live in a society of respect for their fellow man and neighbors. Hopefully, there are few looters, and they will be caught and prosecuted.

A shout out to so many people and volunteers helping Middletown. This is the America I remember — neighbor helping neighbor even if they don’t know one another. This is what made us strong. Americans helping one another. You may not always count on your government to come to your aid in a reasonable time, but you can count on your fellow Americans. Have you donated?


Santa Rosa

Coast at a crossroads

EDITOR: More than 100 local residents packed standing-room-only into the Timber Cove firehouse on Monday for a lively interaction with Sonoma County planning staff now rewriting our Local Coastal Plan. The plan guides new development, as well as future protection, for our treasured coastal lands.

Opening the Sonoma Coast to large event centers and big wine-tasting venues, or to other industrial-scale activities, lies at the heart of the emerging debate over the plan. County planning staff is proposing to inappropriately transfer lax inland rules from the county’s general plan and, for the first time, put them into a revised Local Coastal Plan. If eventually certified by the California Coastal Commission, this proposed weakening of the coastal plan language would undermine longstanding coastal protections.

Irreversibly ripping out coastal forests ignores our chronic shortage of water, while logging and grading impacts are an obvious threat to erosion-prone soils on unstable hillsides and dump silt into our streams. Our Sonoma Coast needs to have its own protections maintained and shouldn’t be lumped together with inland urban areas.

The deadline to comment on the coastal plan is Sept. 30, and you can send your comments to

For more information, visit


Bodega Bay

Never forget 9/11

EDITOR: Seriously? A one-sixth-page article on page A3 to mark the 14th year since the worst attack in history on American soil? More than 400 police and fire personnel lost their lives, along with the 2,000-plus innocent workers and flight passengers. This is not a footnote in history — yet — unless you make it so. Please don’t. Let us never forget.


Santa Rosa

The beheaded dragon

EDITOR: I’ve ridden my bike past the notorious dragon many times. I saw it in the beginning, have seen it defaced, and I saw the women fixing it (“Beheading dragons works for some, but not for others,” Chris Smith, Aug. 23). Because I worked in mental health settings with psychotic people for years, I understand why some individuals who frequent Santa Rosa Creek would be upset by the dragon’s face and eyes. Maybe a heavy plastic window could be bolted over the dragon’s head and a chain with a felt tip pen provided so that people could deface the dragon without doing permanent damage.

Mario and Liz Uribe have contributed much to the beauty and community spirit of Santa Rosa. It was nice that Mario apologized to the Redwood Empire Chinese Association for turning the dragon’s head away, as Smith noted in his Sunday column (“At 100, Al is over the hill, and back, and over and back”), but the dragon belongs to all of us, not just one segment of our community. He was trying to make the best of a complicated situation. A 24/7 guard is not available.


Santa Rosa

Poorly timed comment

EDITOR: Sunday’s Forum Sunday piece by Fred S. McChesney (“Too many firefighters?”) was poorly timed with the exception of someone running for office trying to get an emotional response from the uninformed voter. said it best: “We love it when some faculty person pulling down at least $200,000 plus corporate consulting fees complains about how much public servants like firefighters earn. This time it’s University of Miami law professor Ted McChesney who also carries a Ph.D in economics but knows nothing, zip, zero about emergency services.

“Nonetheless, Ted offers in a Washington Post op-ed a simple-minded cost-benefit argument that fewer fires means fewer paid firefighters are needed because they spend most of their time sitting around the firehouse. That old, worn, bogus argument makes about as much sense as suggesting that law professors are grossly overpaid based on the amount of time they actually spend lecturing, or that law schools need to shut down because jobs for lawyers are disappearing. Same logic; same stupid conclusion. We suspect this union hit piece was placed because Fred McChesney, sitting on his endowed butt at Miami University, is contemplating running on a tea party ticket in the next election.”



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