Friday’s Letters to the Editor

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A civic statement

EDITOR: As an architect, I know the design of a space conveys meaning. Our homes are a reflection of our values in ways that are immediately apparent to guests when they walk in our front door. I believe the reunification of Old Courthouse Square will send a profound message about what we value as a community.

We value a walkable, beautiful, energetic downtown rather than a downtown that is easy to get through in our automobiles. We value a civic space that provides a home for our community to gather, celebrate, educate and communicate without fear of being run over by a car. We value a revitalized downtown core that serves as an active, friendly and safe destination for our friends and family and for the many visitors to Sonoma County.

I am not naive enough to believe that this utopia will be created overnight, but I believe in the power a reunified Old Courthouse Square will have over time, and I applaud the Santa Rosa City Council for its decision to move forward with funding the project. Our city leaders should aspire to envision the best of what our city can become, and in this decision their vision is clear and bright.


Santa Rosa

Ignoring abuse

EDITOR: I am astonished at what is happening. U.S. Special Forces soldiers confront a serial child rapist, and our government not only refuses to back them up but punishes them with dismissal from the military (“Congressman protests punishment,” Sunday). Kudos to Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, for his courageous confrontation of the Army, but where’s the outrage from the rest of the media and, indeed, the U.S. population?

How can we stand idly by and allow this abomination to occur on or near our military bases just because we are afraid of “a loss of rapport” and of offending the degenerates who propagate these savage attacks under the innocuous name of “boy play”?

Is this the ultimate outcome of a PC society gone mad?

I am ashamed of any U.S. organization, military, governmental or the present administration that would not jump to the defense of these children and those who were brave enough to stop the rape.



A return to normal?

EDITOR; Ah, the world’s climates are changing. Or are they returning to normal?

You see, back in the day, there was a land bridge between the European and North American continents. Then, according to some scientific scholars, a catastrophic event occurred that sent the world into an ice age.

Since this event, the Earth’s climate has become abnormal. So, you see, the planet is just returning to its natural temperature, which will allow it to return to its natural climate.

The Earth will return to its natural temperature and climates, man or no man. It’s not nice to fool with mother nature.


Santa Rosa

Too much development

EDITOR: On Aug. 4, I sent Rep. Jared Huffman a postcard asking him to drop the bill he introduced to place more than 500 acres west of Windsor into federal trust for 150 homes and a 200-room resort for the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians to avoid a casino. Now they may make a deal to build 360 homes, a hotel with fewer than 200 rooms, a 200,000-case winery and, maybe, 1,300 noncontiguous acres, but no casino.

Already developer Bob Bisno wants to build 800 units known as the Village Oaks on the Town Green and Windsor Mill. Rohnert Park is adding 4,350 residential units, which will increase the population from 43,000 to 54,000. Santa Rosa’s Skyhawk subdivision will add 35 new luxury homes. And Jes Slavik wants to build a 150-room upscale hotel, 40 resort rentals and 80 homes near Cloverdale’s airport.

Of course, the development proposed by the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians is understandable, but the whole area is overpopulated and overbuilt. Maybe these developers should build skyscrapers in the downtowns and get Caltrans to construct a second tier over Highway 101.



Value vs. values

EDITOR: The column on regulatory reform, coupled with the editorial on pharmaceutical companies gouging dying patients for drugs required at their end-of-life, cast a spotlight on a deeply troubling aspect of our capitalist economy — determining the price of a human life.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court deemed business a person against all scientific evidence to the contrary, corporations are increasing their demands for cost/benefit studies to determine the business case for saving polar bears and keeping toxins out of drinking water. Only by having an economically validated price for each human life will corporations be able to implement their strategies, or in the jargon of economists, charge what the market will bear.

The corporate person is only interested in monetary value, hence the importance of turning people and the planet into money. It is only in the context of money that businesses can actually communicate in matters that impact the health of people and of the planet. By accepting this context, we also accept that human lives do primarily have a monetary value.

This schism in shared understanding is at the heart of our conflicts in communication. Humans, as real people, understand the difference between “value” and “values.” Corporations do not.



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