Saturday’s Letters to the Editor
Say no to rent control
EDITOR: I recently had to hunt for a rental in Sonoma County, which took 2½ months. Partly because I have a big dog; but mostly because there aren’t enough rentals out there.
Sonoma County is facing a housing shortage, and so is California. We need more housing.
The Santa Rosa City Council is looking to put a Band-Aid of rent control policies on the problematic housing shortage. Rent control will do nothing but exacerbate the problem. It will limit rental turnover, reduce resident mobility and drive rental owners out of the city, which means fewer rentals available. Rent control will not ease tight vacancy rates or create more housing.
Rent control has not increased housing opportunities in cities with rent control. Look at San Francisco. My friend leases a one-bedroom (dilapidated) rent-controlled apartment for $3,000 a month, and she says she will never move out. Why? “There’s no place to move.” In San Francisco, it is nearly impossible to find an apartment unless you “know someone.”
In 2015, San Francisco topped Forbes’ list of “Worst Cities for Renters,” with Oakland and San Jose close behind. These three cities all have rent control. Is that what we want in Santa Rosa?
SR’s ‘beloved giants’
EDITOR: I have lived in Santa Rosa for more than 20 years now, and I have seen a lot of changes, some good, some not. I’m writing on behalf of the grand old trees in our beloved downtown square. The prospect of cutting and removing old trees that freely supply oxygen, give needed shade on those hot days and produce a sense of calm and stability to my soul is, frankly, gut-wrenching.
Those trees are the property of Santa Rosa citizens, not the merchants or the building owners. We love these majestic trees, and we will not stand by to see them destroyed for corporate greed and additional parking spaces. If we look at the big picture and think of generations to come, I’m confident that there is a way to avoid killing these beautiful giants.
EDITOR: I’m beyond angry, sad and horrified that you would publish a photograph of someone’s beloved dogs that perished in a fire (“Hoverboard suspected in fire,” Thursday). Tell me how that has anything to do with responsible reporting. This family has to endure the loss of their cherished pets. For them to see that photograph in the paper is reprehensible.
These are neighbors and friends who don’t deserve this. It’s a sad, sad day that the paper considers this a newsworthy photograph. Yes, the firefighters deserve praise for trying to save the pets. But no one deserves to be treated with such inhumanity. You must do better.
Trade agreement dangers
EDITOR: In President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, he referenced the “Asian-Pacific trade pact” and praised its merits. This pact, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, is a treacherous plan created in secrecy over a seven-year period by corporate lobbyists.
The president’s brief but glowing pitch came on the heels of a lawsuit that made recent headlines. TransCanada is suing the U.S. over Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. The Canadian corporation is using a provision in the North American Free Trade Agreement to sue for expenses and lost future profits. This Investor-State Dispute Settlement provision allows the case to be heard in a secret international tribunal with corporate agents as judges. A ruling favorable to TransCanada cannot be appealed and could leave U.S. taxpayers on the hook for $15 billion.