Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor

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Coastal coup

EDITOR: Your Saturday editorial was right on target (“Stop the coup at the Coastal Commission”). Newspapers across our state have been spotlighting the showdown in Morro Bay as some Coastal Commission members seek to oust its executive director, Charles Lester. The commission has received more than 17,000 letters in support of Lester vs. three against, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Can it be that pro-development forces are attempting to make the coastal commission more accommodating to private interests? Many think so. And many organizations and individuals are planning to attend the Morro Bay hearing to speak in support of Lester.

Sonoma County is experiencing weak coastal protections already as there seems to be an understaffed code enforcement department and a Board of Supervisors uncommitted to developing a strong coastal plan with real teeth. We need to support the leadership of Executive Director Charles Lester.

KEN SUND

Jenner

A nation of immigrants

EDITOR: John F. Hudson (“Immigration and rentals,” Letters, Feb. 1) has come up with the perfect solution for increasing available rental housing. Simply deport all illegal immigrants. Then vacant housing for “legitimate citizens” will open up. Sounds easy except:

Is Hudson willing to work in the vineyards to harvest the grapes?

Would he clean bathrooms and make beds in Sonoma County hotels?

How about doing dishes and scrubbing floors in our restaurants?

And what about the immigrants’ children who are legal U.S. citizens?

What he fails to realize is unless someone comes up with a viable plan to replace all the hard-working, honest illegal immigrants, a lot of labor we depend on will not be done. Why? Because I’m guessing that Hudson, along with the vast majority of residents, will not be clamoring to fill the job vacancies.

How about we step back and start appreciating what these immigrants do for the rest of us? In case you may have forgotten, every resident of this country is here because of an ancestor who immigrated to the United States. We are a nation of immigrants who were looking for a better life. Let’s not lose sight of that fact.

STEPHEN RUFFINO

Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa’s clerk

EDITOR: It was a pleasure to read the article on retiring Santa Rosa City Clerk Terri Griffin (“Top election official retires amid praise,” Friday). I was privileged to work with Griffin as a colleague for a number of years and also during a political campaign upon my retirement. Griffin is a consummate professional. She treats everyone, no matter their position, with graciousness, kindness and a very helpful manner. Santa Rosa has been well served during her tenure, and she will be missed by all. It is a great loss for Santa Rosa and its residents.

KAREN WEEKS

Santa Rosa

Expired license plates

EDITOR: Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing an increase in vehicle registration fees to pay for road maintenance and repairs. Why not simply collect registration fees from the owners of vehicles with expired tags that are being operated on the California roads?

The number of vehicles being driven with expired tags is astonishing. They are on the roads, in shopping centers, at restaurants, at construction sites. They include high end, newer vehicles as well as commercial vehicles. The owners can shop, dine out, drink $5 coffees and earn prevailing wages but can’t pay to register their vehicles?

Before increasing costs for people who do pay our registration fees, Brown should provide funding to law enforcement agencies for manpower and vehicle expenses to crack down on non-compliant vehicles, increase the fines for violators and impound unregistered vehicles until the fees and fines are paid. If the owners don’t want to pay their registration fees, they should not be allowed to operate their vehicle on the roads.

Until the state vigorously enforces current registration requirements, an increase in vehicle registration fees, which will negatively impact law-abiding operators, should not even be considered.

JOANIE DYBACH

Santa Rosa

For local compost

EDITOR: The article highlighting how 1,300 carbon-absorbing redwood trees were planted in the west county was inspiring (“Hands-on approach,” Jan. 9). The importance of reducing our carbon footprint is critical.

Unfortunately, Sonoma County has recently added to its carbon footprint. Our green bin materials are being shipped to compost facilities outside of Sonoma County since Oct 15 when the compost facility was shut down. This out-haul is significantly adding to greenhouse gas emissions due to vehicle transport. The cost to the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency will be $2 million per year and will most likely be passed on to households. Organic farmers and landscapers no longer have an affordable local source of high quality compost and are losing productivity and income.

A recently formed coalition of more than 30 organizations plans to get these valuable soil amendments back. Among other things, the Compost Coalition of Sonoma County will be asking county supervisors to find a new local facility with public oversight that can once again produce locally grown compost and allow the county to live up to its farm-to-table reputation.

THERESA RYAN

Healdsburg

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