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Saturday’s Letters to the Editor

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The trouble with hysteria

EDITOR: All hysteria isn’t equal. When we have as our president-elect a person who suggested that we abolish the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it is impossible to be too over-the-top or hysterical in our response to such ideas. But we cannot thereby conclude that such will be his policy. We must be patient and strong in our resolution to fight against anti-science policies in our government. The problem with hysteria is that it can obscure the facts. If we aren’t talking about the facts, then we are talking about something else.

BRENT GUDZUS

Windsor

Letting voters decide

EDITOR: I see that the Santa Rosa City Council is planning to put the rent control issue on the ballot for the public to decide. Perhaps if council members had put the reunification of the downtown square to a public vote, they would have had $10 million to spend on affordable housing and assistance for the homeless.

GARY MICHEL

Santa Rosa

Help for parks

EDITOR: The reopening of Yosemite National Park after rock slides and closed roads from recent storms is a welcome relief. However, while nature can be blamed for this storm and its impacts, which are still being assessed, Congress is the source of extreme disrepair in our national parks after years of underfunding.

Yosemite’s more than $555 million backlog contributes to the $12 billion price tag for unmaintained trails, crumbling roads and visitor centers in desperate need of updating across the park system. Rangers and staff at Yosemite and across the country do their best, but the backlog jeopardizes the long-term health of our national treasures.

President-elect Donald Trump has pledged $1 trillion in investments and repairs to our nation’s infrastructure. Addressing the aging infrastructure of our national parks is an ideal place to start. The National Parks Conservation Association calls on our congressional leaders to work together and with the president-elect to make national park funding a national priority again. We must continue to protect and support America’s favorite places.

RON SUNDERGILL

Windsor

Reason to be involved

EDITOR: In regards to Monica Crowley’s rampant plagiarism and her joining the new administration’s National Security Council staff (“Is plagiarism an unpardonable sin any more?” Thursday), it again seems that this incoming administration isn’t concerned with ethical behavior. But since our president-elect seems not to value ethical behavior as befitting to the highest office of the land and continues to show no moral code or respect for the office, we all need to be involved and active.

YVONNE MARTIN

Santa Rosa

Abortion questions

EDITOR: Dean Davis (“Fundamental values,” Letters, Tuesday) expresses his belief “that from the moment of conception a true, genetically unique human being” is created. Some others say that the unborn fetus is part of the woman’s body and its fate is totally and exclusively within her purview.

Hypothetically, suppose my kidneys fail and I need a transplant. But the only compatible donors refuse me. Can I force them? No, I have no right to their body parts.

If the unborn fetus is part of the woman’s body, no one can tell her what to do with it. Granted, it’s not like trimming fingernails; it’s more like having a circumcision to prevent disease. Which no one says a person can’t do.

On the other hand, if that fetus is not part of the woman’s body, then it is in fact a separate body. But it needs blood, nutrients and oxygen from the woman to live. Yet it has no right to those without her consent.

So is abortion wrong, or is forcing a woman to carry a fetus to term wrong? I don’t know. What would Jesus say? What would the Buddha say? What would an alien philosopher from Proxima Centauri b say?

RANDY JONES

Santa Rosa

Life imitating art

EDITOR: As a lifelong New York Yankees fan and an actor in community theater, I was fascinated by the play “Damn Yankees.” But I never imagined how it would become a metaphor for today’s political situation.

The play features a long-suffering Washington Senators fan, Joe Boyd, who sells his soul to the devil to be transformed into Joe Hardy, a young slugger who leads the Senators to a championship by beating the Yankees.

The show has a happy ending with the defeat of both the devil and the Yankees. Unfortunately, our political situation isn’t likely to end as well.

The heartland and the South hated Hillary Clinton and, to defeat her, voters sold their souls to Donald Trump, a candidate who makes the devil look good. Trump supporters didn’t have to be as naive as Joe Boyd. They were warned by countless respected people that Trump is a con-man whose history reflects no principles other than a devotion to his own self-aggrandizement.

The media have noted that we people on the coasts are out of touch with many others in the rest of the country. Perhaps that’s so. But, more realistically, it seems to me those others are unable to see the forest for the trees.

FRANK N. PANZA

Santa Rosa

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