Friday’s Letters to the Editor
No mask, no service
EDITOR: Those folks who balk at wearing a mask in stores need to realize that businesses are private property. Owners and their employees come into contact with hundreds or even thousands of customers a day. Businesses have the right to protect their employees and refuse service. No shirt, no shoes, no mask - no service!
The ‘Jaws' pandemic
EDITOR: All the news about a rapid reopening of businesses reminds me of a classic Steven Spielberg shark attack movie of my youth. That movie was 1975's “Jaws.” As you may recall, a small, coastal town was terrorized by a great white shark. The beaches were closed by the police chief on a Fourth of July weekend. The mayor strong-armed the chief to reopen the beaches because it would economically devastate the town. He reluctantly capitulated. We know how that turned out.
Fast forward to today. Can we see the same scenario happening here with the push to reopen businesses and relax restrictions on social behavior? I hope another moment from that movie doesn't comes to fruition - you know, when the chief exclaims, “We need a bigger boat!”
EDITOR: As French and German troops were about to engage in a violent clash near Paris in September 1914, French Gen. Joseph Joffre reminded his troops that “the time for looking back has past.” There were no reinforcements.
Your May 10 editorial (“Pandemic flips state from surplus to deep deficit”) made the mistake of which Joffre warned: looking back to Washington as reinforcements to bail out the consequences of Gov. Gavin Newson's disastrous decision to shut down California's economy. Get in line.
Newsom will brag about the lives he saved, and the 25 million who didn't become infected by sheltering in place. Soon enough, history will record whether Newsom's diktat was wisdom or folly, particularly given the conflicting, incomplete and constantly changing facts and measures. Not enough ventilators; too many ventilators. Shortage of hospital beds; vacant hospitals. Masks ordered; orders canceled. And so it goes.
But we know that California's economy has been brought to its knees, and 40 million Californians are now victims of those decisions.
While waiting for Godot (Washington), Newson should start envisioning the size of government that his decisions can now afford. Start with across-the-board cuts in executive compensation, converting defined-benefit pensions into 401(k)s and permanently reducing government employment to fit reduced tax revenues. Those making decisions must share their consequences.
Rohnert Park elections
EDITOR: In just a few months, Rohnert Park will have its first district-based City Council elections so that the city can be in compliance with state election laws. The map dividing Rohnert Park into five districts and the sequencing for which districts will vote in 2020 vs. 2022 have received more than 55 public comments in opposition and zero in favor since being accepted by the council in February.
Councilman Jake MacKenzie and Councilwoman Gina Belforte responded to all of the comments and an alternative plan was offered by citizens. They have requested that the comments and the alternative proposal be put on the next council agenda. Mayor Joe Callinan and council members Susan Adams and Pam Stafford clearly would prefer not to consider the concerns of their constituents and just move on with the plan that protects them as incumbents.
Unfortunately, few residents in Rohnert Park are paying attention or understand the significant changes being made to our city's governance. I encourage you to publish some follow-up articles regarding Rohnert Park's transition to district elections to help educate the public so they can make informed decisions.
BONNIE L. BLACK
Do something positive
EDITOR: On two Saturdays in a row, we saw protesters at Santa Rosa's Courthouse Square asking Sonoma County Public Health Officer Sundari Mase and Gov. Gavin Newsom to reopen. I understand why they were protesting, and I want Sonoma County opened as well. But I believe these protesters presented a valid example as to why it's too soon to return to normalcy.
The protesters - some with children - weren't practicing social distancing and weren't wearing masks. This lack of understanding of the coronavirus, their foolishness and lack of common sense will only fill our hospitals and morgues.
I say to the protesters, yes, you have a First Amendment right to protest, and a Second Amendment right as well. But for the sick, dying and those heroes battling on the front lines, neither amendment currently matters all that much.
I might suggest rechanneling your energy in a positive and conducive direction for Sonoma County. Help our community by volunteering at the Redwood Empire Food Bank or Meals on Wheels of Sonoma County. Let's get smart and start doing the things that truly benefit our neighbors and will help Sonoma County open back up safely.
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