Wednesday’s Letters to the Editor

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An insurance policy

EDITOR: Former Secretary of State George Shultz spoke recently and caught my attention. Back in the 1980s, scientists said the ozone layer was being depleted by the use of chlorofluorocarbons. Some folks didn’t believe it or agree with the science. All agreed that if the ozone layer were destroyed, it would be a catastrophe.

Shultz reasoned that it would be wise to take out an “insurance policy” rather than argue with doubters, and all agreed that it was in everyone’s best interest to avoid the possibility of losing the ozone layer. The result: the Montreal Protocol, which banned the use of these chemicals just in time.

There is a lesson here. Whether or not you believe that climate change is man-made, the effects of climate change are real: sea ice is melting at faster rates, sea levels are rising, storms are increasingly potent, as are droughts (witness California’s loss of 100 million trees during our record drought), and global average temperatures are rising.

Last year, the solar industry employed more Americans than coal, and wind power topped 100,000 jobs. As the world’s largest economy, we must lead the world in creating energy responsibly. We need an insurance policy for our future.



Single-payer plan

EDITOR; I’ve been reading about the universal health proposed by state Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, and others. Even though I know McGuire and like him a lot, I cannot support this measure.

The first thing I would point out is that most working people don’t pay insurance premiums; their employers pay them. This bill wants to tax individuals to pay for the service. Essentially, the sponsors are saying, wouldn’t it be great to take more money (via taxes) out of workers’ real disposable income, making them poorer, to simplify our health care system?

Also, I wonder whether our governor and Legislature would be covered by this plan. If it isn’t good enough for them, it’s probably not good enough for you and me. We are their employers.

Lastly, what happens to Medicare, a federal program enacted by Congress? Can a state legislature tell Washington what to do? I don’t think so.

I agree that health care needs reform. The whole health care system needs seller transparency and informed buyers, as with other consumer products. If the health care industry takes advantage of its clients, it should face regulatory penalties, as any other business would.



D-Day remembered

EDITOR: June 6 is one of the most important dates in our history, and it is particularly relevant to what is going on now with regard to the U.S. role in NATO. The only mention of D-Day I could find in Tuesday’s paper was the Peanuts cartoon. Snoopy, our hometown hero, didn’t forget.


Santa Rosa

Trump’s bait-and-switch

EDITOR: Among Donald Trump’s campaign promises that baited low-income voters, his pledge to provide health care to all — with lower premiums — was extremely popular. Remember? “It’s going to be beautiful!”

It’s not beautiful. It’s a disaster. What we’ve been given is a train wreck of a health care proposal and a bait-and-switch budget.

Maybe this is payback to legislators who stuck with him like flies during the campaign and who now get to restore money to popular programs such as health care in the final budget they propose. The goal? Protect Republicans running for re-election, thus retaining a majority in both houses.

Let us hope the American people don’t fall for this. Trump and his posse catastrophically miscalculated the public’s reaction to FBI Director James Comey’s firing. They expected adulation. What they got was anything but. They dismissed the possibility that removing Comey at the time he was investigating White House/Russia issues would look like an attempt to weaken or disable the investigation.

Only time will tell what effect Trump’s bait-and-switch budget has on the 2018 elections. Let’s hope it backfires. I, and my fellow Indivisible Sonoma County activists, are working to make sure that it will.


Santa Rosa

Navigation buoys

EDITOR: The Mendocino Fire Department has been informed by the U.S. Coast Guard that the local navigation buoys at Mendocino Bay and the mouth of Little River are at risk for removal due to federal budget constraints.

Our Fire Department ocean rescue teams use the navigation buoys for emergency responses. Both buoys are critical in setting up line-of-sight navigation vectors for rescue and recovery responses as we navigate our coastline.

In recent years we have responded to about 30 ocean rescue dispatches per year. We launch jet skis and rescue boats to save the lives of divers, kayakers, swimmers and people swept off our rugged shoreline. The Little River and Mendocino Bay buoys are vital for our 911 emergency responses. Lives of victims and responders are at stake.

Please write our local and federal representatives to ask the U.S. Coast Guard to permanently preserve the navigational buoys at Mendocino Bay and Little River.


Assistant chief, Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department

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