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Jerry Brown’s wall

EDITOR: It seems to me a word of warning may be in order for David L. Ulin, the author of the March 25 Forum section article headlined “Trump’s war on California is a war against US.” He referenced Gov. Jerry Brown’s remark about building a wall around California “to defend ourselves from the rest of the country.” Historically, socialistic countries have to build walls to prevent their citizens from leaving, not to prevent the deplorable folks from entering.

Furthermore, funding shouldn’t be a problem. Oregon would be happy to build the northern section. If more is needed to the south, President Donald Trump will provide it if opposition to it from California Democrats can be curbed. In exchange for closing all the Indian casinos in California, Nevada will surely pay for at least half of the eastern border. Word may already be out and account for the recent record number of Californians leaving the once Golden State.

Of course, Brown isn’t going to admit to anyone the real reason for the wall. In fact, rumor has it that in an attempt to conceal his real motive and have it appear all-American and patriotic, he will name it the Irving Berlin Wall.

Better leave now, while you still can.

LEO LANE

Petaluma

Pay equity

EDITOR: While the #MeToo movement is rightfully bringing sexual discrimination in the workplace to the forefront, it is important to emphasize that a similar ly insidious evil lurks in the workplace: the gender pay gap.

Even today, women continue to get paid less than men for the same work— 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. And women of color fare worse — with African-American women making 63 cents and Hispanic women earning only 54 cents for every dollar made by a white man.

Even after accounting for occupation, industry, hours worked and education, women still make less than men, proving that gender discrimination is the culprit. With 42 percent of women heading households, this is an economic problem, not a just civil rights outrage.

On April 10 — Equal Pay Day — join the American Association of University Women Healdsburg in urging employers to review salary data and ensure women are paid equally, demand that our policymakers stand up for strong enforcement of equal pay laws and follow AAUW in their continuing efforts to make the community aware that women still suffer economic discrimination in the workplace.

HILLARY KAMBOUR

Healdsburg

Chef gives back

EDITOR: Because of my Greek heritage, we always had lamb on Easter Sunday and, for that matter, every Sunday.

When Josh Silvers cooks, I pay attention (“Bites of spring,” Wednesday). His name not only represents excellent food, but his personal contribution and generosity to so many food and wine charity events earns my respect and admiration. Our community is better off because of his wonderful food served in his restaurant and his giving back to Sonoma County.

NANNETTE ROTHE

Santa Rosa

Insurance claims

EDITOR: Despite the fact that we are almost six months removed from the October fires, most of us who lost our homes still haven’t received our full benefit for loss of our home contents. With a few notable exceptions (Farmers, Chubb), insurance companies are requiring an exhaustive inventory of our entire home contents before they will consider a maximum payout.

In my interactions with our company (State Farm), its only argument for this requirement is that it reduces fraud. This assumes that those who have lost everything are somehow taking unfair advantage of them by asking for the maximum coverage as specified by mutual contract. I contend that fraud is impossible in this case since the maximum value of the items destroyed was set by the agent and not the homeowner.

The offer to pay 75 percent of the maximum without an inventory is disingenuous and simply an attempt at lowballing us, using the potential of fraud as an excuse.

Reassured by our agents that we were well covered for total loss, we have paid our high premiums dutifully for decades. We have upheld our end of the contract; it is high time they upheld their end as well.

PATRICK CASKEY

Santa Rosa

Outdoors and economics

EDITOR: Regarding the Thursday article headlined “Outdoor fun a cash cow,” it came as no surprise to me that outdoor recreation is a valuable and growing component of the U.S. economy. However, in my 34 years as a park ranger for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (retired), it was a struggle to convince congressional and agency leaders to invest in recreation infrastructure and services for visitors coming to our parks. Maybe that’s about to change.

In 2017, the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis began a comprehensive analysis of outdoor recreation and its impact on the U.S. economy. The initial findings are hard for decision-makers to ignore: growth in outdoor recreation exceeds that of the U.S. economy in general. To learn more, review the details at bea.gov/outdoor-recreation.

For Sonoma County outdoor recreation business owners, your customers are public lands visitors. The two halves of the same equation can be a formula for success if public/private partnerships work to reduce maintenance backlogs and improve visitor services. I urge local businesses to partner with a park or park friends group to support the facilities and services their customers are demanding. It’s an investment worth making.

NANCY ROGERS

Board member, The Corps Foundation Petaluma

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