Doing our part
EDITOR: The right wing often criticizes most of the rest of us for wanting the government to take care of us. While I find this appeal-to-emotion argument false and misleading in many ways, it is, as most right-wing arguments are, not completely without merit.
We in California don’t want oil wells off our coast. We don’t want shale oil mined here. And we don’t want our water supply compromised by fracking. But almost all of our efforts to prevent these things are done through the government. Almost all of us continue to buy plastics and drive automobiles.
Here in Sonoma County, we have an extensive and growing network of bike/pedestrian trails. And we have an excellent public mass transit system for a county of our size and population. Not everybody can, but a great many more of us than do could make use of these resources for transportation rather than continuing automobile use.
Increased demand for trails and mass transit will create them. Less demand for automobiles and gasoline will reduce production. And stop buying plastic. Reduced demand will reduce production.
EDITOR: I agree with Duane De Witt (“Drawing council districts,” Letters, Monday) that Santa Rosa’s downtown and Railroad Square areas should be in one Santa Rosa City Council election district.
In addition, I would suggest that the surrounding neighborhoods, including six of our eight historic neighborhoods be part of that district.
With mounting pressure to increase building heights downtown and along the SMART tracks, bring more affordable housing to downtown, wrestle with the ongoing homeless problems that plague downtown neighborhoods and accommodate a growing population, our historic districts need one council member.
Whatever happens downtown or in the Railroad Square area impacts these important neighborhoods and their residents. A council member who understands the beauty and artistic value of these neighborhoods along with the importance of the shopping and business areas makes sense.
EDITOR: What a wonderful column by Gaye Lebaron regarding the time capsule to be opened by future Sonoma County residents, 50 or 100 years from now (“What really says who we are as a community?” March 25). Her mention of cannabis as a “natural” inclusion in the capsule, whether a medical salve or an old-fashioned joint, speaks to the heart of the matter before county supervisors on Tuesday. The board will consider giving staff direction toward updating the county cannabis ordinance to, among other things, allow adult use cannabis permitting.
Cannabis is obviously such a part of our local culture that our revered local historian thinks highly enough to include it in a sealed civic vault for future generations, along with county fair and high school graduation programs, wine labels and, of course, a copy of The Press Democrat. Supervisors would be wise to do the hard work to support cannabis growers who are knee-deep in permitting and, with it, neighborhood concerns.
Enabling of a regulated marketplace, through inclusion via permitting, is a cultural time capsule must. Maybe we should include a copy of The Press Democrat that featured the first approved permit for commercial cannabis; that will truly be something to reflect upon.