Saturday’s Letters to the Editor
The ‘control us virus'
EDITOR: There is something nefarious feeling going on, and I'm not talking about the sickness and death from the coronavirus itself, which is, of course, terrible. Throughout our history, American blood has been shed to protect and defend our freedoms and liberty. Now, in this short timeframe, we are witnessing martial law.
Many governors and mayors are blasting out orders in tyrannical fashion, making it perfectly clear what we can and cannot do. They tell us what the repercussions will be for not obeying, all the while usurping our constitutional rights. Our country's economic engine is being decimated, ruining and destroying so many people.
Remember, years ago, the communists said, “We will take you over without firing a shot.” I think it's happening. Our way of life is in deep peril right now. As the opposition has said, “Never let a crisis go to waste,” and this is another ploy by them to try to keep our president from being reelected. I pray for President Donald Trump, and I pray for America the beautiful.
Library will open soon
EDITOR: In response to public calls to reopen the libraries, I say, “Thank you, we miss you, too.” We librarians want nothing more than to start serving you again, but we have to be patient a little longer.
Our staff is working to develop a safe and sustainable reopening plan that begins with curbside delivery and eventually leads to full service.
Unlike a bookstore, at libraries we have to account for books circulating out, back in, then out again. We can't take a chance that books and other materials may be contaminated, so we have to plan how to manage and quarantine them.
We also have to make changes to library floor plans and keep a large supply of masks and gloves for our staff who handle materials, all so we can keep the community safe.
We promise to announce our phased reopening plan soon. Thanks again for supporting your free public library.
Director, Sonoma County Library
Safety before politics
EDITOR: I'm upset that the supervisors want to override our public health officer and the state public health guidelines under pressure from business, winery, development and real estate lobbies (“Push to speed up reopening,” Thursday). That is likely to put my partner and other vulnerable folks at higher risk of COVID-19.
There are better options for allowing business to reopen. Look at what Petaluma is innovating with an online mall. This is a challenging time. It hurts. Still, we need to listen to the public health experts and take a long view, not line up with more conservative red counties that are opening too early. Let's not let politics and profits override public health.
EDITOR: The huge increase in people bicycling has been one of the silver linings of the shelter-in-place order (“Bike business booms,” May 6). With so many folks who haven't ridden in a while getting out on the road, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition would like to help them do so safely and responsibly.
We are offering our Smart Cycling safety classes online for free. Learn the rules of the road, tips for promoting visibility, bike handling and positioning for safety, and more.
May is also National Bike Month, and we have a variety of other virtual events, challenges and support groups available, including activities for kids and families. Check out our website, bikesonoma.org, for details.
This is also a great time to imagine our future. How can we keep more people on their bikes? What changes can we make to help them do so safely? Cities including Oakland and Los Angeles have closed streets to through traffic to give folks more car-free space to exercise and recreate; what might that look like here?
For example, closing Sonoma Avenue would create safe passage from downtown to Howarth, Spring Lake and Annadel parks. Montgomery Drive and Fourth Street would remain available for drivers. (Emergency vehicles and neighborhood residents would still be able to get through.)
Executive director, Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition
EDITOR: It has been interesting to read the letters written about Capt. Brett Crozier's actions. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has a criterion which I think is safe to apply to those who wrote critically - “A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you are right, but not knowing enough to know you are wrong.” As has been pointed out by another writer, commanding officers, don't “take” their ships into a foreign port for the fun of it. They receive orders to do so.
Two friends and I retired from the Navy with the rank of captain. Collectively, we served the Navy for more than 100 years. Naturally, we took an interest in Crozier's situation. It is our opinion that the men and women of the USS Theodore Roosevelt were served by an outstanding commanding officer who should still be in command.
Crozier took what he believed was necessary action for the good of the crew. We agree with that action. Further we believe Crozier exemplifies the quality of officer we need to command our ships and care for our sailors, enlisted and officers alike.
We salute him, and say Bravo Zulu.
You can send a letter to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.