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Nanny-state intrusion

EDITOR: On June 1, The Press Democrat published a difficult-to-find article (bottom of page A5) informing us that Gov. Jerry Brown signed two laws limiting Californian’s personal water use (“Brown OKs permanent restrictions on water use”).

These one-size-fits-all laws limit personal indoor water use to 55 gallons per-person per day by 2022, dropping to 50 gallons per-day by 2030. In typical legislative oversimplification, the bills fail to recognize California’s highly variable geography, which ranges from rainforest to desert.

So how will these draconian laws play out in our house? Despite our frequent use of public pool showers, once-a-week laundry, hand-washing dishes and low-flush toilets, we exceed the 55 gallons per-person per day limit. To comply with these new laws, will we be reduced to hand-to-hand combat at the shower door? We probably can’t shower and do laundry on the same day. Are holiday visits from extended family a thing of the past?

This most recent example of nanny-state intrusion stinks. Is this the governor’s way of thanking Californian’s for conserving water during the drought? What happened to the proceeds of the $7.5 billion water bond Californians generously gifted to the state in 2014? The dirt and stench of Sacramento politics just blew in through our front doors, literally.

MADELINE SCHNAPP

Sebastopol

Marijuana gardens

EDITOR: Last year, the son of a nearby renter (he isn’t a resident) grew four marijuana plants outdoors. In addition to neighbors fearing violence, I was restricted in movement because I have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and the odor and particulate matter negatively impact my breathing. I couldn’t go on my patio or open doors and windows to catch evening breezes. This is in the Grace Tract in Santa Rosa, and in driving the area, I can smell at least two indoor grows in residential areas.

So, call me a NIMBY, but breathing is important, and I believe I have a right to live as normally as possible in my home.

JANN EDWARDS

Santa Rosa

A neighborhood retreat

EDITOR: Once again we see the power of money. Thirteen years ago, Carmen Campos opened a restaurant in the small Town and Country shopping center at a location where upscale restaurants had previously failed.

Over the years, the restaurant, Carmen’s Burger Bar, became a popular meeting place, drawing from the neighborhood and beyond. It is always busy with families, seniors and couples enjoying good food at reasonable prices, with an ambiance not found elsewhere. I have eaten there about once a month for more than 10 years, often eating alone. The friendly staff soon knew my usual order, and they treat me with the same respect as much larger tables. I will sorely miss it, and so will my friends.

Recently, the restaurant was given no opportunity to renew its lease, but was told another restaurateur was taking over the location. Will the neighborhood benefit? The current clientele will not. And this wonderful woman who built this business will have to look elsewhere. I hope customers will keep this in mind.

LYNN McGARVEY

Santa Rosa

Property tax bills

EDITOR: Regarding Emerson Burkett’s letter (“Bonds and taxes,” May 31), I’d like to go one step further. All of the voter-approved taxes and bonds are itemized on our property tax bills, along with phone numbers to call if we have questions.

I called in 2016 about a school bond from 1994 and was told it would be gone from my 2017-18 property taxes. As it happens, not only is it on my most recent bill, there’s an additional $158 charge for a 2016 bond. I called again this year and was told that they didn’t have an answer for the 1994 assessment.

Since all these assessments and taxes are itemized on our bills, I’d like to also see the date when they will drop off. Fully 25 percent of my property tax bill now consists of these special assessments. One-sixth of my Social Security income goes to property taxes.

I won’t vote for another increase until I have some answers as to when these older assessments will be paid and gone and until they’ve made meaningful reductions to government pensions that are causing the special assessments.

ANNETTE FLACHMAN

Windsor

Trump and apologies

EDITOR: Maybe Donald Trump will get the apology he seem so desperate for once he apologizes to the long list of persons he has insulted with lies and innuendos (“Trump: ABC has ‘double standard,’ ” May 31).

It starts with Barack Obama and includes a large and very diverse group of politicians, judges, journalists, citizens and corporations — Jeff Sessions, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, James Comey, the parents of American soldiers killed while defending our country, the New York Times, CNN.

The list goes on and on as this most divisive of presidents always goes low, defaulting into attack mode at the slightest provocation, or no real provocation at all.

STEVE WEISS

Santa Rosa

Money for mental health

EDITOR: Mental health cuts are about to wreak havoc in Sonoma County like never before, and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is selling prime real estate, surrounded by million dollar homes, for $11 million?

The Chanate Road land has got to be worth $50 million if it’s worth 50 cents, and the powers that be can’t stop the behavioral health division from being literally gutted, putting at least one nonprofit (Buckelew), which provides crucial services to the poor and mentally ill, out of business?

This appears to be one of the most corrupt moves local government has been involved with in years. We need new leaders.

RUSSELL G. NAYLOR

Windsor

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