Is anyone listening?
EDITOR: When Sonoma County’s civil grand jury speaks, does anyone listen? Apparently not. The 2004-05 grand jury, following up on recommendations made after the 1991 Oakland Hills firestorm, found “most of senior management and elected officials interviewed were well distanced from, and in some cases ignorant of, salient pieces of (emergency management) plans.” The report was titled “A Disaster Waiting to Happen!”
Guess what. The disaster happened. It was called the Tubbs fire. The 2017-18 grand jury reports many parallels between then and now. Who is paying attention? Who is accountable? Supervisors and senior civil servants use phrases like accountability, best practices, lessons learned and it will never happen again. The recent grand jury report clearly exposes the myth behind those words.
Why wasn’t the county better prepared, especially in light of recent Lake County experiences with the devastating Jerusalem, Valley and Clayton fires? Why was the county emergency services manager out of the county attending a conference when a red flag warning was in effect during the most dangerous month of the fire season? Who is listening to this grand jury? What will be different this time?
Injustice for veterans
EDITOR: As a longtime resident of Sonoma County and a Vietnam veteran, I am shocked that Sonoma County has taken a stance to charge veterans organizations throughout the county for certain uses of the veterans buildings. We veterans strongly oppose this measure, and Sonoma County residents should be made aware of this gross injustice.
I think this issue is especially important, since the use of the buildings in many cases is for fundraising efforts to support worthwhile activities within the county.
I find the county’s lack of appreciation for the services and sacrifices made by us veterans despicable. Frankly, this is a slap in our face, not unlike what I personally and others experienced when we returned from the war zone in Vietnam. We sacrificed our lives to make our country safe; whether that actually materialized or not is not the issue.
I would appreciate The Press Democrat publishing an article about this issue, so that everyone in the county has a chance to weigh in and take a position to support us veterans.
Spanish on July 4
EDITOR: Larry Lappin, Petaluma’s exemplar of American nativism, may find the sound of Spanish-language music on “our” Fourth of July to be offensive, but I find the idea of an inebriated tirade and confrontation to be inexcusable and highly offensive, especially on the Fourth (“Spanish music ignites conflict,” Saturday).
And, I wonder, should we limit our music and speech on the Fourth of July to English only? Can I play Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” for the occasion? No, it’s not in English.
Socialism and capitalism
EDITOR: Edward Meisse didn’t come close to “defining socialism” in his Friday letter to the editor. Communism is a political form of order and is best compared to democracy, another form of political order. Socialism is an economic form of order, as is capitalism, as is clearly defined in Marx’s work “Das Capital.”