Pandering to pot lobby
EDITOR: Compared to the scores of letters from residents calling out the numerous problems associated with the county’s plan to weave thousands of commercial pot facilities throughout our rural neighborhoods, how many letters have you seen from the pot industry, which stands to make millions under the current ordinance, extolling the virtues and benefits of having this sort of commercial activity next to our homes?
I challenge any of the applicants for a commercial cannabis permit to sit down with my neighbors and explain why having a big-fence commercial pot compound 300 feet from the bedroom windows of their children would be good for their welfare, safety, property values and already depleted groundwater. This reality is about to happen to hundreds of families throughout the county, and this is just the beginning. Object now, not after the problem has become systemic.
Contact your supervisors. Attend Tuesday’s board meeting. The supervisors work for all of us, not just the cannabis industry, yet the board is rushing to get the industry up and running, pandering to the powerful cannabis lobby at the expense of neighbors.
Build the crossing
EDITOR: Staff Writer Kevin McCallum’s article about the stalled Jennings Avenue SMART railroad crossing was depressing and infuriating, especially for those of us who have gathered signatures, convened a neighborhood meeting with the California Public Utilities Commission, attended Santa Rosa City Council meetings, printed flyers and obtained approval from all concerned (“Officials stall on crossing,” Saturday).
The excuse that SMART is giving — safety — doesn’t pass the smell test. The status quo, with no Jennings crossing, is far more dangerous for pedestrians, especially schoolchildren, who are forced to walk 20 minutes out of their way to cross the tracks on busy Guerneville Road or College Avenue.
Our neighborhood has been cut in half, and east-west pedestrian/bicycle access has been stymied, but why? SMART’s leadership is evidently holding back its real reason for stonewalling. The city should simply build the crossing, as it has every legal right to do.
EDITOR: So now Donald Trump is threatening a government shutdown if he does not get his wall at the Mexican border (“Trump sees no problem in shutting government,” Tuesday). Presumably, he is threatening the American people as the government is supposed to be the true representatives of the people. When kings threaten their own people, the next step is often a military one. Is that his next step? It’s time to knock the crown off this spoiled child and be done with him.
A divisive law
EDITOR: I’m still reeling from the Israeli government’s official designation of Israel as a nation state for Jews only (“New law deepens divide,” July 20). What about the 20 percent of its Palestinian population, supposedly Israeli citizens? Or the more than 200,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem, annexed by Israel in 1967. And the 5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza?
What will happen to these indigenous non-Jews, Muslims and Christian Palestinians? What will happen to their ancestral lands and homes, which under this law no longer belong to them but to Israeli settlers?