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Stop the carnage

EDITOR: At what point will the carnage and death on Lakeville highway end? There have been dozens of accidents in the past five years, many of them fatal. It is an unacceptable and totally avoidable situation.

One of the easiest things that can be done is putting an end to distracted driving. There are other measures that can be taken, including re-engineering the thoroughfare, which would certainly take years and cost millions of dollars. Some work is proceeding in Petaluma to make portions of the road safer there.

The number of accidents on this road, many resulting in serious injury or death, is horrible. There needs to be a concerted effort by all parties, including drivers and officials, to immediately reduce to zero these preventable and tragic losses on this busy road.

CHRIS PINO

Santa Rosa

Time for a moratorium

EDITOR: Sonoma County residents increasingly recognize that a moratorium on wine industry permits is needed until long-promised tourism regulations are in place and enforced (“Moratorium on wineries sought,” Tuesday).

Tennis Wick, the head of Permit Sonoma, says that “what we have to deal with now is taxing us at maximum capacity.” This is exactly why now is the time to put new wine industry use-permit projects on hold until the event ordinance is developed. A moratorium would free resources so that the much-needed ordinance could be developed while still allowing permits for residential areas impacted by the fires to proceed.

Supervisor James Gore laments that county residents continue to believe wine events are out of control. He claims that “they are afraid their activism is losing ground to wildfire recovery.” His suggestion that housing recovery from the fire can deflect sensible regulation of spiraling wine events is a stance that goes against public opinion.

The wine industry opposes a moratorium and wants business as usual. This means lax regulations and no overall assessment of industry impacts on increasing tourist traffic. This is the same stance of the business elites who are guiding the Trump administration to gut regulations when they get in the way of corporate profits.

CHRIS STOVER

Sebastopol

Democrats and civility

EDITOR: Why is Marc A. Thiessen wasting column space discussing civility of discourse (“Both parties fuel a climate of hatred,” Thursday)? He has to know that the president isn’t listening. Presumably, then, he would like Democrats to focus on politeness while the administration engages in perpetuating literal atrocities against children.

It’s true that a person can care about more than one thing at a time. Democrats can be civil, and they can fight for the rights of those most vulnerable. However, it is clear that one of these priorities is higher than the other, as it should be.

A national columnist could devote his space to a less tired concept. This subject is not only well-worn, it’s borderline irrelevant in today’s political discourse. Republicans have made it painfully obvious that they aren’t interested in standing against the president, and he has made it equally obvious that he isn’t interested in civility in any form.

Why should civility of political discourse be Democrats’ sole responsibility?

ALLISON CARR

Santa Rosa

Hidden hydrogen cars

EDITOR: Staff Writer Guy Kovner compared electric vehicles’ 61 percent fewer gas emissions than gasoline-fueled cars, but he left out the next step (“How much cleaner are electric vehicles than gas-guzzlers?” Aug. 1). That next step is the coming hydrogen-fueled cars that don’t release gases into the environment.

Kovner also failed to describe the huge problem of how and where to deposit the extremely toxic lithium after electric vehicle batteries give out.

Should the American public be kept in the dark regarding hydrogen cars? Where are articles describing Japan’s large number of hydrogen cars, anticipated to reach 800,000 by 2030? How many of us know that all car manufacturers have either running hydrogen cars or ones that are planned and ready to manufacture? Toyota and Honda hydrogen cars operate here now.

Worries of hydrogen fuel exploding like a bomb are outdated and false. The last 10 years of research have produced a hydrogen auto fuel that is safer than petroleum fuel.

Most hydrogen stations are currently clustered around Los Angeles. Northern California needs more stations. San Jose has a sufficient number. Marin County, Sacramento and the East Bay also have stations. A Palo Alto station in the heart of Silicon Valley will open this month.

Hydrogen cars are coming. They’re just hidden.

DON HOLDEN

Santa Rosa

Vocational training

EDITOR: I read David Sortino’s Close to Home column about technical high schools (“Why Santa Rosa needs a technical high school,” June 28). We had such a school in my hometown of Akron, Ohio, which I chose to attend from 1947-51, graduating as a sheet metal mechanic.

The local union picked me up as an apprentice on a reduced time frame to give me journeyman status. I spent 37 years in several areas with the sheet metal trades, ending up in San Diego, where I retired at age 55.

I am an advocate for a vocational/technical high school. I think anyone with the desire to learn a trade through a technical high school, such as Sortino is promoting, should have that opportunity.

WALTER MITCHELL

Santa Rosa

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