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Waiting for relief

EDITOR: My wife and I have just harvested our 10 square-foot plot of corn out here in the west county. Unfortunately, the price for our corn has plummeted due to the heavy tariffs placed on it by those foreigners.

We have filed an application for relief with the Commodity Credit Corp. for some of the $12 billion it is sending out to us farmers around the country.

We haven’t heard back yet, but we expect an answer — and a check — any day now.

We want to thank all the taxpayers in Sonoma County for subsidizing our crop, and we hope they get to try some of our corn.

God bless America, and make America great again.

ED and BETH LaFRANCE

Sebastopol

Safe route stalled

EDITOR: The Jennings Avenue rail crossing is not just “proposed” — the California Public Utilities Commission determined that it would meet all safety requirements and approved it almost two years ago (“Officials stall on crossing,” July 28). That approval is final; by law, it is subject to review only by higher courts, and its execution cannot be obstructed.

Further, SMART officials’ reported concerns about safety at the Jennings crossing are disingenuous at best, whether to leverage unreasonable indemnification agreements or to stall for other as yet undisclosed reasons.

SMART should be well aware that the Jennings crossing, as designed and approved, would offer far more pedestrian and bicycle safeguards than many of the existing sidewalk crossings alongside streets, including two of those nearest to Jennings — the north sides of Guerneville Road and West College Avenue, respectively. Those have no specific pedestrian safeguards at all, including nothing at the sidewalk to prevent pedestrians from walking onto the tracks ahead of an approaching train.

When I wrote to Supervisor Shirlee Zane about her expressed concerns regarding safety on Jennings Avenue, she replied that “it is more complicated than you can imagine. (Staff) will explain.” So far, they haven’t — neither to me, nor The Press Democrat, nor the public.

JOHANNA JAMES

Santa Rosa

Killing mountain lions

EDITOR: It is sickening that a beautiful mountain lion was killed in Kenwood because it took down a goat (“Mountain lion reported killed,” July 31). The cat was doing what nature intended. It’s not the lion’s fault that ranchers have intruded upon its territory.

It is unbelievable that a property owner only has to file for a permit to kill this magnificent animal, and it is granted. That property owner, and the previous one that had a sibling lion killed, should feel ashamed of themselves.

I am glad one compassionate, enlightened property owner took the time to be educated about mountain lions’ value and chose not to have one that preyed on his property destroyed.

This process that sanctions the killing of mountain lions is wrong-headed and outrageous.

LAURIE TRAINOR

Santa Rosa

Dubious achievements

EDITOR: David Taylor’s letter (“Promises kept,” July 31) is puzzling as it seems he doesn’t actually read The Press Democrat. His list of Donald Trump’s accomplishments is laughable.

Those that are true, like reducing regulatory oversight, are the kinds of things that can only go badly.

Job growth and taxes on corporate profits from overseas repatriated? Not even close. Jobs are being sent overseas at a higher rate than the year before Trump took office. Carrier, AT&T, Microsoft and Lowe’s are just a few of the companies turning their backs on him. The bulk of the new jobs created have been minimum wage.

The recent quarterly increase in GDP is a result of our trading partners stocking up on U.S. exports in anticipation of pending tariffs.

There are no “deals” of any kind, and the Iranians are ramping back up.

What we did get was a $985 billion budget deficit for the coming year.

And then there was his amateurish performance in Singapore, which resulted in nothing except Kim Jong Un ordering new work on longer-range missiles. Funny, but not as bad as the embarrassing betrayal of our country in Helsinki.

I guess it’s harder than it looks.

JOHN BRODEY

Santa Rosa

Disposing of plastic

EDITOR: After reading Monday’s article about this super-altruistic company World Centric (“Mission compostable: Petaluma fire leads the way”), readers should know that there are things about compostable plastics that went unmentioned, such as how this stuff requires air, water and light to actually break down. In other words, no landfill.

The stuff also takes a long time to break down into real compost — much longer than most of us would want in our compost bins.

Then there are “biodegradable” plastics. These also aren’t a solution, as they require centuries to break down.

Recycling also isn’t a solution. Recycling requires tight controls on the plastic formulation (there are hundreds of different kinds of human-made polymers) and a closed loop to ensure the plastic gets cleaned and reused.

There is only one solution to the problem of plastics pollution: Humans must stop using single-use plastic items. For that matter, humans need to stop using plastics for anything that is disposable.

ANDY COHEN

Santa Rosa

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