Thursday’s Letters to the Editor

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Housing for all ages

EDITOR: It was pleasant to see Barbara Mackenzie’s letter (“Housing for boomers,” Sunday) because as a millennial I also read with interest the article outlining the demographic and housing challenges facing Sonoma County (“Report: County aging, reliant on commuters” Aug. 26).

In contrast to the hype around generational conflict, it was a happy surprise that Mackenzie’s preferred housing options were nearly identical to those of my debt- and rent-burdened contemporaries, namely “cottages, duplexes, compact homes, ideally with shared open space, walking and bike paths and even access to transportation and services.”

I would emphasize that millennials have flocked to affordable, dense, diverse, mixed-use infill that is navigable without a car, powered by rooftop solar and has options for co-housing. Throw in community gardens and good schools, and we’re set for life.

Although many millennials still dream of suburbia and, unfortunately, will move into oversized and too-expensive-to-maintain single-family homes, destroying open space at the wildland-urban interface, many of us also know that suburbia is ecologically unsustainable, socially isolating and financially dubious. I hope politicians and developers take note of this generational alliance for dense, amenity-rich infill and begin to build for our shared future.


Santa Rosa

Right-wing media

EDITOR: The current regime’s flap-doodle about what they term “left-leaning social media” is quite a diversion from the fact that right-leaning corporations own America’s airwaves (e.g., Sinclair Broadcast Group), billboards (e.g., Lamar, Clear Channel) and a good deal of AM radio.

In recent weeks, I’ve been going up the AM dial and, while I’m only part way, I’m astounded at the number of stations with conservative programming.

After sunset, AM radios can pull in stations farther away from Sonoma County. Using this technique, I found KKOH in Reno, which wonders why we aren’t investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails, and KCBC, an evangelical station in Manteca, that suggests the Justice Department, Robert Mueller, the FBI and Hillary “framed” Donald Trump. I’m afraid this is just the tip of the right’s takeover of broadcast media.

We need to keep this in mind as we think of the latest diversion created by the White House.



Overselling the county

EDITOR: There are plenty of tourists in Sonoma County, especially on weekends. Just try to drive to the coast or through Guerneville on a weekend. Beaches and reservations are usually always filled at the Russian River. Every time I go wine tasting, there are plenty of people. If the county oversells itself, it will ruin the area, not only for the locals but also for future visitors. I have seen this happen on Maui, and now it’s happening on the island of Kauai. Don’t kill the goose that has laid the golden egg.



Life after the fires

EDITOR: Which is worse?

Your home burning down or your homeowners association informing you it will continue collecting its fees?

Being told by city, county and state officials that you will be taken care of — just trust us — or being told you need to add all these new items to your plans, costing tens of thousands of dollars more?

Being told you are insured for $300 a square foot, which seems reasonable, and then be quoted $450 a square foot to rebuild?

Being told by Assemblyman Jim Wood not to worry because SB 901 won’t include those who lost their homes in 2017, being told by state Sen. Mike McGuire that the bill will never make it to the floor, or being asked by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia why we were in her office (“You aren’t my constituents”)?

Being told PG&E will be held responsible for its lack of maintenance and then reading SB 901 to find out PG&E isn’t even going to have oversight of its maintenance, just its ability to pay, and then finding out that we, like everyone else, will be responsible for bailing PG&E out?

Selling our lot for dimes on the dollar or having to pay $300 to the same homeowners association to transfer title?



Emotionally bankrupt

EDITOR: Indulge me for a moment. Imagine you were in a terrible car crash, and you lost a family member. You are leaning against the ambulance, right after it happened, when a first responder approaches and says, “Every death is a horror, but you should have seen the crash I was at yesterday. Four people died. You should be proud of yourself and all of these responders. It could have been worse!”

How would you feel? That’s how our president reacted to the people of Puerto Rico.

Then we have the death of Sen. John McCain, of whom the president, a non veteran, disparaged his service by once saying, “I like people who weren’t captured.” He followed that up with a bland acknowledgment of McCain’s death that failed to mention the senator by name or his honorable legacy.

We can debate, ad nauseam, the president’s policies and views, but it’s pretty obvious he is missing the emotional chip that makes up our humanity, our empathy, our understanding, our concern and our forgiveness of others. Has anyone ever heard this guy say he was sorry about anything?


Rohnert Park

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