Saturday’s Letters to the Editor

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West Wing ‘Clue’

EDITOR: So Donald Trump is livid over the New York Times “resistance” op-ed commentary? He reportedly has created a list of 12 suspects. I think it was Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick.


Santa Rosa

Football’s decline

EDITOR: I was surprised that columnist Kerry Benefield (“Healdsburg’s football timeout a painful pause,” Sunday) didn’t interview the families of kids who played football at Healdsburg High previously but chose not to play this year. Perhaps the looming reality of chronic traumatic encephalopathy convinced them that tackle football isn’t for them.

Football is going to slowly waste away unless there are massive changes in the sport — changes the fans will despise.

Until then, just like big tobacco and big pharma, big football will deny and obfuscate until finally — perhaps 10 years from now — a massive lawsuit brings them down.



PG&E accountability

EDITOR: I don’t want PG&E to go bankrupt, but I want PG&E held responsible for its carelessness and lack of maintenance over the past many years (“Wildfire response bill passes,” Sept. 2). Profitability shouldn’t be a measure of its ability to pay unless strong oversight is given to how it spends.

If PG&E spends lavishly on executive salaries and bonuses, lobbying and public relations, and then claims there’s no money left over for planned operations, it shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it. PG&E needs to spend lavishly on catching up with maintenance, vegetation mitigation and infrastructure. It needs to help come up with a viable, sustainable disaster prevention plan — and not just for wildfires.

California’s entire energy structure needs scrutiny and modification. PG&E must be part of the solution, not running around behind disaster after disaster, trying to clean up the mess and paying massive fines. That money could be better spent for clean energy alternatives and disaster prevention. We need a partner, not a victim.

I feel that PG&E has been bankrupting itself by ignoring years of warnings until suddenly a really big bill came due. Oversight of PG&E’s books and management decisions must be real, not perfunctory, and you can bet the ratepayers will be watching. It’s more than our dollars being spent. It’s our lives, homes and future.



No totem poles

EDITOR: Although the display of bathtubs on stilts doesn’t seem particularly symbolic of Petaluma or Sonoma County, totem poles wouldn’t be at all representative of anything in California and would be completely inappropriate (“Petaluma’s public art,” Sunday). The construction and tradition of totem poles historically was confined to the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Alaska and western Canada. It was never a tradition in this area.



A gifted physician

EDITOR: On Sept. 1, The Press Democrat published an article about a lawsuit filed against Dr. Peter Brett (“Oncologist accused of abusing position, patient”). I was shocked that the allegations would be printed at all and appalled by the accusatory style of the article and the irrelevant details reported by his accuser.

I cannot imagine what possible purpose there could be for printing unproven assertions that risk damaging the reputation of a man who has dedicated his life to saving people with cancer.

I have had the pleasure of knowing this gifted physician for 12 years — first, accompanying my mother to her appointments with him, then as a patient myself. He has always been professional, kind and respectful. On top of that, he is well-versed on the latest, ever-changing oncology studies and treatment options. He constantly exceeds my expectations.

I owe my life to this man, and I am outraged at the way he has been represented in your newspaper.



Vineyard work

EDITOR: I salute the Ceja family for their achievements and wish them well (“Following in his mother’s footsteps,” Sunday).

I am shocked at the conditions they faced as field workers, and I can’t understand why any employer would treat his people that way. I don’t know any growers who subjected their employees to such injustices, and anyone who did was hurting himself as well as the workers. It is a mistake to suppose that the good will of workers is not important.

I worked the same hours as my people and did the same work as they for decades, and I enjoyed it. I valued their company and was very interested is their conversation.

The main chemical I applied was water, and that went on the ground, not the vines. But I used sulfur dust every week or so, and I sprayed herbicides on the ground two or three times a year. Most years, no insecticides were necessary. (Apples and pears require multiples applications.) I can’t explain the “deluge” Ariel Ceja refers to.

Because of the current labor shortage, we employ several women as field workers. They do a great job.



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