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Commerce, not courage

EDITOR: Columnist Leonard Pitts says Nike took a risk by featuring Colin Kaepernick in its most recent advertisements (“Nike’s rare act of corporate courage,” Sept. 6). I disagree with this conclusion.

Kaepernick is widely regarded as a hero by the mainstream media, and he has a massive amount of support from sports fans, liberal political activists, professional athletes, celebrities, etc. Kaepernick is perhaps the most talked about sports figure in the country.

Nike isn’t taking a courageous stand against police brutality; Nike is capitalizing on Kaepernick’s clout for publicity.

JADIN ELLIS

Santa Rosa

Justice for seniors

EDITOR: I am writing in response to Friday’s article about the Fountaingrove care homes (“State seeks to revoke licenses of care homes”). I am a registered nurse who works for health care regulatory agencies for the state of California and the federal government (ones not responsible for licensing the Oakmont Senior Living facilities). All I can personally say is: what a victory for humanity over unconscionable greed.

LORI MORATTO

Santa Rosa

Bring back the doldrums

EDITOR: Michael S. George (“Out of the doldrums,” Letters, Friday) wrote, “What (Donald) Trump has delivered cannot be denied.” Boy, ain’t that the truth. But not as George means it.

The recovery of the economy was actually spurred by the Obama administration. The Trumpian tax cuts have added a whopping $17 a month to people’s incomes. The trade-off? Record deficits and debt. Estimates are the deficit will be $2.2 trillion higher in 2027 than what was forecast. Speaking of deficits, in Barack Obama’s last year, the deficit was $666 billion. This year, the forecast is $890 billion.

Then there’s this administration’s abhorrent lack of morality, decency and character. The shameful policy of separating parents and children at the border, cozying up to dictators and despots, insulting all who dare to disagree, dismantling environmental protections while freeing corporations to run amok. Some inconvenient facts: Under Obama, 11.6 million jobs were added, unemployment dropped, weekly earnings for all workers rose 4 percent, illegal immigration declined (better build that wall fast!), and the number of people lacking health insurance dropped by 15 million.

I suppose when your “leader” shows a pathological aversion to the truth, pesky things like facts are irrelevant. As for me, I say, bring back the doldrums!

STEVEN DAVID MARTIN

Healdsburg

Harris for mayor

EDITOR: While working for the American Cancer Society, I reached out to Mike Harris to join a small group of men to spread the awareness of breast cancer. He instantly said yes and asked how he could help the group. His can-do spirit helped get the message out about this disease and raised money for our cause.

I’m thankful for what he has done in the past, and I’d be excited to see him be our next mayor. I’ve gotten to know him more since the last project, and I’m very hopeful for our city. I encourage others to get to know Harris by going to his website, harrisforpetaluma.com, and join me in supporting Mike Harris for mayor of Petaluma.

JEN SOUSA

Petaluma

Fireproof homes

EDITOR: I’m an architect and have practiced in the North Bay for more than 30 years. Some of my house designs burned in Fountaingrove. It was a joy for me to design homes with redwood and cedar exterior woods, as the building harmonized with nature. Now I look upon them as future bonfires.

The head of Cal Fire says the answer to these fires is fireproof homes. I recently met a UC Berkeley structural engineering professor who has designed a wall that answers that need. It’s called the Energy Mass Wall, and depending on its thickness is a four-hour firewall with up to an R-100 insulation rating. It is as strong as an I-beam, can go four stories and is a mechanical wall as well, meaning it will heat and cool your house at a fraction of your current energy bill. It’s also cheaper to build with than wood.

When the first villages of Europe were built 1,000 years ago, they were made of wood, as it was plentiful. But a single fire would destroy a whole community, so villagers switched to stone. Stone is problematic in earthquake country, and this new technology is the direction we need to go if we wish to avoid more catastrophic fires, which have become our new normal.

ALLAN NICHOL

San Rafael

A leader for Petaluma

EDITOR: What a refreshing change Dennis Pocekay would bring to the Petaluma City Council.

While tensions have arisen in our immigrant community, Pocekay became Petaluma’s leader in efforts to help this population. When volunteers were searching for an affordable place for a family leaving a COTS shelter, someone discovered housing in a poor section of Davis. Pocekay, a physician, knew of this area to be safe as he had volunteered at Davis’ free clinic.

I knew the late John Balshaw when he was on Petaluma’s council. He was passionate about issues that helped people. A bridge is named after him because he promoted the development of Petaluma’s waterfront. He was intelligent, selfless, honest. He had the high level of integrity we admire when we find it in people that represent us. Pocekay has all of these qualifications. If we have the good judgment to elect him to the Petaluma City Council, he will make a positive contribution to our community.

ROBERT D. McFARLAND

Petaluma

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