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A missed opportunity

EDITOR: Unfolding Sunday’s Press Democrat, my eyes immediately jumped to the photo of PG&E hooking up electricity to one of the few houses that have been built in Coffey Park (“New laws reflect lessons learned”). I saw outdated power poles installed with the typical unsightly power lines being strung from pole to pole. Have we not learned anything after all?

Why is PG&E not installing underground utilities? This is the most opportune time to be doing this, as the neighborhood is leveled and it can be done with the least amount of disruption.

Sacramento is prepared to spend $1 billion over five years for vegetation management. Yet the biggest fire starter is located feet from new homes being rebuilt in a fire-devastated area.

PG&E should be undergrounding utilities voluntarily. Property owners should be demanding it. This is a missed opportunity for fire protection in the future. PG&E will be tapping our utility bills to pay for the 16 major fires caused by its equipment. At the least, property owners should be getting something out of it.

KEN PASEK

Santa Rosa

Polygraphs for all

EDITOR: After the pontificating, self-righteous Democrats demanded that Brett Kavanaugh submit to another investigation and possibly a polygraph, I shook my head. Then the Republicans used their face time to take umbrage and display faux outrage at these very ideas. I again shook my head.

And then the light came on. How about everyone running for office submit to a polygraph and an extensive background investigation, much like what aspiring law enforcement officers are required to do? How about holding them to the same standards and requirements? We can cull the herd that way, get rid of the disreputable. And this could be done starting with the folks occupying the various offices right now.

Of course, these exams wouldn’t have to be done until right before they’re sworn in. If found to be damaged goods, they could be disqualified (and lose the money they spent running for office). That should eliminate a few more shady characters. Unfortunately for them, the process would be slowed down by the backlog of investigations, and they might not ever be seated. Good for us.

ANTHONY MORGAN

Cotati

Advance warning

EDITOR: My wife and I, and presumably everyone else in the neighborhood, heard an air-raid siren at 10 a.m. Tuesday. We immediately looked outside to see what was happening. Tornado maybe?

After we lost our house in Fountaingrove to the Tubbs fire, we moved to Evanston, Illinois. The siren was the monthly test of the natural disaster alert system. Had there been such a system in Santa Rosa on Oct. 8, we might have been alerted of the fire coming our way at midnight, giving us time to collect family photos and papers that are now lost to us and our family forever. Instead, we had to flee with the fire a block away and bearing down on us.

Sirens should be a simple solution to creating a natural disaster alert system.

STEPHEN TEST

Evanston, Illinois

Housing for locals

EDITOR: I have read materials on the Measure N in the city of Santa Rosa’s voter update. It makes no mention of a requirement that those who apply for affordable housing paid for by residents of Santa Rosa live or work currently in our city.

We all recognize that there is a severe affordable housing shortage that needs to be addressed. I believe that many people won’t vote for this bond if they believe that, for instance, a person living and working in Marin County could receive affordable housing paid for by Santa Rosa residents.

Marin County must provide affordable housing for their low- and middle-income residents. Just as Healdsburg or Petaluma provide for their housing needs. I may not have all the information, so I would like to hear if that requirement is part of the housing recovery bond.

If Measure N was to require that applicants for the aid were residents or working in our city, I would gladly vote for it.

DONNA BUSCOVICH

Santa Rosa

Trump at the UN

EDITOR: Our president has now managed to be laughed at on the world stage (“Trump boasts, UN members laugh,” Sept. 26).

When he used the podium of the United Nations General Assembly to brag about himself — even though he said his “administration,” we know he speaks and thinks only in the first person — the usual distortions and lies brought spontaneous guffaws. Donald Trump isn’t accustomed to an unfiltered audience. This one, made up of world leaders who may have been too polite to boo that early in his speech, couldn’t let his puffery pass.

It was clear he hadn’t expected an honest and appropriate response like that to erupt in such an august body, but he got past it with an embarrassed smile. For me, this was just one more sign of his progressive lack of self-awareness, not to mention smarts, dignity and common courtesy. It’s always and only about him.

The only stage that can accommodate this damaged, needy man is on a TV show where he controls “reality.” How can we the people show we agree, no matter our politics, that he’s unfit for office and should be gently but firmly removed ASAP?

HELEN HUNTER

Santa Rosa

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