A survivor’s lost joy
EDITOR: It is painful to read so many stories of lives torched by the wildfires. Here is my small contribution:
As a child, I spent summers on my grandparents’ ranch in Kansas, where the wind was ever present, racing over the hills and through the tall grass prairie. Living briefly in Kansas during my freshman year in high school, I ran track and loved the challenge of running into the wind. In the many years since, I have always enjoyed windy days.
Now, a year after having lost our home to the firestorm of October 2017, the wind no longer carries joy. Rather it brings a bone-chilling, furtive anxiety that is post-traumatic stress disorder. The fires destroyed more than our homes. It has stripped us of some of life’s simple pleasures.
Treatment of women
EDITOR: Oct. 5, 2018 will go down in history as the day that the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to two people who heal abused women and who fight against sexual violence perpetrated on women (“Two who fight war rape get Nobel”).
On the same day, the U.S. Senate continued to destroy American democracy by ignoring the claims of such violence from three American women. The U.S. Supreme Court will now include a man of some questionable behavior.
When will we ever learn to believe, to trust, to no longer deny?
Getting it right
EDITOR: The backers of Measure M to maintain and operate county and city parks have it right this time. Two years ago, a half-cent sales tax for only county parks lost by a slim margin. Measure M would cost only one-eighth of a penny in sales tax, and it would benefit both county and city parks in Sonoma County.
Measure M would raise $11.5 million annually to maintain our parks, keep them safe from wildfires and open some new facilities that residents have been waiting for. Usage in our aging parks is way up with population growth and tourism. Most other counties in the Bay Area have a dedicated funding source for parks. We do not.
There are 56 regional parks in the unincorporated county and dozens more within our cities, making our county an outdoor paradise for camping, hiking, fishing, team sports, coastal appreciation and much more. It’s one of the important reasons why we love and enjoy this special place.
We need to be excellent stewards of these public lands, and Measure M gives us a reasonable way of doing that.
Rebuilding to be ready
EDITOR: On reading the essay by Judy K. Sakaki (“From running for our lives to renewal,” Close to Home, Saturday), I am reminded as to how much our hearts go out to those who lost so much in the October 2017 fires in Sonoma County. But I wonder how much we have truly learned from nature’s lesson.
I am heartened that our local leaders have finally come to the realization that sirens might be a good idea after all. Old-fashioned, World War II, but effective technology that probably would have saved many lives, if not property.