Burned by complacency
EDITOR: Staff Writer Martin Espinoza’s article missed the root cause of why thousands are leaving (“Many survivors forced to leave,” Tuesday). Substitute the word “complacency” for “October wildfires.” Complacency in power line management caused fires to ignite, complacency in forest management allowed those fires to coalesce and become unstoppable, complacency in emergency response systems and infrastructure resulted in unprecedented loss of life and property, complacency in addressing an acute housing shortage provided no affordable safe havens, and complacency in not keeping insurance coverage current resulted in insufficient resources to rebuild.
Even after this catastrophe, residents are ignoring existing laws to reduce fuel loads, and the county has no sense of urgency about implementing reliable warning systems. For those of us who lost our homes and have committed to rebuild, we are finding it much more difficult to recover than expected. Most people don’t have the wherewithal to build a home even in the best of times, let alone after being traumatized by this avoidable event.
We all need a major paradigm shift from “victims” to “leaders” to eliminate the systemic complacency that is at the core of our community.
Indictment side effects
EDITOR: This is written by a retired doctor with some alarm. I read of the indictment of Dr. Thomas M. Keller (“Doctor indicted in drug case,” Wednesday). I don’t question the indictment, but I worry about what will happen to his “patients.” Suddenly they are without their opioids, and many will plunge quickly into withdrawal. Will they turn to much more dangerous street drugs? Heroin? Fentanyl? Because these drugs aren’t dosed or labeled correctly, I fear some may overdose and die. I hope that many will seek care at local medical facilities and seek treatment programs like suboxone or other medically assisted treatment.
DR. DAVID H. ANDERSON
Kunde for SRJC
EDITOR: As vice chair of the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation, I have gained a deep appreciation for the role of solid board leadership at our community college to ensure this institution can endure and thrive through times of disruptive change in education policy and finance. That’s why it’s critical we re-elect Jeff Kunde as our SRJC trustee for the Sonoma Valley.
Over the past 12 years, Kunde has devoted thousands of hours to projects and initiatives that will keep SRJC on a strong strategic course as it enters its second century.
Kunde’s opponent, John Kelly, in his brief tenure on the Sonoma Valley school board, has been subject of a district investigation and forced to publicly apologize for his abusive treatment of a female staff member. By his conduct, Kelly has demonstrated he is temperamentally unfit to serve in a forum that relies on mutual respect and personal integrity.
Kunde is fundamentally committed to the college and approaches his position with the kind of thoughtfulness and vision the position requires. Please help secure the future of this critical community institution by re-electing Jeff Kunde to the SRJC Board of Trustees.
Reverse the gas tax
EDITOR: A recent Press Democrat editorial and publications by politicians ask us to let the gas tax increase stand. It appears that the last giant gas tax increase occurred in 2010 under several bills collectively known as the “fuel tax swap.” The bottom line is that the state tax on gasoline was nearly doubled from 18 cents per gallon to 35.3 cents per gallon.