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The first move

EDITOR: So I was at state Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood’s semi-annual election night party at the Union Restaurant in Santa Rosa, and I had two seconds to ask Rep. Mike Thompson, who will be chairman of the House Ways and Means health subcommittee, a question. I asked, “Now that you have the House back but not the Senate or White House, what is the first thing on your agenda?” His response — get Donald Trump’s tax returns. Love it.

MIKE HARAN

Santa Rosa

Clearing trees

EDITOR: I read with interest Staff Writer Guy Kovner’s article on PG&E’s newest push to remove threats to our power grid (“Eliminating a threat,” Nov. 1). PG&E is to be commended for finally devoting appropriate resources to this issue. However, I would hope that the article did not give the mistaken impression that PG&E “removes” trees from private land. PG&E’s policy is to cut encroaching trees and leave them felled in place, creating a mess — and expense — for the homeowner.

We own property west of Sebastopol and have always cooperated with PG&E’s trimming and cutting requests. But its current plan for our land would cost us many thousands of dollars to clean up after them. PG&E has the resources to completely remove trees, which they do on public land. Perhaps they could do the same for homeowners as they pursue this important safety work.

GENE WRIGHT

Santa Rosa

Hatred of Trump

EDITOR: I picked up last Thursday’s paper and could not believe you printed the column by Marc A. Thiessen (“Our descent into vitriol began before Trump”).

I’m a former reader — 50 years — and quit out of disgust with the daily hate-fest printed in The Press Democrat for Donald Trump. Yes, the Democrats have used hatred in the past. It just got amped up after the 2016 election.

Is it OK to hate? If you disagree? Or don’t like someone’s personality? Trump may be a loudmouth, a jerk, a cheater. But as a president, he has not done anything outside of talk that rates the level of pure hatred printed daily in the paper and sent in by the supposedly tolerant residents of Sonoma County. Hate is hate. No matter who is the target.

STEVE McLAUGHLIN

Windsor

Democrats’ identity

EDITOR: This is in response to columnist David Brooks’ assertion that the Democrats need a better nationalistic focus (“The challenge of our age is defining a national identity,” Wednesday). I would say the left has always had a clear national focus. It’s the same one our imperfect founding mothers and fathers purported: land of the free, where all people are created equal and everyone has the same opportunities to pursue life, liberty and happiness. A nation with a president and government that serves all of its citizen, regardless of physical attributes or personal beliefs.

To paraphrase Pére Henri from the movie “Chocolat,” we need to start measuring the success of our fledgling democracy not by who we exclude and what we avoid but by who we include and what we embrace. The universe itself is constantly expanding, and Mother Nature thrives on diversity. What better example or direction do we need than that?

JUNE GERRON

Santa Rosa

Slaughter in Yemen

EDITOR: So, we are giving our allies in the Middle East 30 days — 30 days and 30 nights to stop the bombing (“US right to press Saudis on Yemen,” What Others Say, Friday). Ain’t we something. After 3½ years, we are giving them 30 days. Well, that sounds like a comfort — unless you are one of the parents of the thousand children who will die in the meantime.

You can’t see these children and not be sickened. In fact, it’s probably reasonable to assume that those emaciated 2-year-olds you see on the evening news are gone now. Dare I say, gratefully?

Sorry, it is way, way too late to be right. But there is still time to make a difference.

This is not about the Houthis; it’s not about Saudi Arabia. It is not even about peace. It’s about 2-year-old children who are about to be spared the trauma of being three.

Do something.

JEFF ARGENTINE

Petaluma

A divisive column

EDITOR: E.J. Dionne’s Monday column (“It’s time to stand up for our right to say ‘we’ ”) offers a cure for division more dangerous than the disease.

He suggests the way to achieve unity is to convince people to vote exclusively liberal. The division in America is less caused by the people in office and more by the citizens who react to them. If you agree with Democrat principles, voting for Democratic candidates is your right. However, voting Democratic for the sake of unity will take away healthy disagreement.

I haven’t recently heard about Democratic figures of note having mobs surround them at restaurants for partisan reasons. I don’t hear right-leaning news hosts claim that the greatest terror threat in this country is white men. I have never seen a presidency more surrounded by people giving credence to he said, she saids.

Unity is not dependent on how we vote but on how we treat people not like us. Americans and everyone need to treat others with respect and work together to find the truth.

The word “we” should be joined with “Americans” not just “Democratic voters.”

WEST BELOW

Santa Rosa

You can send a letter to the editor at letters@pressdemocrat.com

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