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Thursday’s Letters to the Editor

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A problem? Not

EDITOR: I’m a boomer who has absolutely no problem with someone saying “no problem” in response to my “thank you.” What a recent letter writer fails to understand is that “no problem” means the same thing as “you’re welcome” (“What’s the problem?” Friday).

Both utterances belong to the same class of exchanged social niceties as “how-are-you-fine.” The words themselves have no particular meaning; they serve the purpose of conveying goodwill. And since the writer yearns for improved communications, she should know that accepting a well-intentioned response with grace and a heartfelt smile is a terrific way to do just that.

ANN CLARK

Sonoma

Stay off the tracks

EDITOR: Friday’s SMART train accident shows that it is never safe to walk on a railroad right-of-way (“Pedestrian struck, killed by southbound train,” Saturday). Trains are very quiet and cannot swerve to avoid a pedestrian. Trains don’t stop quickly because steel wheels on steel rails are nearly friction-free.

We should recognize that it is not only the loved one’s family that suffers in an incident such as this. The people responsible for operating the trains and first responders dread the possibility of being involved in any collision that is likely to cause the loss of a life.

The pathway along the SMART right of way is for everyone’s benefit. We can all use it.

STEVE BIRDLEBOUGH

Santa Rosa

A children’s issue

EDITOR: Thanks for Rep. Mike Thompson’s important Close to Home column (“A political war over climate change,” Saturday). In 2015, the California PTA declared “climate change is a children’s issue.” Since then, hundreds of thousands of California students have been exposed to potentially traumatic climate-related disasters; more than 5,800 kids in Northern California have lost their homes in climate change-related fires. During the same time period, the federal government rolled back commonsense measures to preserve the climate. Congress shows no serious signs of taking action on climate change.

Education leaders are mandated reporters, bound by law and duty, to speak up in cases of neglect or abuse. Congressional inaction on climate is clearly generational neglect. No educational institution should be a silent witness to this neglect.

At the urging of parents, students and teachers with the nonpartisan Schools for Climate Action campaign, 12 Sonoma County school boards and one student council have passed climate action resolutions clarifying the nonpartisan will of the education sector for national climate action.

Nearly 14,000 more school boards and tens of thousands more student councils across the country could join them. To protect our students, school communities can speak with one nonpartisan voice to help break the logjam on common-sense climate action in Congress. Please learn more at schoolsforclimateaction.org.

PARK GUTHRIE

Co-founder, Schools for Climate Action

Parks and trust

EDITOR: The recent passage of Measure M was a disappointment to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for improving our city and county parks. I use Spring Lake, Annadel-Trione, Taylor Mountain and, until last fall, Coffey Park.

What I believe is that park infrastructure and maintenance should be funded by user fees, so that the money that is generated by the public goes to maintain the park or facility where it was generated. In this way the public would have places they use most adequately maintained and staffed.

As recently as 2012, we saw scandals in both Santa Rosa and at the state level involving, respectively, conflicts of interest and funds being hidden to protect budgets and jobs. How soon we forget.

I know I am in the minority — Measure M passed with 70 percent support — but I really don’t trust others when it comes to spending my money.

BILL McKEE

Santa Rosa

The blue wave

EDITOR: On Nov. 9, T.K. McDonald wrote that the midterm elections didn’t result in the blue wave so many had hoped for (“No blue wave,” Letters). Time and further analysis have shown that indeed there was a wave, in large part due to the organizing efforts of grassroots groups such as Indivisible, Code Blue and Swing Left.

A friend recently said, “We won the House, big whoop.” I don’t share her perspective. Although a gain in the House of almost 40 seats (the biggest since Watergate) was the Democrats’ most notable accomplishment, there were other, less obvious gains.

Nate Cohn, writing in the New York Times, estimated that Democrats’ national popular vote numbers, including the Senate, were as high or higher than the wave elections of 1994, 2006 and 2010. Seven governorships flipped to blue, and only one switched from an independent to a Republican. And Democrats swept Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, the three states that handed Donald Trump a narrow victory in 2016.

By keeping up on the issues, communicating with our representatives and continuing to get out the vote, we will keep the wave going. Together, we have the power to win.

BROOKE GREENE

Cloverdale

A dismal milestone

EDITOR: According to Bloomberg Politics, the United States reached a brand new milestone last month: The U.S. recorded a $100.5 billion one-month deficit, up approximately 60 percent from 2017. Is this what we pay our taxes for? What a sterling achievement. Something that will gladden Vladimir Putin and all our other enemies in the world.

F.H. BAUMGARDNER

Santa Rosa

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

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