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Sunday’s Letters to the Editor

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Furloughed workers

EDITOR: At the end of each day, slaves get fed. In our government shutdown, essential employees get sent home to empty cupboards with the hope that they might get paid — and get to eat and pay their bills — weeks later.

Shameful.

MICHAEL VON DER PORTEN

Santa Rosa

Making SR thrive

EDITOR: As a longtime resident who recently retired and left Santa Rosa for Sacramento, I have one suggestion to make Santa Rosa thrive: competition (“Santa Rosa: A major city still in the making,” Close to Home, Dec. 23).

It is screamingly obvious that in almost every aspect of the city, old money controls everything. As a result, residents of Sonoma County pay more for almost everything. The reason is lack of competition due to restrictions on building and opening new businesses. Rancho Cordova, where I live now, actually opens the businesses and then builds the houses.

So, good luck. You will get nothing but push back if you advocate another company to provide, say, a movie theater or a newspaper, but that is what is needed to make Santa Rosa take the next step to bigger city status.

Also, the other cities in the Close to Home column are in areas of the country where it rains, so they have water. That, of course, is a whole other story.

ROBERT WILLS

Rancho Cordova

Save miners, not mines

EDITOR: Coal miners who feel discarded and disrespected by liberal Democrats support Donald Trump (“The Kentucky disconnect,” Dec. 22). They deserve to be honored like military veterans. The coal they mined built World War I and World War II war machines and continued to power U.S. industries and machines for the wars in Korea and Vietnam.

Coal was vital for building and protecting the country before it became obvious that there are better power sources — alternatives that don’t poison air and water and despoil the land, alternatives that don’t cause premature deaths from black lung disease and broken bodies.

The Environmental Protection Agency is introducing new cost-benefit analyses to justify continued use of old coal power plants (“EPA would OK more pollution,” Dec. 29). They point to high costs of cleaning these plants, but apparently their actuaries don’t know how to calculate the environmental and health costs of mercury pollution. Or perhaps the benefits all go to the mine owners while the costs go to the rest of us.

We should recognize that coal miners are veterans, too. Let’s declare coal mines national monuments and give retired workers lifetime pensions and medical care like retired military veterans. Give them the recognition and respect they deserve. It works better than opioids.

SUE PARKER

Rohnert Park

Farewell, governor

EDITOR: As Gov. Jerry Brown prepares to leave office, I want to thank him for all his dedication and service to California. Job well done.

JOHN MOORE

Kelseyville

Immigration enforcement

EDITOR: Leon Panetta’s discussion of potential ways to resolve the budget bill/border wall impasse had a glaring omission (“Learning the lessons of previous shutdowns,” Wednesday). The real solution to the majority of illegal immigration is to enforce with rigor the already existent laws prohibiting the hiring of illegal immigrants.

President Donald Trump stirs a foggy brouhaha at our borders by pretending that walls of concrete and armies are needed to deter teeming hordes seeking to invade our hallowed land in order to commit crime. Actually, the economically oppressed that seek entry into the U.S. come here to work. If they can’t get a job without the proper federally issued immigration documentation, they are not going to risk life and limb in order to cross the border illegally. The lie that cruelty and a continuous wall will be enough to deter people from trying to gain entry at the border mocks the Constitution and the origins of all Americans.

The carrot for the business community is an aboveboard way to timely acquire the workers they need when they need them. The lack of such spurs the hiring of illegal immigrants.

Workers create wealth for their employers and the country. Let’s enable real solutions.

JOHN KOZLOWSKI

Santa Rosa

Do the math

EDITOR: The past two years of climate change have shown that PG&E’s ways of generating and distributing electricity are archaic. Google the population and the number of businesses in Sonoma County, the miles of overhead wires in the county and the cost per mile to bury the wires to help reduce devastating wildfires.

Do the math, using the lowest estimate for burial, and you’ll come up with an astonishingly large figure, enough to bankrupt PG&E, and then the taxpayers. And more than enough to buy solar energy systems for everyone.

HARRIET REDLICH

Petaluma

A bad joke?

EDITOR: Back when he first started talking about building a wall on the Mexican-U.S. border, it seemed like a bad joke, passed between immature frat brothers who laughed harder and longer than was appropriate in the circumstances. When Donald Trump added that Mexico would pay for the wall, it seemed even more far-fetched.

Just before Christmas, a motorist on a street near Union Square was pulled from his vehicle and savagely robbed and beaten by another man who was identified as living in the Tenderloin. Sad, and yet not too unusual for San Francisco or any large American city. Perhaps Mexico will put up its own wall to prevent Americans like this creep from committing the same kind of crime in Mexico.

FRANK BAUMGARDNER

Santa Rosa

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

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