Sunday’s Letters to the Editor
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.
MICHAEL VON DER PORTEN
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.
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.
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.
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.