Saturday’s Letters to the Editor

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Ready to run

EDITOR: Tuesday’s front-page article about the proposed Sonoma Coast Marathon seemed to exclude an important contingent (“Marathon proposed for Highway 1”). Hey, Sonoma County runners, how about a chance to shuffle along a local stretch of Highway 1 for a few hours without risking our lives? Yes, please. Hell yes. How soon can we register?

True, a Highway 1 closure on a Sunday morning will be inconvenient. As someone who has participated in many other such inconveniences, I’m always grateful for the patience — and, often, support and encouragement — of people who live and work along popular marathon routes.

The positive local impacts of this kind of event far outweigh any negatives. The marathon road closure would probably amount to less than 0.1 percent of all the time in a year that the road is otherwise open. Emergency vehicles will still have access. The Sonoma Coast Marathon could be a community investment opportunity for the coast like few others. Please, oh please, dear coastal neighbors, let us run on your road.

Fair warning: If you decide to volunteer, run, cheer on all the crazy humans (more cow bells!), or just sleep in that day, you may miss the chance to be inconvenienced.

EMILY FISHER

Santa Rosa

Shortchanging libraries

EDITOR: Education made a brief appearance in state Sen. Mike McGuire’s legislative agenda (“State lawmakers eye goals for new year,” Sunday), but one specific that needs more attention is the plight of our public school libraries.

Libraries were among the first to take a hit at the onset of the recession, and they are languishing in the backwater as education funding is slowly being restored. The deal that ended the Los Angeles teachers’ strike includes a librarian for every middle and high school in the district.

The Model School Library Standards for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve, which were adopted by the state Board of Education in 2010, have never been funded by the Legislature. It chooses to hide behind the local control funding formula.

But “Getting Down To Facts II: Research Brief: The Local Control Funding Formula After Four Years: What Do We Know?”, a September 2018 study of California’s education system, opines that “the LCFF is enhancing resource allocation practices, but additional progress may be constrained by inadequate base funds.”

The Legislature needs to address the inadequate base funds to allow every school district in California to have adequate public school libraries.

TERRY L. ODEN

Santa Rosa

A shutdown solution

EDITOR: I think this might be a fix for the government shutdown: Keep all government workers doing their jobs and being paid. Withhold the paychecks of the members of the Senate and House and the president until there is an agreement and the paperwork is signed. No retro pay; just lost wages for not doing their job on time. Maybe we should all let our representatives know of this idea?

BART BURR

Guerneville

Dropping honors classes

EDITOR: After reading and re-reading the double talk defense of ending freshman honors biology to eager and motivated students by Jenni Klose, the president of the Santa Rosa school board (“Freshman science furor,” Jan. 28), I felt even more hopeless regarding the future of education and our country’s ability to compete globally in the future. Is that the best explanation the board can offer to defend a poor academic decision?

Why stop with ending scholarly science classes? Perhaps the school board should make a clean sweep and also end honors and advanced placement English and writing classes.

We wouldn’t want tomorrow’s leaders to acquire essential communication skills.

Obviously the school board’s decision demonstrates that its members can create policies despite their lack of scientific knowledge, problem-solving ability and appropriate communication skills.

RICHARD STRUNIN

Santa Rosa

Right for Healdsburg

EDITOR: I support the 106 Matheson restaurant proposal in Healdsburg (“Town’s identity in question,” Sunday). This project is within the conforming design guidelines. The neglected back facade would get a refresh consistent with other properties on the southern end of the town’s entrance.

This is one of the few projects that has a parking lot, and the developers would improve the appearance of that area, too. Keeping ground-floor retail below would be great for our town.

Many of us who live downtown already walk to dine to and shop. Having another destination for dining with a lower price point is appealing.

Live-work dwelling is a valid form of planning that hearkens to the 1800s and has had a revival the past 25 years across America. This should be explored more in our town.

The developer has spent a lot of time and money listening to input and has scaled back the two restaurants to be smaller, losing 100 seats in the process.

That flexibility in listening and adapting to residents’ concerns has been evident since day one. The developer, as a longtime local resident, cares about the community. He has more than proven his trustworthiness and character.

I hope the city will do the right thing and get behind this opportunity.

DEBBIE MASON

Healdsburg

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

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