Thursday’s Letters to the Editor

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US is able to help

EDITOR: We are the wealthiest country in the world and have enough, I believe, to help asylum-seekers as well as take care of our infrastructure.

The border “crisis” has been manufactured by the cruel policies of Donald Trump. Traffickers are advertising that now is the time to migrate before the border is closed forever.

In addition, the majority of these people aren’t bringing drugs and crimes as advertised. Drugs come into the U.S. because, in the words of free market minions, there is a demand.

We need to realize that without decent schools and social safety nets, ignorance flourishes, drug use goes up, and intelligent dialog cannot be had — a problem of massive wealth inequity.

We need to support the Northern Triangle countries, not cut funding. We need to help them help themselves so that people find opportunity where they live.

As for our infrastructure and safety nets, think of what $1.4 trillion could have done to help. This is the money the treasury gave corporations via the new tax law in a time when their profits were already high.

Please consider these arguments before turning to hate.

GERRY LAZZARESCHI

Healdsburg

Occidental speedway

EDITOR: I recently saw some signs placed along Occidental Road that read something to the effect of don’t speed, don’t kill yourself, and don’t kill others. Why would these signs be placed on such a nice country road? Because this country road that probably was quiet has become a speedway for weekday commuters and weekend beachgoers.

Occidental is also a death trap as people fly down it at 60 mph and up in a rush to get to wherever they are going. Not everyone reaches their destination. Clearly, we’re concerned.

This road has outgrown Santa Rosa and Sebastopol, and we desperately need stoplights, especially where Occidental awkwardly intersects with Irwin Lane. If you ever try to turn left onto Occidental there, you’ll feel grateful to come out of that turn in one piece.

Why am I so concerned about this road? Because I live along this road, and I don’t even feel safe going out to get my mail. In fact, as I was turning into our driveway one day recently, the driver behind me had the audacity to honk.

Use of this main connecting road isn’t a right, it’s a privilege. And it’s a privilege that that has been abused. You want a highway? Take Highway 12. Occidental Road isn’t your highway.

KATELIN GIUSTI

Santa Rosa

A flawed shooting policy

EDITOR: Regarding the first public comments of sheriff’s Sgt. Erick Gelhaus regarding the killing of Andy Lopez, the “thoroughness of the investigation” isn’t what needs to be communicated to restore confidence in the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office (“County releases Lopez records,” April 11).

What needs to be communicated is why the internal affairs review was so deeply flawed as to come up with the preposterous notion that Gelhaus was justified in thinking that his life was in danger. If this review describes the criteria that is being followed by the department, then no one in Sonoma County is safe.

PIETER S. MYERS

Occidental

Socialism and capitalism

EDITOR: Bernie Album tried valiantly to clarify the difference between capitalism and socialism but left it murkier than ever (“Defining socialism,” Letters, Sunday). Contrary to Album’s assertion, capitalism and socialism are in fact economic systems.

Let’s dust off our Econ 101 textbooks and settle this capitalism/socialism confusion. Chapter 1 provides a simplified explanation: (most) consumer goods (cars, refrigerators, toasters, computers, cellphones, etc.) are created by privately owned, for-profit firms: capitalism; and (most) public goods (Medicare, Social Security, postal service, police, fire, courts, libraries, etc.) are provided by our government-owned, not-for-profit entities: socialism.

There has never been a purely capitalistic or socialistic economy anywhere. Our economy is a mixture of the two. Government provides services when private enterprise (capitalism) can’t or won’t.

So the question is not whether we should have a socialistic or capitalistic economy; the question is what mixture of socialism vs. capitalism we choose to have.

GENE A. HOTTEL

Santa Rosa

Groundwater fees

EDITOR: This letter is about the Santa Rosa Plain groundwater basin plan (“Outcry changes proposed well fees,” Friday). How much does it cost to drill a well in the Santa Rosa Plain groundwater basin if your well goes dry? A quick call to Weeks or Peterson would probably come up with a $10,000 to $20,000 cost.

How is groundwater going to be protected so wells don’t go dry if the groundwater isn’t monitored or managed? The $10 to $13 a year fee is nothing compared to the cost of a new well.

JOE TEMBROCK

Santa Rosa

Endangering everyone

EDITOR: As someone whose father had polio and also served in the Peace Corps in Niger, where polio is still a major problem, it is disheartening to see people ignore science and endanger themselves and the world with their gullibility.

I imagine what it would be like to explain to my villagers how in the United States we have cures for all these problems and people refuse them for misguided reasons.

Make medical exemptions to vaccination only work for people with legitimate reasons. They are endangering us all.

JOHN HEYLIN

Canyon

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

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