Friday’s Letters to the Editor

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PG&E’s dangerous plan

EDITOR: I read with alarm about PG&E’s plans for dealing with a potential fire threat by shutting off the main power lines into Sonoma County, leaving hundreds of thousands without power for up to 10 days (“PG&E’s shutoffs may last for days,” Aug. 4).

This would mean we would be in the dark, with no way to communicate, no way to call for help, no way to know if there is a fire, where the fire is or is headed, and no way to fight the fire if there is one.

Under such conditions, it is not too far a stretch to imagine civil unrest from people who can’t buy food, pump gas or even feel safe in their homes. The sick and elderly will be particularly affected.

PG&E should practice preventive measures — adequate staffing, maintaining equipment and pruning or clearing out grass, trees and brush that are fuel for flames.


Santa Rosa

Spare the elk

EDITOR: The beautiful Tule elk at Point Reyes National Seashore are some of the last great animals humans haven’t killed or made extinct in our world (“Elk plan revives debate,” Aug. 9). Leave them alone. And why is the National Park Service big on shooting them? Aren’t they supposed to represent values like caring for the land and animals? Am I missing something?

Can people please start thinking of something kinder than shooting and killing? And we wonder why kids learn it from adults. Please, people, start using your cerebral cortex.

Use it before you lose it.



The good guy fallacy

EDITOR: I read the Aug. 7 letters regarding mass shootings. One, in particular, struck me as part of what’s wrong with the ongoing discussion. The writer suggested that had 1% of the people in the shopping center in El Paso been carrying guns and been willing to and in a position to respond, it is likely the outcome would have been less tragic (“Protecting society”).

In the midst of an active shooting, with the chaos and pandemonium of people running, screaming and gunshots, I don’t believe it’s possible for a good guy with a gun to locate and shoot a bad guy with a gun without putting more people in danger.

If 1% of those people were good guys with guns, how many of them would have accidentally shot another good guy with a gun in the middle of the chaos?

The Gilroy police arrived and shot the bad guy with a gun in one minute. He still managed to shoot more than a dozen people and kill two children. We don’t need more guns regardless of who’s carrying them. We need fewer guns, no semiautomatic weapons and no high-capacity magazines.



Incentives for prevention

EDITOR: My home barely escaped the Tubbs fire, and I evacuated just hours before the firestorm broached the ridge line. I still notice how much remains unburned.

As always, we are reactive and poorly proactive to tragedies. We continue to allow high-density building to flourish within our boundaries in attempting to solve a housing issue. So a siren idea scares me as much as a fire.

It’s easy to see having a siren warning system is a recipe for a greater disaster, like yelling fire in a crowded theater. The gridlock would be a nightmare and certainly deadly. To offer one helpful solution, our local leaders should offer a property tax credit for having hazardous trees removed from private properties.

At a minimum, provide a place for disposal and recycling of vegetation free of charge. Not only would this incentive make sense as a public safety measure for the community, it makes absolute economic sense.

Perhaps our community leaders can start to represent the taxpayers as much as they bow to the wealthy developers and public employee unions.


Santa Rosa

A dismissive essay

EDITOR: In his dismissive Sunday essay “Baby boomers from Woodstock to Donald Trump,” columnist Pete Golis concluded that “we are long past the time that we could pretend that the Woodstock generation transformed the world.”

So, I guess the civil rights movement, women’s liberation, environmentalism and the information superhighway never happened. And all these progressive, countercultural ideas championed by boomers would have changed the world even more profoundly for the better had the reactionaries among them (e.g., Donald Trump) and the previous generation — don’t trust anyone over 30 — not resisted with all their power.

And let’s not forget that it was also the boomers who stopped the most unpopular war in American history. If they have received too much attention for too long, it is only because the boomers are arguably the most transformational generation since the Enlightenment.




EDITOR: Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, shame on you. SMART appears to be nowhere close to providing the transportation options we voters were promised. Until there’s a clearer picture of how my tax dollars are being spent and a statement explaining when further construction might begin, I vote a loud no on any extension of or additional sales tax for SMART.


Santa Rosa

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