Monday’s Letters to the Editor

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No more for SMART

EDITOR: In 2008, would the voters have approved the funding for the SMART train if they had known that the project would cost twice the amount on the ballot and take more than two decades to construct? Would they have approved the project if they had known that fare subsidies would cost another $43 million per year? Would they have approved the project if they had known that the amount of cars removed from Highway 101 would be less than 1% and that emissions would be reduced by one-third of a percent?

It is my belief that if the voters knew the above facts, they would have rejected this project. It is my belief that the voters shouldn’t give any more revenue to this failed project and should vote no on Measure I.



Trump’s Mideast plan

EDITOR: Donald Trump’s Mideast proposal for Israel and Palestine should be called a “piece plan,” not a “peace plan.” It is sanctifying land theft, normalizing oppression of the indigenous Palestinians, proving that might makes right and mocking civil rights and equal rights. Does anyone really believe that this “deal of the century” will work and not exacerbate and inflame the situation?

I watched some Holocaust footage and was stunned again at the horrible dehumanization of a people while others stood silently by. What lessons have we learned? Denying people their humanity, freedom and equality is exactly what is happening to the Palestinians with this plan, which legalizes their subjugation by the Israelis. Let’s call it what it is: Apartheid in the so-called “only democracy in the Middle East.”

Many of us have been working in our communities to eradicate the evils of anti-Semitism in all its forms. This plan put forth by an impeached president and an indicted prime minister endangers those efforts and points to the lopsided privilege and power at work here, thus prolonging the decades of suffering of so many innocents.

Will we stand by and let it happen this time? Or will we find our courage and speak truth to power?


Santa Rosa

A clear choice

EDITOR: The response to the Realtors contribution supporting Supervisor Shirlee Zane’s campaign focuses on the influence of money on elections. Sonoma County, however, has many examples where message and door-knocking trumped spending. The stated reason for the independent expenditure by the Realtors was Chris Coursey refusing to meet and discuss housing issues. This speaks volumes about the differences between the candidates.

Homelessness and housing are complicated issues, and the solutions are elusive. Any response will require communitywide input, cooperation and coalitions.

Zane has demonstrated incredible energy and engagement with the community. Hers is an open door to ideas from progressives, moderates and conservatives.

Contrast that to Coursey’s approach. He touts collaboration in campaign rhetoric but refuses to meet with key players. It is hard to imagine solutions to issues of homelessness when those closest to housing are kept from the conversation.

There are no promises, there are no quick fixes, but the Realtors have put their resources behind a candidate who is open to discussion and suggestion. If we are serious about addressing the issues of homelessness and housing, Zane is the clear choice.


Santa Rosa

Looking to the future

EDITOR: I took out of town relatives on a nice trip from Petaluma to San Francisco the other day on SMART and the Larkspur ferry. It wasn’t too expensive since I have a senior Clipper Card, and the trip itself is scenic and comfortable.

But it’s only the third time I’ve used SMART. Being retired, I don’t need it to commute. But I will be voting yes on Measure I to extend SMART’s funding.

I’m not being altruistic. You don’t need to be a regular SMART rider to benefit from this system. And the system doesn’t have to be perfect now either. You just need to look a little bit into the future to know that without this system traffic will turn very ugly in Sonoma County.

Sure SMART needs to expand its schedule and build more stations. From all accounts, the management could benefit from a better bedside manner. But getting rid of it now because it doesn’t fully measure up is just plain folly. SMART will expand, and it will be a critical part of our transportation infrastructure if we stay the course and re-up its funding.


President, Sonoma County Conservation Action

Senate imbalance

EDITOR: Wise as the framers of our Constitution were, they probably didn’t foresee a time when having two senators per state would so regularly and thoroughly thwart majority rule in the U.S. (witness gun control, climate action, etc.).

The Republican majority in the Senate represents 15 million fewer Americans than the Democratic minority. They just disregarded 75% of voters who wanted new witnesses subpoenaed in the impeachment trial (according to the Quinnipiac poll) — all to protect a president who lost the popular vote by 3 million.

I can sympathize with Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander’s perspective that impeachment would tear the country apart. But not voting to impeach, and refusing to even call witnesses, will likely only embolden this president to cheat and enlist foreign help with the election.

If removal by senators was too divisive, it seems we need a tool other than impeachment (maybe recall votes?) to keep a scofflaw president in check. Waiting for the next regularly scheduled election further endangers our democracy.


Santa Rosa

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