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NOEL J. O’NEILL

Willits

Appalled by plans

EDITOR: As a college student who cherishes our nation’s wilderness, I am appalled by our federal administration’s assault on our scenic places. Currently, the GOP tax bill would allow for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a pristine arctic treasure home to breathtaking species like polar bears and musk oxen.

Additionally, Trump recently proposed massive cuts to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. And Congress is considering multiple bills that would collectively open America’s wild places to motor vehicles and other unchecked intrusions, which threaten the delicate health of these ecosystems.

Protecting nature for future generations, just as we now do, does not “hurt the economy” as some lawmakers claim. In fact, safeguarding our wilderness boosts the economies of rural communities surrounding it, by attracting outdoor tourists who support those local residents’ businesses. And we cannot have thriving timber and seafood industries without responsibly managed forests and waterways. I encourage my fellow citizens to call, email and write our legislators to voice support for protecting our wild places by opposing the above-mentioned bills. Let’s strengthen our collective voice to protect our ecosystems.

REBECCA CANRIGHT

Sebastopol

Amid the crisis

EDITOR: The report on the Maria Carrillo culinary instructor and the Santa Rosa school district’s food truck got me remembering the chronology of the fire (“SR culinary program leader put on leave,” Wednesday).

By Monday, Oct. 9, dozens are dead and thousands of houses are gone. On Oct. 10, food logistics for firefighters are not fully implemented and some restaurants are closed with credit card terminals out of service. On Oct. 11, there are more mandatory evacuations for Santa Rosa east of Summerfield Road and a massive smoke plume appears from backfires on Bennett Peak. Also on Oct. 11, the school district wants its food truck back. One wonders if the district had a plan for it.

And then there was the Friday night, Dec. 2 Christmas dinner and dance of the Holy Spirit Parish Men’s Club. Talk about a group ready to party. The board had two “Italian Bartender” slots. Cocktails were at 6 p.m. Dinner at 7 p.m. with complimentary wine on the table, no host full bar, food catered by Maria Carrillo High School.

Into this festive atmosphere insert SCOE’s minder ready to report any infraction. One wonders if overtime was being paid.

KERRY RICHARDSON

Santa Rosa

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