Press Democrat -- Letter to the Editor

POSTED: 10/22/18

Publication: The Press Democrat


Slowly rebuilding

EDITOR: One of our friends happily announced that she and her husband are closing on the purchase of a house — not a new house.

“What happened to rebuilding your Coffey Park house?” I asked. “I thought that you were one of the first to clear the land and line up contractors, and that you would be under construction by now.”

She said: “We were, and we were determined to rebuild. But there was one delay after another, and we were tired of imposing on relatives for a place to live. So we decided to just buy an existing house and get on with our lives.”

“Well,” I said, “congratulations and good luck. I am sure glad you didn’t leave the area after over 30 years.”

I wonder how many of our local government leaders are patting themselves on the back for a fine job of facilitating the rebuilding of 50 homes a year after the fires (“Insurers slow to settle claims,” Oct. 7). At this rate, it will take more than 100 years to rebuild the 5,300 homes that were destroyed.


Santa Rosa

Senior contributors

EDITOR: Mercy me, too bad we don’t have ice floes in California because those of us over 60 are such a burden to our state that we need to be sent off somewhere to die, according to your story about the state’s aging population (“State’s aging population comes with high costs,” Oct. 14).

Maybe Los Angeles — the article came from the Los Angeles Times — is a place where aging is anathema, but here in Sonoma County we seniors are a vital part of our community. We are in the paid workforce, the unpaid volunteer force and even in elected positions. Seniors offer our community highly developed skills, wisdom, free time and the balance that comes with having “been there” and “done that,” which would leave a big, gaping hole if we were not among you. Gosh, even some Press Democrat writers and editors are seniors.

My 75-year-old wife just died after a long illness, and nobody considered her a burden on California. She paid into the system all her working years, and after she retired she volunteered with our local theater company. Maybe you could publish stories about people like her.



Parks for all

EDITOR: Although we are blessed with an extensive system of regional and local parks in Sonoma County, they face a backlog of deferred maintenance, worsened by the fires.

In order to meet this challenge, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors placed an eighth-cent sales tax on the November ballot to improve and expand Sonoma County Regional Parks.

Measure M would not only provide badly needed funds for the improvement of our regional parks but also for city parks throughout Sonoma County. It would raise $11.5 million annually for 10 years to repair fire damage, open new areas, improve facilities, construct trails, protect natural resources, preserve habitat and reduce fire risks through vegetation management.

A high priority would be placed on improving access to existing parks or creating new ones in underserved areas. Each city would determine priorities for their area.

These parks are where we walk, run, ride, hike, pedal, paddle, swim, fish and meet friends, as well as learn and teach. Besides contributing to our good health, they attract visitors to the area and are a valuable economic asset.

Support “parks for all” by voting yes on Measure M on Nov. 6.


Santa Rosa

Independent leadership

EDITOR: I’m inspired by what Robert Conklin has accomplished in his campaign for Petaluma City Council. I’m voting for him and encourage all of Petaluma to do the same.

Conklin’s sincere approach to problem-solving and love for his hometown of Petaluma are a breath of fresh air — especially in our current political climate.

For someone with no prior political experience, his endorsements are also quite impressive: Conklin has been endorsed by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, the North Bay Labor Council, the Petaluma Police Officers Association and Petaluma firefighters.

Conklin also is the only Petaluma City Council candidate running without ties to big business or local political powers. That means that he is the only true independent in this race, so he’ll be able to approach each issue with a focus on what’s best for Petaluma and all of its residents — especially working families like ours.

Isn’t it time that we had somebody on the City Council working on our behalf? I hope all of Petaluma joins me in putting the people of our city first by voting for Robert Conklin on Nov. 6.



Pierce for council

EDITOR: The Press Democrat recently endorsed John Sawyer for Santa Rosa City Council, and I guess that woke him up. I’ve been going to council meetings for two years, so I have been watching Sawyer for a while. Until recently, when he listened for a while to staff briefings, asked a few clarifying questions and listened to five minutes of public input, I haven’t seen him engaged in any subject with the singular exception of time capsules. He is enthusiastic about them but listens to nothing else; spending the balance of meetings filing papers in his briefcase, texting, scrolling through his computer or otherwise not focusing on his job.

Please, if you live in District 2, vote for Lee Pierce. He will listen, learn and act. While he is currently focused on affordable housing and homelessness, he is interested in all aspects of our community. We need him.


Santa Rosa

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