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Nov. 12 Letters to the Editor

Published: Monday, November 12, 2012 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 9, 2012 at 5:21 p.m.

Protecting democracy

EDITOR: While I breathed a sigh of relief when President Barack Obama won, I disagree that the “Karl Roves and Koch brothers and all the others that poured billions of dollars found out that elections can't be bought” (“Elections aren't for sale,” Letters, Thursday). I donated a couple thousand dollars (that I don't really have) in an attempt to counteract those super-rich folks, and I felt like I was trying to buy an election in my own small way. I would bet that I am not alone. That is not democracy. I don't I have the financial means to do that every four years.

Our political system is in shambles. The steps needed to fix it are obvious: overturn Citizen's United, make election days national holidays, get rid of the Electoral College, ban all campaign contributions and replace them with public funding, and do away with voting oversight by partisan officials and replace them with independent authorities to handle the administration of elections.

While the outcome was decisive, only when democracy is real are elections legitimate, and only then will our elected leaders stop putting partisan politics above the best interests of our country. It is to that end that I plan to work tirelessly. I invite all concerned citizens regardless of party affiliation to join me.

RENÉE FRITZE

Santa Rosa

Life vest law

EDITOR: What a horrific ordeal for the children (“Four kids, three adults saved after boat flips,” Nov. 5). They were very lucky. Nowhere in the article was there mention of the state law requiring life vests for children. The law states that any child under the age of 13 must wear a life vest while in a boat on the water. Adults must have a life vest on the boat for each occupant on the boat, and it must be readily accessible.

Those who enforce our waterways must enforce the law just as a police officer would do if he witnessed a child without a seat belt in a moving vehicle.

Stiff fines should be in place for those who refuse to abide by the law. Behavior changes when your wallet gets lighter.

STEPHEN ELKINS

Windsor

Carnivores and climate

EDITOR: Frankenstorm Sandy is one more dramatic demonstration that climate change and its extreme weather patterns are now part of our future. Although we're unlikely to reverse climate change, we can still mitigate its effects by reducing our driving, our energy use and our meat consumption.

Yes, meat consumption. A 2006 U.N. report estimated that meat consumption accounts for 18 percent of man-made greenhouse gases. A 2009 article in World Watch magazine suggested that it may be closer to 50 percent.

Carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas, is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to confine, feed, transport and slaughter animals and to refrigerate their carcasses. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are discharged from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.

We have the power of reducing the devastating effects of climate change every time we eat. Our local supermarket offers a rich variety of soy-based lunch “meats” — hot dogs, veggie burgers, soy and nut-based dairy products (including cheese and ice cream) — and an ample selection of traditional vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts. Product lists, easy recipes and transition tips are available at www.livevegan.org.

LARRY ROGAWITZ

Santa Rosa

GOP's choice

EDITOR: Many Republicans, during the presidential primaries, said “anybody but Romney.” Thank you, Republican Party, for ignoring that wisdom.

PETER BISKUP

Healdsburg

Overlooking architects

EDITOR: Thank you for your article on the award-winning Cazadero home of Barbara Buck (“High-tech home,” Nov. 3) . What a delightful home. Your article would be so much more delightful if you included information from the architect. It appears that your writer only interviewed the owner and the contractor.

The architect's name, Marilyn Standley, is mentioned, but there is no evidence that your writer spoke with her. The architect is not listed in the inset of key team partners nor even as a project team member, yet she is an expert in green and sustainable architecture.

This lovely project won awards for coordination of energy and design efforts, which can normally only be accomplished by a talented architect, seasoned by years of bringing a team of engineers, consultants and contractors together to create something that none could accomplish by themselves. The architect is the conductor of this process and deserves the proper respect.

While it is not unusual that staff writers fail to mention or highlight the architect of a project, it really is poor effort on the reporting end. Please make sure to talk with the architect first on every construction project you report about.

JULIA DONOHO

American Institute of Architects, Redwood Empire

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