April 27 Letters to the Editor
Published: Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 26, 2013 at 3:23 p.m.
Online sales taxes
EDITOR: I recently received an email from eBay's president urging me to tell Congress not to impose a sales tax burden for small online businesses. The eBay solution is: “Small businesses with less than 50 employees or less than $10 million in annual out-of-state sales should be exempt from the burden of collecting sales taxes nationwide.”
How is that fair? Small brick-and-mortar stores have to collect sales taxes.
Nice try, eBay.
Marin's clean energy
EDITOR: Hunter Stern's commentary (“Two views on Sonoma Clean Power Proposal,” Tuesday) contained a number of erroneous statements about Marin Clean Energy.
First, MCE procures more renewable and carbon-free energy than PG&E. MCE offers 50 percent or 100 percent renewable electricity (compared to PG&E's 20 percent). The California Energy Commission excludes large hydroelectric and nuclear power from the definition of renewable energy sources. PG&E's energy mix is 59 percent carbon-free; MCE's energy mix is 60 percent carbon-free and 100 percent carbon-free for customers who choose the 100 percent renewable option.
Second, MCE uses a mix of suppliers to ensure our customers get the cleanest electricity supply at affordable rates — which today are lower than PG&E's for many customers using MCE's 50 percent renewable product. Our supply includes local and in-state renewable energy generation developers and third-party suppliers, as well as renewable energy credits.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, RECs are “critical, effective and valuable instruments for expanding renewable energy across the U.S.”
RECs are tied directly to certified renewable energy facilities supplying electricity to the western region electric grid. The Energy Commission counts them toward the percentage of renewable energy in a utility's portfolio. The purchase of RECs helps offset the costs and impacts of conventional electricity generation.
MCE also creates jobs in Marin and Richmond.
Graham's twisted logic
EDITOR: Regarding the Boston bomber, Sen. Lindsey Graham said, “The fact that we could not track him has to be fixed. It's people like this you don't want to let out of your site, and this was a mistake. I don't know if our laws are insufficient or the FBI failed, but we are at war with radical Islamists, and we need to up our game” (“Suspects may have planned more attacks,” Monday).
In a statement on his website, Graham says he voted against the Manchin-Toomey gun background check amendment because “provisions would have been burdensome and difficult for citizens to comply with. In addition, it contained provisions making advertising a firearm in a community or church bulletin subject to the same processes as if buying from a licensed dealer.”
Did the FBI get notice that these bombers bought guns? Maybe they got them unnoticed from a community or church bulletin since they are not burdened by the same processes as a licensed firearms dealer. Churches certainly should not be burdened when advertising guns for sale.
You have got to love Graham's pretzel logic.
Rip out parking meters
EDITOR: It amazes me that Santa Rosa city leaders can't figure out that what we need to do is not install high-tech parking meters but rip them all out and provide free parking in our downtown core (“SR revisits parking meters,” Thursday”).
I fail to understand why they are blind to the simple fact that parking meters harm the vitality of downtown Santa Rosa. The downtowns of Windsor, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Petaluma and Sebastopol do extremely well without penalizing their businesses and customers with unnecessary parking fees.
I challenge the city of Santa Rosa to stop nickel and diming its citizens and at the same time give downtown merchants a badly needed boost. It's time to get rid of the parking meters that keep so many people away from our wonderful downtown.
EDITOR: Ah, how soon they forget.
The Alzheimer's Association of America, the Mayo Clinic, the Centers for Disease Control and other health organizations have told us repeatedly that cases of Alzheimer's disease have been steadily increasing over the years. How else do we explain recent polls that indicate President George W. Bush has a higher approval rating now than when he left office and this country in such a deplorable state in 2009?
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