Letters to the Argus-Courier Editor May 6, 2022

Letters to the Argus-Courier Editor May 6, 2022.|

A vote for Blake Hooper

EDITOR: Ballots will soon be mailed for the June 7 election. I hope people are paying attention to the race for District 2 supervisor. Blake Hooper is the candidate we need to meet Sonoma County’s myriad challenges. Check out his website at https://blakehooper.com/. About housing instability, Blake proposes fast-tracking housing projects that focus on easy access to public transit, developing more affordable housing through infill projects, passing tenant rights and more. About climate change, Blake proposes shoring up rain storage, investing in large scale solar projects, building sustainable agricultural and dairy practices and more. About increasing community engagement, Blake proposes providing equitable language access, holding regular town halls and regular office hours throughout the district, making sure important documents are easy for the public to read and understand and more. You get the idea. Blake has plans and with his voice on the Board of Supervisors we’ll achieve a healthier and more equitable Sonoma County. Please vote for Blake Hooper for supervisor on June 7.

Ellen Obstler


A vote for David Rabbitt

EDITOR: Save Our Sonoma Roads supports David Rabbitt for supervisor. We have worked with David since we began in 2011, and he has been a relentless advocate to find funds to refurbish Sonoma County’s crumbling road system. Under his leadership, county funding for pavement preservation has been boosted tenfold, making our county the most generous contributor of county general funds to roads in California.

This is the primary reason that 456 miles of county roads will have been refurbished between 2012 and 2023. Rabbitt’s leadership also enabled the widening of Highway 101, Sonoma County’s main transportation artery.

When SOSroads began, our road system was among the worst in California because supervisors had neglected for decades their core responsibility to maintain and rehabilitate it.

Supervisor Rabbitt’s leadership turned this around, directing funding to roads and adopting creative solutions to refurbish our road infrastructure. He coauthored Sonoma County’s first long term road plan, and has helped direct $128 million so far to implementing it.

Our roads are improving, but we still have a very long way to go. The county has made important steps in what is necessarily a long journey to refurbish our county road system.

We want to stay the course without backsliding. Vote for David Rabbitt.

Craig S. Harrison

Santa Rosa

Making safe streets a reality

EDITOR: Safe Streets Petaluma (safestreetspetaluma.org) is a coalition of community members, groups, and businesses who want to see faster progress in making it safer, easier, and more rewarding for people to get around town.

At its May 2 meeting, the City Council unanimously voted for safe streets as a top priority, but it is up to the constituents to help make the safe streets policy platform a reality. Council members Kevin McDonnell, Dennis Pocekay, D’Lynda Fischer and Brian Barnacle supported using Safe Streets Petaluma’s 10-Point Policy Platform as the starting point for the city's work on the priority, while others said the committees and commissions should define the platform. The submitted Safe Streets Petaluma Policy Platform provides staff with clear direction that we can and must do more to make streets safer, such as reduce speeds, contribute to the sidewalk repair loan program, and establish a budget for quick-build and connectivity projects.

As a member of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee, I believe what we need most is clear direction from the Council to accelerate active transportation improvements. Safe Streets Petaluma worked thoughtfully to develop the policy platform, knowing neither the constituents nor the staff have time for committees and commissions to do this work.

With climate catastrophe looming, a bike share program soon to arrive, and data showing pedestrians and bicyclists are 40% more likely to be hit in Petaluma than in Santa Rosa, we must act with urgency. I hope you will join me in encouraging all members of Council to support the Safe Streets Petaluma Policy Platform at the June 2 meeting when the Council finalizes its goals.

Nicole Camarda


Reform university perks

EDITOR: In a Press Democrat editorial calling for an independent look at CSU scandals, incidents at Sonoma State and Fresno State were cited. However, no mention was made of the use of retreat rights, a contract provision allowing administrators to return to the faculty. These rights are handled on a campus by campus basis and are generally written without any caveats for misconduct. It is up to each campus to delineate how, if at all, the right to retreat is limited. It is time for systemwide standards for the use of this provision in all contracts, and the standards should apply retroactively.

Carol Castillo


Helping Ukraine

EDITOR: We are sickened by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but apart from hanging flags, what can we do?

Kate Aronoff wrote in a New York Times op-ed, “Among the quickest, easiest things the United States can do to furnish additional supplies to Europe is to reduce demand for fossil fuels domestically, freeing up more existing gas to go abroad while driving down domestic emissions.”

Let’s support Ukraine by reducing our fossil fuel consumption. Consolidate errands. Send the kids to school on their bikes. Stop idling our engines. You know what to do.

The disruption to our lives would be so minimal compared to what Ukrainians suffer daily. And we’d send a message to our bloated petroleum industry folks who are rolling in windfall profits. Why give one dime more than we must to those who knowingly destroy our planet?

Mary Davies


Failing to intervene

EDITOR: If the Russians succeed in demolishing Ukraine, which they seem intent on doing, we in the West are going to look back in shame that we did not step up and intervene.

Vladimir Putin is a bully. The way to deal with a bully is to stand up to him. Yes, I know he has nuclear weapons, but is he really going to launch one if the U.S. provides sophisticated fighter planes to Ukraine or lends them a war ship? Couldn’t we just take a U.S. warship and paint it with Ukrainian colors and send it to the Black Sea?

It is so frustrating to sit here knowing we aren’t doing enough. Where is the America that won World War I and World War II? Apparently, we are so demoralized by the failures in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan that we are shirking standing up for right.

Suzanne Tucker


What about us?

EDITOR: We have a two-party system of government, so everyone has representation. Unfortunately, it has become a civil war between the parties, leaving us as victims rather than participants of a democratic nature. We have become subject to warring laws instead of a common belief of unity. Complacency has led to a place no one really wanted. Life changes, for better or for worse. Don’t leave it up to them. It’s our choice.

J.W. Hale


Remembering history

EDITOR: As George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

1939: Germany and Russia invade Poland. Both armies kill tens of thousands of civilians. The U.S. refuses to become involved.

1940: Germany invades France and the Netherlands and implements the “final solution.” The U.S. refuses to become involved, only aiding Great Britain by shipping weapons through the lend-lease program. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are dying.

1941: Germany invades Russia. The U.S. finally becomes involved — after the death of more than a million civilians. Russia starts pushing the Nazis back to Germany. It took three more years for the U.S. to invade Europe and liberate these countries. Millions died by this time.

Today, Russia invades Ukraine. They rape, destroy and murder civilians and the U.S. refuses to intervene. We send weapons but don’t come to Ukraine’s rescue.

This Russian method of warfare is how they have always fought. Murder civilians, and there are fewer mouths to feed. Vladimir Putin is Stalin reincarnated. Come on, government, let’s not repeat the mistakes we made in World War II. Stop the slaughter, go over there and kick the Russian army back to Russia.

Bill Thompson


Another vote for Rabbitt

EDITOR: Those who would have you believe David Rabbitt hasn’t done enough as 2nd District supervisor need only take a factual look at his record to see why he deserves to be reelected, and why he has my unwavering support.

During his tenure, Rabbitt earned awards and praise from the North Bay Leadership Council and the Sonoma County Taxpayers Association. He helped lead the county on pension reform and finance reform, all while helping lead the county in doubling the size of Sonoma County Regional Parks. He oversaw the opening of SMART and helped secure funding for the widening of Highway 101.

He’s a proven leader on both the Golden Gate Bridge district board and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. He’s brought millions of dollars to Sonoma County for infrastructure and transit needs. Now is not the time to experiment. Now is the time to return a proven leader to the Board of Supervisors. Reelect Supervisor David Rabbitt.

Leland Fishman


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