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Letters to the Argus-Courier Editor Nov. 25, 2021

EDITOR: Two important distinctions between infrastructure like roads and water/sewer pipes and the Petaluma River is that our River provides recreation and is an economic generator. A properly managed Marina and Turning Basin can create income for Petaluma where most government functions are considered an expense.

Regular and dependable dredging of the river, Marina and Turning Basin, is as important as the maintenance of any other infrastructure we have. With this last River-only dredging by the Army Corps we are on our own to develop a long-term solution.

For much of 2019, I tried to promote an equitable long-term dredging solution to maintain a healthy Petaluma River and ensure the continuation of the benefits it can provide. The key tenants were to: assess everyone to equitably fund the dredging; look for ways to offset the cost of dredging by working with similar communities (i.e. Napa and San Rafael); provide a mechanism for civilian oversight of the process; and to create an isolated fund for the accumulation of dredging revenues that could not be “borrowed” or taken by another government agency.

Siltation of the River is a never-ending issue, and evidence of that has already returned to our Turning Basin! I am asking that our City Council appoint a panel to investigate potential long-term dredging solutions that might be implemented within the next year. The costs are enormous, but so are the costs of complacency. I was urged to forego a ballot measure to give our citizens a voice on dredging, so the City’s own infrastructure tax would have less competition. Their tax passed. It is time to focus on keeping our river healthy and accessible.

Jeffrey Mayne

Petaluma

On the Constitution and fallibility

EDITOR: It amazes me how many arm chair constitutional experts there are out there! The Constitution was written as a blueprint for our Democracy. Nothing written is definite but merely a guideline often left to interpretation. Since as humans we are flawed by our own beliefs, (contrary to that of nature) we tend to twist our prejudices into reality. Example: the first impeachment of Trump they argued what "shall" meant, the second what "the" meant. Just as we are flawed, so is the Constitution. Our lives should be driven by love and respect, not by politics! The only definite is death!

JW Hale

Petaluma

Vote. It’s your civic duty

EDITOR: There is a group in America who wraps themselves in flags, some with a snake or a big X, and who claim to own patriotism. Most will also insist that a book they follow is the only truth, and no one may question it. They find anyone different than themselves to be a frightful danger. They find comfort in braggadocios loudmouths who confirm their belief that might makes right, as they threaten with “2nd Amendment solutions” to resolve their problems. The Kenosha verdict depicts this perfectly. The judge was one of them.

Now, it is important that we understand how we got here. It was actually quite democratically. They voted. And then they get school officials and lawmakers and judges in positions to mandate these frightening and absurd positions, and ideology.

I am tired of this minority setting the tone and the agenda of America. If you, too, are ready to bring back sanity, then you have one civilized recourse. Vote. Right thinking people outnumber these individuals, as Georgia proved. They aren’t “all the same.” Own your civic duty. Own patriotism. Own your flag. Own your country. Show them next November. We don’t need platitudes. We need pluralities.

Bob Marketos

Petaluma

A missed opportunity

EDITOR: These words could have come from President Joe Biden: This year, as we redouble our efforts to reduce carbon emissions, we must also do all we can to keep all stored carbon. That’s called ‘carbon sequestration.’ Trees are the best carbon sequesters we have. Therefore, I, Joseph R. Biden, do hereby pardon the magnificent white fir that was slated for cutting for the White House Garden for this Christmas. This will leave many tons of carbon still captured in the Six Rivers National Forest and also symbolizes our commitment to solving the Climate Crisis. We will replace the tree in the garden with a large, beautifully wrapped, non-denominational Christmas present. A fine symbol for the season.

Well, it would have been nice if President Biden had issued that proclamation. After all, that spruce has been removing 40 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year for the last 60 or 70 years. We breathe CO2 out, and the trees suck it up and give us back the same amount of oxygen.

But he didn’t pardon that magnificent tree. (“Woe Tannenbaum,” Nov. 3, 2021) But we can learn from his error. We all need to work to keep living trees in the ground, helping us and our planet survive.

Charles S. Little

Fire Issues Chair

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