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LETTERS & Opinions from Gazette Readers - May 2020

May 1, 2020


Steady Progress

Thank you, Vesta, for that wonderful heart-felt writing about our collective journey through, mostly, human-made disasters like wars and economic meltdowns and then back out on the other side. 

I hope that it has been ‘Steady Progress’; though it doesn’t quite feel that way in the moment. It is great that the pandemic brings the world together to face a common threat; kind of like a belief that aliens from another world will bring us together. 

Maybe so, but as always it seems, it could go either way to either a better or worse world. 

I will agree with your underlining point that we will find a good way out of this crisis, which will take some time and much suffering. I hope to see you all in that new world.

Thank you, Vesta, for your guiding hand through all these years.

 Sammy Nasr, Sebastopol

A Salute to You

A salute to you and your recent article in the Sonoma County Gazette, “Earth Day, Perspective Over a Lifetime.” What an inspiring historic sweep of environmental highlights over the past half century -- and an intro to activities planned for celebrating Earth Day “50,” April 22, 2020.

I had the honor of serving as legislative aide to the founder of Earth Day, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, and helped to craft the policy framework for the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. You captured much of the drama of those historic times.

Thank you for your leadership and dedication in advancing environmental quality.

Good luck on Earth Day!

Dennis Brezina, East Norriton, PA 

Kudos on April issue!

I read the entire April issue cover to cover and just wanted to tell you how great it is!!

So many of the articles highlight the coronavirus crisis which was just really breaking as you went to press.

I know this must have been stressful pulling everything together for the printer and then the online version. The layout, color, and graphics are outstanding and really make the paper a joy to read.

One pillar of the Gazette are the local people who write the articles reflecting their deep understanding of the local communities where they reside.

The other pillar is the editor, graphic artist, advertising people, and distributors who, on tight deadlines, produce and distribute the paper. 

Kudos to both you and Ceylan who works wonders with your website, and the rest of the team for a job well done during this extraordinary historical moment.

Marty Bennett 

What will Humankind Learn from this Horrid Pandemic?

We can only hope that we will look upon it as “a shot in the arm.” It’s like someone shaking we humans and saying “NOW do you get it?”

 Let’s all take the time to realize how much cleaner our air is.  That this did not just happen. Can we all not try to break some daily habits and ponder,  “Do I really need to drive? Could I walk or cycle or carpool or can I complete these tasks at home without going anywhere?

As humans we tend to forget too quickly.  Maybe this time we can all reflect on what has happened, what is happening and what may very well happen again.

As we take our daily walks now, it’s a bit of a different scene.  It seems we notice that incredible tree trunk that must be so very old and so incredible in its beauty.  In the past we have just walked by it.

It’s a wonderful time in our usual busy lives, to note the beauty and peace around us.  It is everywhere if we will take the time and notice.

It’s so very great to see our wonderful air quality and why not try to keep it that way

We can change the way we live and if we hope to leave this fragile, incredible beautiful planet to those who come after us – 



Joy Bennett

EPA Water Fluoridation Trial Rescheduled

The Government shutdown, and now the Covid-19 situation have caused the EPA water fluoridation trial to be postponed twice. 

The Court has set a new trial date of Monday 6/8/2020. The trial is expected to run two weeks.  For reasons of public health, the trial will be conducted entirely by videoconferencing. We hope, but do not yet know, that there will be live streaming of the proceedings. We do know that the federal court films its trials, and that the public is usually invited to attend. It is possible that, in these unusual circumstances, the court will continue to honor the tradition of public attendance with a live video feed. If so, Fluoride Action Network (FAN) will provide access on a variety of internet platforms.

We will keep you informed.

Carol Goodwin Blick

I Take Issue with Your Tissues

I've seen them and by them I mean it's not just one person, one instance nor one's happening all over town as if it's it's own pandemic. 

Morons who don't dare get closer than five feet from a garbage can who simply toss their mucus laden tissues somewhere in the direction (or same county) of the proper receptacle. 

You aren't being smart, you aren't being clever you are simply being lazy so KNOCK IT OFF  as someone (Me moist likely!) else is going to have to pick it up for you! 

I think I've seen enough of this behavior with people and their dog poop bags who simply set them atop as if divine intervention is going to make them disappear C'MON PEOPLE you are smarter than this! 

Sadly we only act when we feel our wallets getting hit, I truly am looking forward to the day (if it ever happens) when such instances reap heavy heavy fines! 

Marcos Emiliano Zapatero

Ministerial Permitting of cannabis applications by the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office is unacceptable to residents

We thank you for your work during such difficult times in our county and country and pray for your personal safety.

We wish to register our opposition to the proposed ministerial permitting of cannabis growing applications by the Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioners Office.

First, cannabis is unlike any other “crop” grown in the county. It stinks. It encourages crime. It requires high-intensity security measures, like concertina wire fencing, cameras, lights and guards that have high impacts on the surrounding population. 

It requires water and pesticide use that threaten the environmental and economic stability and health of rural neighborhoods. 

Considering the unique impacts of cannabis cultivation and its generally inappropriate designation as a “crop”, it is critically important to take it out of both ministerial permitting and out of the Ag Department’s purview. The public should be engaged in appropriate location determinations and it should be regulated by transparent protocols. 

We have already seen how the wine industry has run roughshod, through ministerial permitting and fragmented approval processes, over residents and our local environment. We ask you to consider our concerns in your process of writing county regulations and convey our message to those setting policy.

With many thanks,

Laura Morgan & James Seward




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