Opinion Related:  Editorials | Letters to the Editor

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It’s not about the money

Editor, Index-Tribune: In a recent op-ed, a hedge-fund founder and securities trader complained that voting “yes” on Measure B to protect Sonoma from big hotels would be “robbing us.” Which “us” is he talking about? Seems to me that the “robbing” is usually in the other direction. In any case, I guess the 1 percent… Continue Reading >>

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A personal Measure B survey

Editor, Index-Tribune: I have already cast my ballot for Measure B and see the signs dotting the town often “yes” in one yard, and “no” in a neighbor’s yard. I’ve read, I think, most of the op-ed columns, letters to the editor and fliers left under the doormat. It struck me that much of the… Continue Reading >>

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Thanks for dividing the town

Editor, Index-Tribune: After seeing Larry Barnett’s smug face on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle, last week, I think someone needs to thank him for dividing the town. Thank you former councilman! Michael Coats Sonoma

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Sonoma’s future – we’ll get it right

Editor, Index-Tribune:   The current battle for Sonoma’s future is nothing new. Our town’s rebellious and independent spirit can be traced to early Sonomans who overthrew Gen. Vallejo and raised the Bear Flag on our Plaza. Since then, we have stopped a freeway from running through our Valley and a subdivision from sprawling across the… Continue Reading >>

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No quaintness with really large hotel

Editor, Index-Tribune:   My wife and I have visited Sonoma for seven straight years. We live in Jacksonville, Fla. And, although the primary attraction for the Wine Country region is our love of wine, we have chosen to visit and stay in Sonoma (one block off the square) because it is different from Napa, Healdsburg,… Continue Reading >>


Measure B bogeyman

It’s hard to believe that, after all the thousands of words written and published, after all the meetings, forums, formal presentations and casual conversations, after all the rhetoric, ranting, the recriminations and retorts, that there’s anything more to say, anyone left who hasn’t said it and anyone who hasn’t already made up their mind about… Continue Reading >>


No large hotels until pigs fly

 By Thomas M. Jones The Measure B ballot submission includes the statement that “No new large hotel over 25 rooms, and no expansion of an existing hotel to exceed a total of 25 rooms, shall be permitted unless Sonoma’s annualized hotel room occupancy rate exceeds 80 percent.” In all of the letters and debates, I… Continue Reading >>


Don Quixote and Measure B

By Tom Thornley What disturbs me about the well-intentioned efforts of Measure B proponents is that there is only a marginal connection between the perceived problem, to quote Larry Barnett, “most residents feel Sonoma is getting too hurried, too crowded, too noisy and they don’t like it,” and the proposed solution, essentially banning hotels of… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Ridiculing flag ceremony is beyond the pale

Editor, Index-Tribune: The Sonoma Index-Tribune provided great coverage of the flag retirement ceremony that I participated in on Veterans Day along with 1st District Supervisor Susan Gorin, council member David Cook and Blue Star Mother-council member Laurie Gallian. The event was produced by VFW Post #1943 and their Ladies Auxiliary. Yesterday on the Index-Tribune website,… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Citizens’ voice must be heard again

Editor, Index-Tribune: Deja vu all over again: Big business, big money and big lobbying are at it again. And we’re being led to believe we need to drink their Kool-Aid. Remember, we were told we needed a massive casino. We, the citizens, responded with “Cows, Not Casinos.” We were told we needed a massive new… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Measure B is good for Sonoma

Editor, Index-Tribune: Perhaps our fellow citizens of Sonoma have noticed that the supporters of Measure B have run a campaign that is straightforward, with no false claims or negative statements about those who oppose the measure. This gives hope that the business of politics can be handled with respect for one another, honoring each individual’s… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Edwards’ boycott hurts community

Editor, Index-Tribune: One thing we all seem to have in common is that we love our town and we all feel very fortunate to live here. It is one of the most beautiful places in the country, with an incredible history and small-town charm. As a small business owner in Sonoma, I have also had… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Facts vs. fear

Editor, Index-Tribune: The authors of Measure B drafted their initiative with zero research or evidence to back their arguments. Proponents have waged a campaign based on theatrics by continually trying to convey their message with scare tactics, using words like “large” and “destroy.” What if Larry Barnett is wrong about Measure B? Ask yourself, how… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Think before you vote

Editor, Index-Tribune: What are they thinking? As I ride through Sonoma and see “yes” and “no” Measure B signs, it amazes me that there is so much opposition to the Hotel Limitation Measure. Yes, I have heard the good words and read the facts. The facts, stated over and over, seem biased and somewhat unbelievable.… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

‘They’ crowd Sonoma, ‘I’ don’t

Editor, Index-Tribune: I enjoyed the balanced editorial regarding the approach suggested for Measure B (“Real issue, wrong solution,” Nov. 4). If I were a Sonoma voter, I would vote “no”. My own opinion, ignited because I feel “Yes on B” proponent Larry Barnett is presenting a faux persona and is an intellectual pipsqueak, caused me… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

What about the water?

Editor, Index-Tribune: We are wondering why little or nothing has been mentioned about the issue of water. Bigger hotels, more people, more laundry, more restaurants will mean a huge increase in water usage while Sonomans have been asked to conserve water. Vote “yes” on Measure B, the hotel limitation measure, which will help to preserve… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Non-existent hotel problem

Editor, Index-Tribune: Next week, voters will chart the future of our small town by deciding whether we reverse our economic progress or preserve our ability to consider well-developed, tasteful hotel proposals in the future. The Hotel Limitation Measure would ban the construction of virtually all new hotels in the City of Sonoma while preventing hotels… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Measure B is a matter of money

Editor, Index-Tribune: The issue of Measure B has come down to a matter of money. The “yes” on B people are mailing out self-published photocopies of their material while the “no” on B people have sent out at least four professionally-produced, multi-colored mailers to Sonomans, plus a full-size billboard on Highway 12 in the Springs.… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Big hotel? Think before you vote

Editor, Index-Tribune: Yes on B keeps any future hotels built in Sonoma at a reasonable 25 rooms or less. If a big hotel is what you want, think before you vote. Talk to the residents in Rohnert Park and ask them how the new traffic jams have impacted their lives with the new casino. Even… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Architect of wealth?

Editor, Index-Tribune: Ned Forrest knows a thing or two about “luxury” and “exclusivity,” two adjectives used in his letter to the editor. As the owner of some of Sonoma’s prime real estate locations, he counts a tasting room and event planner as his historic building’s tenants. Ironically, Measure B supporters criticize tasting rooms and event… Continue Reading >>

ON TUESDAY, OCT. 22, more than 50 people gathered at Maxwell Farms Regional Park to remember Luis Miranda, who was killed in the park in 2007 when he was 17. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

The power of a picnic table

Moments after he was gunned down in an obscenely-senseless act of callow bravado by another 17-year-old blindly trying to impress an older member and mentor in what police categorize as a criminal street gang, 17-year-old Luis Miranda collapsed and died on a wooden picnic table at the southwest edge of Maxwell Farms Regional Park. It… Continue Reading >>

Valley Forum

Quake fault info a must

By Thomas D. Elias Anyone who has seen the epicenter of a major earthquake following a temblor knows that California’s legal and scientific priorities have lately been seriously skewed. Now, put these recent events together: First, the state Legislature passes and Gov. Jerry Brown signs a new law to require development of a comprehensive statewide… Continue Reading >>


When grownups bully over baseball

By Monica Rosales For the past four years, we have been going trick or treating in the Fryer Creek area along all the homes across from Train Town, and we have always had a fun and friendly experience. Until this year. Victoria, who is 10-years-old, decided to be a Dodgers baseball player, because she is… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Joyous new mural in the hospital hallway

Editor, Index-Tribune: The new wing at Sonoma Valley hospital is the result of a lengthy, sometimes arduous process that involved the people of Sonoma Valley, the hospital’s board of directors and its staff, with many months – if not years – of public discussions and arguments, and more than one popular voting process. The combined… Continue Reading >>