Opinion Related:  Editorials | Letters to the Editor

Valley Forum

CDP takes a ‘no action’ on Drakes Bay Oyster Farm

By Yannick Phillips Delegates of the California Democratic Party (CDP) met in the Bay Area this past weekend and entertained several resolutions, one of them addressing an “Oyster Cultivation Rights” resolution and one a “Wilderness/Support Salazar’s Decision” resolution. The CDP took a “no action” vote on both. Speaking at the Environmental Caucus, in support of… Continue Reading >>


Squanto and a giant blue Smurf

Some years ago, I wrote a piece on the so-called “turducken,” the culinary abomination that shares its theme music with the Frankenstein movies, and received the following note from my pal Geoffrey Cain, who opined: “If you are going to write about the turducken, you should remember to mention the Brazilian turdukenaconda.

Letter to the Editor

An open letter on Measure B

Editor, Index-Tribune: We would like to thank those who came together as a community and made their voices heard by participating in last Tuesday’s election for Measure B, the Hotel Limitation Measure. The voter turnout demonstrated the high level of civic involvement in our community and reflects our mutual interest in planning the best future… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Listen to Pastor Rogers or Jesus?

Editor, Index-Tribune: Thanks to Roger Jack Young for providing those quotes from the pastor Adrian Rogers (Index-Tribune letters, “The words of Adrian Rogers,” Nov. 26), all of which declared, in essence, that the rich should feel no obligation to give any support to the poor: “You can’t multiply wealth by dividing it,” and so on.… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

A tale of mayoral whopping

Editor, Index-Tribune: The article in Tuesday’s Index-Tribune (“Another Brown Act violation?” Nov. 26.) seems to indicate that the City Council meeting had its tail docked, leaving nothing but the end of the story, for it begins, “At the tale end of a largely somnolent City Council meeting … “ And later, we read, “To Barbose,… Continue Reading >>


Guns – a personal history

When I was somewhat younger – decades actually – I shot and killed my neighbor, Bobby White, with a .45 caliber Colt “Peacemaker” revolver that had silver bullets in the cylinder and “Lone Ranger” etched on the barrel. I actually shot and killed Bobby numerous times, although occasionally I would let Bobby shoot and kill… Continue Reading >>

Cal Focus

The need for initiative volunteers

By Thomas D. Elias A recently vetoed California law that would have required at least some ballot initiative signatures to be gathered by volunteers, instead of paid workers, contained the following statement: “The voters amended the California Constitution to reserve for themselves the power of the initiative because financially powerful interests, including railroad companies, exercised… Continue Reading >>

Valley Forum

Veterans need more than a day – they need a career

By Thomas A. Kennedy America is home to 21.2 million veterans – men and women who were willing to risk their lives for our country. Unfortunately, many of these veterans face a daunting personal battle here at home: finding work. According to the labor department, more than 700,000 U.S. veterans are currently unemployed. This simply… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Sonoma is not an exclusive fraternity

Editor, Index-Tribune: I’m so relieved Sonoma voters struck down the ill-written Measure B. The people who want to “save” Sonoma at all costs, just cost the taxpayers an estimated $35,000 for an unnecessary election. I just wish the proponents and writers of this measure would have to pay the costs for this election. If there… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Violently ill over tainted victory?

Editor, Index-Tribune: I trust I’m not the only local citizen to fall violently ill watching the opponents of Measure B revel in their tainted victory last week. Make no mistake about it, this was one of the most deceitful and disingenuous campaigns in recent history, with big money and private interests trumping loyalty and common… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Jam on the door jamb?

Editor, Index-Tribune: Re: “Paint the whole town pink.” Perhaps the $186 check was needed to clean up the mess all that jam and paint created on the door jamb. Judy Thornton Sonoma (Editor’s note: We’d like to jam someone’s face into a bucket of strawberry jam for overlooking the door jamb typo (Letters, 11-22-13, “Paint the… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Thank Brown for killing leaf blower ban

Editor, Index-Tribune: Thanks to Ken Brown, we will not have a ban on gas leaf blowers. So say thank you by voting for Ken in the next election, and vote no on Laurie Gallian when she runs. Please do not forget to opt out of the new Sonoma Clean Energy this January and stay with… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

The words of Adrian Rogers

Editor, Index-Tribune: Adrian Rogers, an American pastor (1931-2005), wrote: “You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. “What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. “The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. “You… Continue Reading >>

Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

After Measure B

It’s over. And maybe it’s just beginning. Barring a stunning reversal in the delayed count of 308 vote-by-mail and provisional ballots yet to be certified at press time, Measure B was narrowly defeated on Nov. 19, following a voter turnout of roughly 60 percent. From that outcome we can draw at least two conclusions. First,… Continue Reading >>


Poverty, FISH and gleaning

By Sandy Piotter Early in October, an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle caught my eye. The editorial cited a study released by Stanford’s Center on Poverty and Inequity that recalculated poverty using the California Poverty Measure that factors in the high cost of housing and the use of safety net benefits. The result is… Continue Reading >>

Valley Forum

My little black rock (a little whimsy)

By S. R. Grimshaw, M.D. Last week, en route to water my droopy, hot hydrangea plants, I saw what I thought was a small black rock in the middle of the pavement to my front door. Close up, I saw that “the rock” had a tail. Sitting in the hot Sonoma sun, panting, was a… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Paint the whole town pink

Editor, Index-Tribune: The owners of Top That Yogurt on Broadway acted impulsively and painted their door jam pink in honor of breast cancer awareness. Before the paint could dry, the City of Sonoma Building Inspector had issued a letter of desist, stating that the store needed to submit a request to the Design Review Commission… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

VFW Post 1943 says thanks for buying poppies

Editor, Index-Tribune: Since 1922, the Buddy Poppy has been an integral part of the VFW community. The poppy movement was inspired by Canadian Army Col. John McCrae’s famous poem, “In Flanders Fields.” As VFW’s official memorial flower, the poppy represents the blood shed by American service members. It reiterates that VFW will not forget their… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

No Fukushima radiation on West Coast

Editor, Index-Tribune: An international team of scientists, led by Ken Buesseler of the Center for Marine and Environmental Radioactivity at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has found that there is no harmful contamination of seafood by radioactive discharge from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plants “except close to Japan.” Extensive testing of ocean waters, beginning… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Better late than never

Editor, Index-Tribune: At first, I was for Measure B.  But after reading all the letters, pro and con, I decided that the law would be a disaster for the future of the Valley. A 50-room hotel is small potatoes compared to what you might find in other tourist areas (think Honolulu). Gordon R. Harvey Sonoma

Letter to the Editor

A gateway to college for high school dropouts

Editor, Index-Tribune: Gateway to College is a program for students who have dropped out of high school or who are behind in credits that they need to graduate. To be eligible to get in to this program, you must be 16-to-21 years old. From my own experience, I recommend Gateway to College because it has… Continue Reading >>


The payoff of a great community effort

In the looming shadow of the Measure B vote, a celebration was held on Saturday that reaffirmed, for those who wondered, the essential community qualities that make Sonoma a special place. With the new emergency room and surgical wing as a backdrop, a distinguished assemblage gathered outside Sonoma Valley Hospital to pay tribute to the… Continue Reading >>

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No on B doesn’t mean hotel is approved

By Michael B. Ross As part of the local team planning the proposed hotel project on West Napa Street, I feel it is important to reiterate a few things that the community should consider as they cast their vote on Measure B, the Hotel Limitation Measure. Most importantly, voting “no” on Measure B does not… Continue Reading >>

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Passing the torch – JFK 50 years on

By James Rawls As a card-carrying member of the Baby Boom generation, I was a freshman at Vanderbilt University on the day JFK was assassinated. The president had spoken on campus almost exactly six months earlier and memories of his visit were still fresh. Early on the afternoon of Nov. 22, I was settling down… Continue Reading >>