Opinion Related:  Editorials | Letters to the Editor

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Editorial: No more musical beds

On Tuesday, we commented here on the ongoing overcrowding crisis in California prisons and concluded that our prison system is failing. That failure is cast in sharp relief by the demand from federal court judges that the population in the state’s prison cells be further reduced to a level of about 110,000 prisoners. That level,… Continue Reading >>

‘Grate collection’

Editor, Index-Tribune: If you are one of those who are into “KITCH-N-STUFF,” you will love the new show at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. Kathleen’s collection is “grate!” John Brians Sonoma

Op-Ed: How schools succeed

Index-Tribune editor David Bolling accurately points out in his Sept. 6 editorial, “El Verano, the school with the lowest API score, has the highest percentage of both economically disadvantaged and English-language learner students” and he is absolutely correct in stating that, as a district and as a community, we must address the demographic profiles of our school populations, which is challenging work.


Old typewriters covered in leaves

As a writer, I’m subject to certain aesthetic ticks. Fortunately, the monocle and sword-cane phase didn’t last past adolescence. But others remain, such as my allegiance to the brass tacks styling of Portage brand reporter’s notebooks and ink black blazers. Unlike some of my colleagues, however, I don’t fetishize vintage typewriters – a phrase that,… Continue Reading >>

As prisons fail, put money into positive solutions

Editor, Index-Tribune: Thank you for that most insightful editorial on our current prison system (“Prison system is failing,” Sept. 10). It is one giant hole, that just keeps expanding and the public needs to know the full costs. Just one thing to remember here – privatizing the prison industry is big business and therefore fraught… Continue Reading >>

I’ll take blowers and clean Sonoma

Editor, Index-Tribune: This is to the moaners, groaners, complainers, whiners, and you people, you know who you are. So you want a trashy city and quiet. Well get your group together, booms, rakes, bags, to fill trash and other debris, collect at the Plaza or elsewhere. In place of blowers, do it yourself a couple… Continue Reading >>

We are broke

Editor, Index-Tribune: We are broke when it comes to Social Security. We are broke when it comes to Medicare. We are broke when it come to Obamacare. We are broke when it comes to welfare. We are broke when it comes to unemployment insurance. We are broke when it comes to aid for Hurricane Sandy… Continue Reading >>

Plaza towns at tipping point?

Recent statistics in the press have shown slow residential population growth in Sonoma County, at least relative to the booming pre-recession years.


Editorial: Prison system is failing

First, let’s review a few widely-known statistics, and then let’s talk about the current prison over-crowding conflict that has Gov. Jerry Brown, State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and the U.S. District Court in what could be crudely but appropriately referred to as a three-way political pissing match.

With gratitude to everyone who accepted the hospital challenge

Editor, Index-Tribune: To Kelly Mather for being the CEO who instills trust. To Darius Anderson for his passion for the project. To Harmony Plenty and her team for their support. To Marcia and Gary Nelson for their inspiration. To Simon Blattner and David Good for accepting and leading the charge. To Cabinet members Joe Aaron,… Continue Reading >>

Gas blower trade-in program?

I’d like to suggest that we revert back to the old fashioned, slow, soothing sound of raking leaves as a healthy alternative to those noisy, polluting, gas-guzzling leaf blowers.

Living wage best way to improve learning

If the vintners and growers in Sonoma County want to have a real impact on early academic achievement of county students in English and math, it won’t be accomplished through annual charity auctions despite the seeming generosity of such actions. It will be accomplished when the wine industry pays vineyard and winery workers a living wage, which is at minimum $15 an hour for a single person, and upgraded from there for workers married and with families.

More bombs won’t protect civilians or bring down Assad

I’m glad President Obama is seeking approval from Congress before taking military action in Syria, but I’m sorry he’s declining to bind himself to their decision. The use of chemical weapons, any weapons of war, against innocent civilians is a crime against humanity.

Hotel initiative not fair to existing hotels

The hotel initiative that is coming up for vote is more than a little strange. It favors new businesses over established ones and creates an illusion of control over the City. El Pueblo Inn was built more than 50 years ago and is still in our family. Should this initiative pass, we will not be able to expand or convert space to add even one room. However, someone could build a new hotel with up to 25 rooms. That doesn’t make sense.

Saving Calgary’s snow leopard

Editor, Index-Tribune: It was very interesting to read about saving the snow leopard (“Honored for saving the snow leopard,” Index-Tribune, Aug. 30). I have a nephew who spends his time with Panthera, an organization devoted to saving the big cats of the world. He’s from Calgary, Alberta, and during the big flood there he called… Continue Reading >>

Visionary focus on literacy

On Sunday, the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction shattered previous records by raising $1.4 million, including a staggering $691,250 for the “Fund the Future” campaign to improve childhood literacy. That money, more than twice the fund-a-need lot raised last year, will be divided among three county nonprofits working to raise reading levels and to lower the… Continue Reading >>

Cal Focus: What’s the point of citizenship?

As the lines begin to blur between American citizens living in California and immigrants who are here legally, it’s fair to ask, what’s the difference? What rights and privileges should be reserved strictly for citizens? These questions are highlighted by two bills that swept easily through the California Legislature, one already signed by Gov. Jerry… Continue Reading >>


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