Opinion Related:  Editorials | Letters to the Editor

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 >>

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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 >>