Opinion Related:  Editorials | Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

Bolling gets the ‘F’?

Editor, Index-Tribune: We have all heard of sore losers, but sore winners?  David Bolling’s Dec. 17 editorial (“An ‘F’ for SCCA report card”) in which he criticizes Sonoma County Conservation Action for their grading of local elected officials is a case in point. One of the points he takes issue with is that the SCCA… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

5 acres going to the dogs?

Editor, Index-Tribune:

I’ve been reading your newspaper online in preparation for a Wine Country vacation and, because I’m a dog lover, I couldn’t help notice the ongoing controversy over access to open space where dogs are allowed. That led me to wonder why no one in your lovely Valley seems to have proposed one obvious solution – a commercial dog park.


An ‘F’ for SCCA report card

When Pete Wilson, then a U.S. Senator, was campaigning for governor in 1990, he sought the endorsement of Friends of the River, an influential environmental organization and the largest river conservation group in the state. Wilson, then a moderate Republican, had been a key vote in support of adopting federal Wild and Scenic status for… Continue Reading >>

Cal Focus

Hope for ‘DISCLOSE Act’ in 2014

If there’s one main reason behind the distrust many Californians feel for government and elected officials at all levels, it may be the way special interests regularly pour millions of dollars into election campaigns while managing to hide their identities.


The financial hole in the Delta Water Tunnels

A comment I made comparing the twin tunnels of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to high speed rail, and printed in the San Jose Mercury News, stated “The financial hole in this is at least as large as the financial hole in the high-speed rail plan.” That requires some explanation, so here are some of the simple calculations behind the statement.

Letter to the Editor

Kindness and generosity of a stranger

Editor, Index-Tribune:

The holiday spirit of giving is alive and well in Sonoma, as I so experienced this morning. I was on my way to bring my husband home from the hospital after a two-week bout of medical problems. My car was low on gas and I was headed in a direction away from my usual gas station, where the personnel would fill my car with gas for me, as I am mobility disabled. Bonneau’s was on my way, so I stopped there.

Letter to the Editor

Alternative needed to BDCP

Editor, Index-Tribune:

I issued the following statement in response to last week’s release of the draft documents on the proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), for which public comment is now being taken:

Letter to the Editor

Christmas Carol ‘a gem’

Editor, Index-Tribune: Run, don’t walk, to get your tickets for “A Christmas Carol” in Andrews Hall at the Sonoma Community Center. It is a gem. There are three more performances, starting next weekend, Friday, Saturday and Monday, Dec. 20, 21 and 23. J’Anny and Ed Nelson El Verano


Words of love and wisdom from Sandy Hook

Saturday marks the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre that took the lives of 20 young children and seven adults in an act of violence that remains difficult, if not impossible, to imagine.

THE MURPHYS’ DINING ROOM, filled with antiques, was the setting for many of our family Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Index-Tribune archive photo

Holidays at the Barracks

My earliest childhood memories of holidays in Sonoma were centered in the Sonoma Barracks, which was the home of my grand-aunt and uncle, Celeste and Walter Murphy, until their passing in 1962.


Chillin’ in the fro-zone with Satan

Dear God, Supreme Being, Creator of All Things and Absentee Landlord – Hope all is well up north. Down in hell, thanks to the super-frosty weather you’ve unleashed upon your dominion, everything here has arrived in the proverbial hand basket.

Letter to the Editor

Mandating living wage is Marxist

Editor, Index-Tribune:

In response to the letter from Will Shonbrun (Index-Tribune Dec. 10, “$15 is a real living wage,”) I would ask, Will, can you define what makes up the living wage of $15 you demand? Does it include any costs of benefits?

Letter to the Editor

Drakes Bay pro bono case, contracts and homeowner rights

Editor, Index-Tribune: Regarding Drakes Bay Oyster Farm’s ongoing litigation: Pro Bono work is not free. It comes at considerable cost to the legal firm providing the services. It is not a tax-deductible expense for the law firm or lawyers themselves. Pro Bono services do not necessarily cover all expenses associated with a case. Each situation… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Homeowner rights are property rights

Editor, Index-Tribune:

Regarding the Democratic Party and property rights – the 2012 California Democratic Party Platform includes the following plank addressing protecting existing homeowner property rights:

Letter to the Editor

Share your budget priorities

Editor, Index-Tribune:

Two months ago, we saw Congress at its worst: a 16-day government shutdown that never should have happened, which caused an estimated $24 billion in costs to our economy and eroded faith in our government.


Mandela legacy

Nelson Mandela transformed South Africa in part because he was first able to transform himself. And therein, of course, lies perhaps the greatest lesson of his remarkable life, and the hardest one to learn. Because he was somehow able to find in his years of imprisonment a form of personal liberation that freed him from… Continue Reading >>

Cal Focus

Court ruling could make bullet train affordable, sensible

By Thomas D. Elias Whether it’s the possibility of a magnetic levitation train or the hyperloop proposed by Elon Musk, the route of potential alternative designs for California’s putative bullet train invariably follows Interstate 5 from just west of Bakersfield to the San Francisco Bay area. That’s why the Thanksgiving week ruling by a Sacramento… Continue Reading >>

Valley Forum

Ban the Cyclocross at Maxwell Farms

By Teri Shore This is an excerpted copy of a letter I sent to Caryl Hart, executive director of Sonoma County Regional Parks: I was shocked and dumbfounded to find on the very wet morning of Dec. 7, Maxwell Farms Regional Park was cordoned off for the Bike Monkey and CX Nation Cyclocross mountain bike… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

A heartless thief and a stolen gift that won’t be given

Editor, Index-Tribune: To the thug who helped himself to my backyard patio last night to steal my newly-delivered, 46-inch, Samsung TV, I want you to know it was a gift for my 83-year-old, wheelchair-bound client, who is suffering with MS. She watches TV all day long and has an old one from the 1980’s. I… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

$15 is a real living wage

Editor, Index-Tribune: People who tout $10 to $11 an hour as a living wage do not have labor’s interest at heart. Fifteen dollars an hour is a living wage in today’s world, as it is in Sonoma and as it’s recognized in Australia. Ten to eleven bucks an hour is a minimum wage, as that… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Oyster rights that are not self-evident

Editor, Index-Tribune: Regarding the ongoing Drakes Bay oyster farm controversy: The federal government owns the land, but only one bureaucrat, former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, made the decision about how that land will be used and disposed of in this particular case. And he made an arbitrary decision to make the land go back to… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Oyster contract can’t be forced

Editor, Index-Tribune: Here’s an alternate take on the (Drakes Bay) oyster situation: The American Revolution enshrined the merchant class over the aristocracy. Freedom of contract is the business class’s highest value. The oyster guy’s contract ran out and was not renewed. The oyster guy and his supporters then feel this isn’t fair and want to… Continue Reading >>


Car seat rant no. 4

During the nearly eight-year lifespan of my youngest child I have railed in this space at least three times already about the absurd absence of standardized anchor systems for children’s car seats. Each editorial tantrum has invariably followed the obscenity-laced experience of attempting to properly install my daughter’s car seat. I rarely remove it, but… Continue Reading >>