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Opinion Related:  Editorials | Letters to the Editor

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 >>

Valley Forum: What about Fukushima?

Most conversations I have these days about wild, edible seaweed on the Pacific coast include the question, “What about Fukushima?” I was heartened when Rep. Jared Huffman said he is working for an urgent international commitment to deal with the ongoing catastrophe of the crippled nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan. Speaking at a bucolic harvest… Continue Reading >>

Los Altos leaf-blower ban – no problem

Editor, Index-Tribune: Of all the “green” communities in the country, Sonoma should be out in front and setting an example by taking one of the “greenest” steps it can: banning leaf blowers. We should be the first city in the county to step up on this one. David Bolling’s editorial comment, in the Aug. 30… Continue Reading >>

Roundabouts are smart and green

Editor, Index-Tribune: It is great to see the progress being made on the long-needed roundabout being installed at the intersection of Agua Caliente Road and Arnold Drive. This intersection has long been a bottleneck along an otherwise good alternate corridor through our Valley.  In my experience with roundabouts, since first encountering them in Europe in… Continue Reading >>

Ban leaf blowers once and for all

I was heartened to read David Bolling’s editorial in the Aug. 30 Index-Tribune (“Raucous, nerve-wracking noise”). Editorial support for banning leaf blowers in our fair town is a good sign. The time has come, not to just scale back or confine use to electric versions, but to ban all leaf blowers outright. As the editor… Continue Reading >>

Raucous, nerve-wracking noise

At first glance, it should be one of the less complicated public policy issues to confront any city. On the one hand, there is the emotionally satisfying opinion that gas-powered leaf blowers (and perhaps their electrified cousins) are spawn of satan, demonic, howling, inhuman, ear shattering, raucous, nerve wracking (remember those last two terms) and… Continue Reading >>

A rave review for the Birthplace: Valley Forum

On Aug. 19, at 8:07 in the morning, my daughter Amelia Michele was born, and although this was one of the greatest experiences of my life it is not the only reason for my writing this letter. I am writing to share the absolutely wonderful experience we had at the Birthplace, at Sonoma Valley Hospital,… Continue Reading >>

Roundabout a refreshingly proactive solution

Editor, Index-Tribune: Let’s begin with a truism: Change is never easy. Since roundabouts are a common site in all of the rest of the developed world, and in many areas of the eastern part of the United States, one might assume that traffic flow is augmented by their presence. Furthermore, it is likely that the… Continue Reading >>

Don’t clip Anderson’s wings

Editor, Index-Tribune: Was Darius Anderson’s hotel proposal so bad? I think not. We have lived here for 45 years and dearly love Sonoma. There have been many changes, but life is full of change. Not located within the city, we cannot vote, but I can make a statement. I think Mr. Anderson is offering us… Continue Reading >>

Greetings to Dickie from SVDOG

Editor, Index-Tribune: Sonoma Valley Dog Owners and Guardians (SVDOG.org) extends a warm welcome to one of our pack’s newest members, Dickie, City of Sonoma’s first K-9 Officer. Dickie is a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois/German shepherd mix, hails from Hungary and is reportedly bilingual. He has already been involved in a few drug busts and is getting… Continue Reading >>

Do gangs rule?

Editor, Index-Tribune: A few weeks ago, the police broke up a gang fight in the parking lot of a bar. The gang scattered and came down to the Plaza and caused two bars on the Plaza to close for a few hours. Then they started in the Plaza during “the city party” and broke the… Continue Reading >>

Conspiracies and grains of truth

Conspiracy theories seem to be woven into the fabric of human DNA, beginning perhaps with Eve and that wily serpent. Some are enduring (the New World Order/Trilateral Commission actually rules the world, fluoridation is a communist plot, there’s a space alien entombed in Roswell, N.M.), some have enough threads of credibility to warrant careful scrutiny… Continue Reading >>

BEGINNERS CLASS, Red Cross swimming program, 1947, at Boyes Springs Bath House.  On far left is Mrs. Garrett Welch, who was in charge of the program at the time.  On the right is Lucien Massa, instructor. (Index-Tribune file photo)

Boyes Springs Bath House: Where local kids learned to swim

Back in the days when Sonoma Valley had many commercially-operated public swimming pools, the biggest and most popular was the Boyes Springs Bathhouse.
Located just north of the Sonoma Creek Bridge on Boyes Boulevard, the bathhouse had been a Valley resort since it was founded in the 1880s by Capt. H.E. Boyes.