Letters to the Editor, March 14 - 16

Immigration, illegal and not

EDITOR: You will notice first that I use the term, “illegal immigration,” because I’m tired of hearing the problem being called the politically correct term “immigration.” Experience has taught me that you can’t resolve a problem if you can’t correctly identify it, so call it what it is “illegal immigration.” As I see it the problem has multiple causes.

First and foremost, in my opinion, the problem is Mexico itself, an upper class and the peonies – no middle class. The Mexican government is either afraid of, or in collaboration with, the drug cartels, probably both.

We here in the United States say we are a nation of laws, and we are – except when we aren’t. The southern U.S. border problem didn’t start with nor was it caused by Donald Trump, but he has been the lightning rod to call the nation’s attention to the problem. I support Donald Trump’s goals but I don’t necessarily support his methods or his rhetoric. As I have stated many times in conversations, “I can love Donald Trump and hate Donald Trump in a single 10 second time period.”

The illegal immigrant problem isn’t new; it’s been around for decades. The problem is that neither political party wants a resolution that will satisfy both sides and, in my opinion, that is a dereliction of duty by Congress to us, the citizens of the U.S.

Do I believe all illegal immigrants should be deported? Absolutely not. The violent criminals who have committed a felony, including drug trafficking, must be deported. Those who are here and have abided by all of our laws, save immigration, should be given some type of guest worker permit and this permitting would be mandatory. Not to have a permit would be cause for deportation after the initial sign up period. Finding a path to citizenship should be addressed at a later date, don’t try and accomplish too much in one pass.

We need the labor force that a majority of the current illegal immigrants provide and my guess is that even Donald Trump relies on some these people, as well as many if not all members of Congress. When I hear all of the inciteful rhetoric being spewed by both the far right and the far left I shake my head in disbelief. We are a better people than this and it’s high time we started acting that way.

Arnie Riebli


More lives saved at other hospitals

EDITOR: As a retired neurologist, as a long-term hospital patient and as a former member of the Board of Trustees of a San Francisco hospital, I can assure Sonoma Valley Healthcare District Board members Peter Hohorst and Jane Hirsch that I do know something about medical care and hospitals (“Even One Life Saved Is Worth It,” March 7). I also know that it is a reality of life (and death) that economics matter. It is my belief that better medical care is available to our community and that we do not need to pay a parcel tax to achieve and maintain it.

The 24-hour emergency room clinic to which I referred is just that. It is an outpatient facility which provides basic medical care to those who don’t have a primary care provider available to them for whatever reason. (I noted at the SVHCD monthly board meeting last week that when it came time for the report on the hospital ER activity that the entire report consisted of “a lot of flu.”) Such clinics commonly have their own basic imaging services. Two physicians wanted to build the North Bay Imaging Center at 210 Perkins St. in 2005 with more advanced imaging technologies than SVH has today. It was successfully fought off by the then-CEO and hospital board. The third kind of stand-alone, out-patient facility which I mentioned was the “surgi-center.” These are rapidly taking over many orthopedic, plastic, eye and other surgical procedures around the county. Also for placing apparatuses for heart rhythm and pain control. In fact, Medicare is currently considering refusing to pay for admission to hospitals for routine hip replacements. Outpatient and subsequent homecare is much better for the patient, as well as safer and less expensive than hospitalization.

The ER argument (“a lot of flu” last month) is still being used as a scare tactic. See Hohorst/Hirsch letter: “Even if it only saves one life a year. It could be yours.” The argument could be made that more lives could be saved if more true emergencies were taken directly to truly full-service hospitals. Take me to one if/when I have a head injury or need an arterial stent or clot-busting enzyme for my heart or stroke disease. Can’t get it here.

Clayton Parson


False equivalency

EDITOR: Because he is one of the owners of several North Bay newspapers, it was shocking to read Darius Anderson’s commentary in the Feb. 28 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle, where he claims that the Women’s March in Sonoma was filled with hate signs, many carried by children. We, the undersigned, were at that march, where nearly 3,000 people showed up in our small town. None of us saw one hate sign in the crowd and some of us spent time today going through the photos of that march to make sure we didn’t miss something. Darius Anderson owes an apology to the people of Sonoma and a retraction letter to the Chronicle. Regarding the false equivalences Anderson cites, Barack Obama’s White House did not foster hate speech, but Donald Trump’s campaign certainly did. In the first days after the presidential election, the Southern Poverty Law Center administered an online survey to over 10,000 educators across the country. Their findings showed an alarming upswing in verbal harassment, slurs, derogatory language, and disturbing incidents among students since Trump’s campaign, many using Trump’s words. No, there is not equal hate speech on both sides. That assertion is “fake news.” One only has to look through news stories during the past year to see from where the hate speech emanates.

Georgia Kelly, Sarah Ford, Fred Allebach, Lisa Summers, Bob Edwards, Mara Lee Ebert, Will Shonbrun, Gigi Pfleger, Dave Ransom, Kimberly Blattner




EDITOR: Addressing the social and emotional needs of the students at Sonoma Charter School is an innovative collaboration between Dr. Macy, Hanna and private financial supporters of the “social-emotional learning and wellness” (SELWELL) program (“Resilience Takes Centerstage at SCS,” March 7)!

This could be a model for all schools in the Valley!

In June, at the end of second year of this project, we will assess the value and benefits for the students and the staff. If it proves to have a positive impact, we plan to continue the project for year three. We will then seek additional funding for the project. This program, when fully implemented and a proven success, could make a significant positive difference in our Sonoma Valley school community!

The Sonoma Charter School teaching staff deserves great credit for taking on this project… in addition to the many other responsibilities they have!

The data and feedback we have to date is very promising! If the community is interested in more information, please connect with Brian Farragher at Hanna or Kevin Kassebaum at SCS!

Marcia and Gary Nelson