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Letters to the Editor, June 13 - 15


Nonprofits should take heed

EDITOR: Earlier this month, the Sonoma Valley Fund released a report coming out of a study they commissioned to better understand the issues and challenges facing the Valley’s nonprofit and philanthropic sectors (“Report: Sonoma Philanthropy Must Change,” May 16). The two main findings revealed: 1.) a disconnect between the scale of the challenges facing Sonoma Valley and the current capacity and capabilities of our local nonprofit sector; and 2.) a need to challenge donors and nonprofits alike to work smarter and more collaboratively.

With the very real threat of draconian cuts to government funding to meet community needs, the nonprofit sector will increasingly be called on to solve local problems. Building the capacity of nonprofit organizations and increasing local support is therefor more important than ever before.

Having worked for three decades to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations, I see the potential before us, but will we rise up, and what will it take?

Sonoma Valley must break down barriers in our community and come together to craft a common vision and re-imagine a more effective way for the sector to flourish and meet changing needs. Further, we need donors and funders to move away from restricting their donations and to investing instead in core support. People are the backbone of any successful business. If nonprofit organizations cannot attract and retain effective leaders or invest in building their own capacity, they will continue to struggle to meet local challenges.

Sonoma Valley can heed the call of the Sonoma Valley Fund report if a broad cross-section of us comes together. I look forward to partnering with the SVF and others to advance this discussion and to developing a long-range plan that will excite a broad base to invest in not just the needs of today, but a vision for tomorrow.

Terri L. Miller

TLM Consulting, Sonoma

Alehouse of not-so-happy walls

EDITOR: I’m a little offended, just sayin.’

What’s with Cornerstone usurping the Jack London name to make a fey “London Taproom” (“Jack London Taproom Brewing at Cornerstone,” May 15)? The history of this legendary author does not belong to Sonoma. It doesn’t belong to Cornerstone. It belongs only to Glen Ellen and Oakland. London drank in Glen Ellen. He lived there, he wrote there, he watched the great fire of the ‘06 quake from Sonoma Mountain there. And for heck’s sake, he’s buried in Glen Ellen, not out in the boondocks at Cornerstone.

As for the “taproom,” Kenwood Investments’ counterfeit will suggest that London actually drank there. London drank at the Rustic Inn, at the London Lodge and other places in Glen Ellen. He did not drink at the London taproom. And London memorabilia belongs in a museum not used to sell craft beer.

I’m not an expert on London by any means. But I know bogus when I see it.

BJ Blanchard

Glen Ellen

Hotel Project Sonoma will create gridlock

EDITOR: The biggest reason I have for opposition to the Hotel Project Sonoma EIR is resulting traffic gridlock. I have a hard time getting through on my bike (especially east-bound on Napa Street or going west on Broadway). With cars, trucks and buses it will be much worse, and dangerous as well.

Another acute reason in my view is the complete lack of affordable housing on the property for its “proposed” workforce, that violates state law.

Also, its resulting impact on an already taxed valley groundwater supply, which was inadequately addressed in the EIR.

Finally, how are emergency vehicles responding to a call that requires passing the Plaza on either Napa Street (Highway 12) or Spain Street, supposed to safely negotiate getting through safely without hitting pedestrians or hitting other vehicles in an emergency?

To sum it up, I believe my points to be valid and I urge the Sonoma City Council, for the good of this Valley and all of its inhabitants, to reject the planning commission’s approval of this “proposed” project.

Chris R. Monroe

Boyes Hot Springs

You’re gonna make it after all…

EDITOR: My name is Emma Pomeroy-Carrillo. I am 17 years old and a former student at Sonoma Valley High School. I was supposed to graduate in June 2018 with friends I grew up with, but that changed during the second semester of my sophomore year. Like many other young people, I had situations that my family and I feel were not dealt with correctly by high school staff, and the stress and drama led me to start cutting classes. Eventually I stopped attending altogether. This was avoidable, and a terrible weight and stress was placed on me and my family. I take full responsibility for my actions and how it has affected my future, but I do not regret it. I have, however, begun to resent our schools and Sonoma Valley Unified School District in general. And I am not the only one who feels this way.

I was furious last month when a friend told me that he would not be graduating on June 2, with the rest of his class. He has continuously worked hard - harder than many others. He has attended school and done his work, albeit with the occasional late assignment and skipped classes like most of his peers. He did not have the best grade in his economics class, and did not turn in his final on time. Because the paper was late, his teacher denied his final, which resulted in him receiving an “F” in the class and not graduating.

His teacher and Sonoma Valley High School administrators did not have to go about this particular situation in this way. He was two days and an assignment away from graduating with his class.

I would not be writing this letter today if I had endured only a few incidents where compassion was not evident, when SVHS teachers and administrators did not help students succeed but, in fact, did just the opposite. The staff should want to see students succeed; instead they are failing students and failing themselves.

It takes both parties to be successful – students and teachers. It is unfair to all students who put in countless hours of work only to feel like some teachers, the school and the district are working against them.

Although there are some teachers who try to derail students on their path to success, I did have some amazing teachers, especially in middle school. I am thankful for those who truly cared and wanted the best for their students. You all know who you are. I want to thank you for some of the most important lessons you taught me and they were more about life and happiness than they were about anything else. You are the reason I lasted in our school system for as long as I did.

I know I will make it in this world with or without a high school diploma. I have an amazing job at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa, or SMI as we call it, where I can build a career. I am currently making up high school credits online through Pivot Charter School in Santa Rosa and plan to take the California School Proficiency Examination in June.

Emma Pomeroy-Carrillo

Sonoma Valley