Rec marijuana will wreck Sonoma
EDITOR: After witnessing the explosion of wine bars on the Plaza (I lost count at 30), we have an opportunity to get the marijuana situation right from the start. I support having medical marijuana available at the Sonoma Valley Hospital, as has been suggested by Cee Cee Ponicsan (“Up In Smoke,” Sept. 22). If it’s a medicine, let’s have it dispensed as a medicine. As for the recreational use, I believe Sonoma is too small a town to accommodate all the wine bars plus marijuana shops within city limits. And, the thought of selling both in the same place is beyond absurd. The questions we need to ask now are 1) How does Sonoma want to see itself in the next few years? 2) How will others see Sonoma and how does that determine who visits our town? These are important questions to explore now — before mistakes are made that are difficult to rescind.
The best way to get the pulse of the community on this issue is to hold one or two public forums — one where only residents of Sonoma can offer input because this is where we live and where our children grow up. Outside business interests should not take precedence over people who live here. Tax money to be made from these proposed ventures should not sway the council. The downside of selling recreational marijuana in such a small town is fraught with unintended consequences that could forever alter the quality of life in our wonderful town.
Passed the bar in more ways than one
EDITOR: Our elected officials at many levels, be it federal, state or local, disregard matters that may be, or certainly are, conflicts of interest. It is easier to look the other way than face controversy and do the right thing. That is a situation existing at our local level. It has been brought to the attention of our elected officials and appropriate staff that the city Prosecutor Bob Smith has an interest in an establishment that serves alcohol. Clearly a conflict of interest. Why is this not being investigated further to rectify this? Or at the very least, correct any misconception the electorate may have.
Field of dreams
EDITOR: I write this letter as a coach, a coach to hundreds of athletes in the Valley over the past 20 years, and for the last 10 years a coach at Sonoma Valley High School and I am now heading into my fourth year as the varsity girls soccer coach. For the past 10 years in the fall I have arrived at the school at 3:15 p.m., walked our soccer field, filled in gopher holes, removed rocks, and pulled weeds just so I can help provide a safe practice field for my girls, 40 or more to be exact between the JV and Varsity squads. On game days I have to move the goals into position, stake them down, make sure the field is lined, put out benches for both home and visiting team, provide water for both teams, set corner flags, fill in gopher holes, pick up garbage and, at some point, get my girls ready to compete in pregame warmups, then be able to focus on coaching them come game time! Sometimes twice a week! I can honestly tell you that I look forward to our road games! We travel to schools with facilities that are state of the art! We get there and the benches are permanent, the field is maintenance free, there is water near the bench, there is a trainer that will come over and introduce him or herself to my group and let them know that she is there and ready to help them if they should get injured! The lights are bright, the crowd is loud, the music is inspiring and when the game is over, the coach on the other side simply gets to leave! He doesn’t have to stay and undress the field, or worry if there is going to be enough daylight to get two games in! It’s effortless! Now I have to do all of the above, but during the winter! It’s an absolute nightmare. It’s time, in fact, it’s well overdue. We need an athletic facility, with lights, an all-weather playing surface, stands, restrooms, snack bar, a track, locker rooms, a training staff, everything that every other school in the county has, has had for years, or is getting in the near future! A place where our student athletes can be safe, and free to compete without worrying about the facility itself doing them damage. It’s time for Sonoma Valley High School students to be excited about hosting a home match, with their fans in full force. Instead of being embarrassed by their current facilities. Last season the varsity girls soccer team finished with a No. 8 seed in the NCS playoffs and we were slotted to play the No. 9 seed at our home, in front of our crowd! But we decided to play the game on the road because we do not have the ability to host a game, in the rain on a full size soccer field. That’s embarrassing! We deserve, the school deserves, the community deserves, our athletes deserve it!