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Letters to the Editor, Nov. 14 - 16

Letter writer wouldn't want to test safety by standing next to liquid petroleum gas-filled tankers as roaring brush fire hit. Any takers?

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NWP playing with fire

EDITOR: I read with interest Christian Kallen’s story about those LPG tank cars (“Rail Officials: Petroleum Tankers Not a Fire Risk,” Nov. 7) and how Northwestern Pacific officials assured everyone that they posed no risk to life and property during the Sonoma Valley brush fires.

Back in 1976, when I was a reporter for the Flint Journal in Flint, Michigan, I covered the explosion of an LPG tanker truck that plunged off a freeway overpass. The driver was killed, and dozens were seriously injured in an explosion scene much like the ones I witnessed after VC rocket attacks in Vietnam. If the spark from a crashing truck can set off such devastation, what might a roaring brush fire do to a tank load of LPG?

The carrier has no control over what it carries? And the fire came within 100 yards of the tanker cars? That’s only a few yards more than Tom Brady throws a football on a rain-free Sunday in Boston. I don’t think I’d want to test the validity of your NWP sources by standing near one of those tankers as a roaring brush fire hit it.

Dan Koger

Louisville, Kentucky

Citizens need help, not a party

EDITOR: I only recently returned to my Sonoma home after nearly four weeks as a refugee from the fire and smoke that sadly turned our world upside down in Sonoma County. On Nov. 3 you reported the Sonoma City Council has voted 4-0 to throw a $60,000 “civic appreciation event” (“Sonoma Officials Planning ‘Civic Appreciation’ Event,” Nov. 3) to honor the firefighters, first responders and volunteers who worked so courageously during the firestorms – and that City Manager Cathy Capriola has suggested it could coincide with the annual Lighting of the Plaza event on Nov. 18. What a stupid idea!

The city could have a special commemorative medal designed to give to all the firemen and first responders with our heartfelt gratitude for their courageous efforts during the firestorm. It wouldn’t cost $60,000, but would be a meaningful keepsake.

And the bulk of the $100,000 allocated to this new “Disaster Recovery Fund” could be used to counsel and help our grieving and hurting citizens who are trying to put their lives back together again. This would be a wiser use of city funds than throwing yet another party in the Plaza!

Lynne Joiner

Sonoma

Honored to be honorary mayor

EDITOR: I was overseas when the fires came. Back a few days, I have seen the destruction and felt some of the sorrow, but I have also seen the energy and determination going into the recovery. Our community will arise from the ashes because we help each other. I am proud to be the Alcalde of such a community.

Ted Eliot

Sonoma Alcalde 2017

A fond farewell

EDITOR: It is not often one thinks warmly about a rest home. But I do.

My mother, who had dementia and was going to be 100 this month, died in October at Broadway Villa, next to Train Town.

She had wonderful care at the Villa for the last six years of her life. They show such gentle kindness toward all their patients.

Yes, I will always remember the rest home fondly.

Loretta Hibbard

Sonoma