Letters to the Editor, Nov. 28 - 30

The term 'Caesar's wife' refers to the Roman emporer's famous comment that his 'wife ought not even to be under suspicion' if the people are to trust their leader. Mrs. Caesar -- Pompeia, above -- was rumored to have been in an extramarital tryst with a young patrician, (Sketch by Colleen McCullough from her novel, 'Caesar's Women.')


Yahoo? Hypocrite? Let’s call the whole thing off!

EDITOR: In spite of the preponderance of evidence supporting the notion that Roy Moore is a prevaricating pedophile, the Alabama state GOP does not maintain a Caesar’s wife political standard for their judge. One could ask if that makes them an unkindness of amoral yahoos or horde of moronic hypocrites. Yet, if the conjecture that their good old boy is the subject of a witch hunt, they at least have the assurance that if he be found guilty of giving false witness, the country will not burn the warlock at the stake.

Mike Heiman


All we are saying, is give trees a chance…

EDITOR: I completely agree with Caitlin Cornwall’s comments in the paper about not being in a rush to cut down burned trees. They may look dead, but give them a year and most of the oaks, and other trees in the chapparal, will come back to life.

I know the trees will regrow, I have seen this with the redwoods on Highway 121 which were burned in the pallet company fire a few years ago. And I’ve seen it in the regrowth of the eucalyptus in the Napa Valley after the freeze. Native oaks, madrone and other woodland trees (even some of them in our own yards) are resilient. They were made to withstand fire. They might not be attractive at the moment, but be patient, give them time to recover. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

It’s a shame that someone acted so quickly with a knee jerk reaction and cut down the beautiful, large oaks on Highway 12 at Watmaugh. Those trees deserved another chance. They were beautiful. Judicious trimming to keep them from the power wires was all that was necessary, in my opinion. If you look at the stumps, it looks like the wood was solid on most, if not all, of those trees. Too bad.

I urge everyone with fire-damaged trees on their property to be patient. We all went through something horrendous. Maybe those trees are reminders. But try to turn them into reminders of how resilient we are when spring brings new growth.

Shelley Arrowsmith


Hold rent gougers accountable

EDITOR: I was shocked to read in Friday’s Index-Tribune about the cases of post-fire disaster Sonoma apartment evections with 60 percent increases in rent for new tenants (“Rent Hike Incident Under Review,” Nov. 17). Even before the fires we had an affordable rental housing crisis in Sonoma, so this type of rent gouging is just plain immoral, in addition to probably being illegal. Those responsible for these heinous actions should be held to account. I urge the affected tenants and the Sonoma County District Attorney to publish the names and contact information for these property owners/landlords/real estate investors, so that they can be targeted with a social media public shaming campaign. Such unscrupulous property owners should not be able to hide behind rental managers whose phones have been disconnected.

Matt Metzler


Emergency system couldn’t save self

EDITOR: It increasingly appears people lost their lives because of the inadequacy of the county emergency alert system. Like so many others, we awoke and evacuated thanks only to the loud knocks on the door from a wonderful neighbor who was awake and saw the fire approaching. A Kenwood resident on the opposite side of the Valley had no warning whatsoever. She said it was the smoke that stirred and got her to look out the front window and see the flames rapidly closing in on her home. Fortunately, she escaped, albeit barely, with her children and dogs.

A sleeping winery owner in that same area told me he was awakened by his dog whose keen sense of smell saved them both.

Everyone is sorry that Susan Gorin lost her home and precious belongings. It is tragic, and we all feel for her and her family. But equally tragic are the lives that were lost and may have been saved if the county had had an acceptable emergency warning system in place. Amid the expressions of grief, the calls for appreciation, gratitude and love, and the desire to “listen and learn,” this is something the county – its supervisors, administration and

staff – needs to address and fix and soon.

Gary Kozel


Two cheers, one woof for the Lodge!

EDITOR: Due to extensive smoke damage caused by the fire, we were forced to evacuate our home. After spending two weeks at a hotel in Petaluma we were able to move to the Lodge at Sonoma, where we stayed for almost four weeks. The staff at the Lodge could not have been warmer or more welcoming. During a difficult situation for us, they provided a friendly and caring environment that made our stay as pleasant as it could have been under the circumstances.

We were surprised to find out that the Lodge at Sonoma is one of only two hotels/motels in the town of Sonoma that allow dogs. In that regard, Petaluma is a lot more welcoming.

Sandy and Rick Baggelaar