Letters to the Editor, Dec. 8 - 11

Valley of the Moon Water District rate hike will benefit water wasters at the expense of moderate users, says letter writer.


‘Keep Estefania and Kaliyah’s memories alive’

The Soto family cannot thank the Sonoma community enough for its kindness and support during our recent tragedy. It has been a lot to comprehend and we know that we have a long way to go before it all sets in. We are a large family and we will make it through, but the kindness of family, friends (some like family), local businesses, coworkers and customers of Estefania, the school staff at Sassarini, La Luz for reaching out and assisting with a location for our gathering after the service, the Sonoma Valley Boys & Girls Club for its caring and concern as well as saying some kind words at their recent Youth of the Year program. The amount of donations through the YouCaring account has been amazing and too much to comprehend.

The good samaritans and first responders will always be in our hearts and our thoughts are always with them throughout their service to this lucky community.

We have felt all of the prayers and taken in all of the kind words and the generous donations of flowers and monetary to help make sure that Estefania and Kaliyah will rest beautifully and peacefully at their final resting place.

The amount of people that were at the services was unbelievable. We could feel and hear the love at Duggan’s.

There truly are no words for this chapter of our lives that will let everyone know how truly blessed we are to have been touched by your compassion. We know that it sounds cliché but we truly couldn’t have gotten this far in our grief without you.

Please continue to keep Estefania and Kaliyah’s memories alive by sharing stories with us when you see us. We will miss them but know that they live on in all of us and so many of you.

Jesus (Chuy), Benny, Aaron Soto

Glen Ellen

Rising tide for water rates

EDITOR: The Valley of the Moon Water District has announced a rate increase which is neither fair nor smart. Although they may have been forced to confront the current four tier rates they elected to pick a rate system that, in their words, is “bullet proof” that significantly lowers rates for the biggest users but raises rates by 20 to 40 percent for the majority of users that use moderate amounts of water. There will be a rate increase in February 2018 followed by another rate increase in July.

These rate increases will result in 70 percent of the bills rising 20 to 40 percent and those with very high use being lowered by 40 percent. You can protest these rate increases by sampling writing a note protesting this to VOMWD. You can get more information including a rate protest post card by contacting me at:

Steve Rogers

Sonoma Valley

Pedestrian safety now!

EDITOR: An open letter to Supervisor Gorin: As you know I, and so many others, have serious and ongoing concerns about the safety of cyclists and pedestrians on Arnold Drive.

I don’t know if there is movement behind the scenes, but I see none. I have spoken with you about it and heard from you your concerns and promises, but again, I can see nothing.

My wife worked tirelessly to try for improvement more than 10 years ago, and others before that.

Here’s my concern; nothing will continue to happen until there’s an even worse accident than the ones we’ve already suffered. (I have extremely experienced cyclist friends that have been taken out on Arnold). Then there will be much hand wringing, attention and concern, and maybe something will happen, but too late.

I don’t know if you know Steve Brumme, one of your more amazing constituents.

He has a long incredible story, but what’s relevant here is that he contracted polio earlier in life and currently commutes on a hand powered trike between Sonoma and Glen Ellen. I am painfully aware of my vulnerability on a narrow two wheeler out there, I don’t know if I would have the courage to risk it on three! I recently saw him out there and felt extreme exasperation toward you and your inaction on making this crucial link in our community safe!

Please bring me up to date on what is or isn’t happening to ensure our safety before the inevitable serious tragedy!

Paul Draper


Letter of gratitude

EDITOR: Thank you, City of Sonoma, for the amazing November Freedom Week celebration to thank and honor our “heroes” from Kenwood to Schellville. Thank you poster and sign artists, merchants, musicians, school, community groups and volunteers whose participation helped make the week such a phenomenal success. It is heartwarming to see the many posters and signs and the inspirational light pole banners surrounding the Plaza; they visually capture what we are all feeling at this time in our beloved Valley of the Moon. The love and concern demonstrated in so many ways so many people in Sonoma Valley tells the story of a community that puts aside differences and comes together when tested. May the “love in the air” continue to be a presence in our lives as we rebuild and support one another and our resilient community. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Elaine Akre