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Letters to the Editor, July 3 - 6

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A 3-minute democracy

EDITOR: Want to participate in your city government? You’ve got three minutes!

Under current City Council protocol, a citizen who wishes to participate in a discussion at a public meeting is limited to only three minutes of comments and the citizen cannot make a request to, or ask a question of, the City Council.

This is not the protocol that was employed in the past and is not an approach that encourages citizen participation in our city government; actually it discourages citizen participation.

This three-minute limit and red light on the podium is demeaning to the citizen seeking to participate when a friendly “could you begin to wrap-up your comments” from the Mayor would suffice in those instances where the citizen-speaker goes on for a time that would generally be considered excessive or has gotten off topic.

This protocol needs to be discarded except possibly for single-issue meetings with an extraordinarily large numbers of attendees.

Robert Demler

Sonoma

Best night ever, indeed!

EDITOR: Last weekend I was treated to the best night ever!

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the Green Music Center was a musical gift and truly inspiring!

Sonoma Media Investments CEO Steve Falk was the surprise conductor for the final piece… and did a fabulous job representing Sonoma Media and our county! Thanks Steve!

The performance brought tears to my eyes as they played the “Battle Hymn to the Republic”! The evening performance was dedicated by the Choir to the Sonoma community and to provide a musical gift of healing for those recovering from the wildfires!

A very special night indeed… for the 3,000 attendees in the GMC/Weill Hall venue and on the outside lawn!

Gary D. Nelson

Sonoma

Drive safe this 4th of July, Sonoma

EDITOR: Many drivers head to the highways in the 14 weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Due to the traffic congestion, it can be deadly. That depends on each driver.

A drunken driver hit me when I was 16 in 1992 and I was severely injured. I never expected that to happen, but it did. My hearing, talking and walking were damaged.

Ironically, drivers who use cell phones believe nothing will happen. They may find out differently and it may be the last thing they do.

Safe roads begin with safe drivers: Make it a routine to turn off your phone or place it on silent when driving. Beeps or vibrations will tempt you to look.

Keep it out of reach. Placing it in the glove compartment, back seat, or trunk are a few recommendations.

If you continue driving like this, it will become a habit. Driving with a cell phone by you will eventually seem unusual.

Let’s say, you want to find an easy route to Bodega Bay or know where your friend is located there? Find a place to park your vehicle and find the information using your phone then.

Also, keep looking at the road with sober eyes. If drinking is done at any gathering you attend, please make sure a sober driver drives you. Those are the eyes all drivers should have.

Please, do this each time you drive. You will not regret it.

Lori Martin

Tracy