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Letters to the Editor, May 5 - 8

Time to breach protocol

EDITOR: Representative Thompson’s town hall felt surreal. Are we really having this normal conversation about issues – yes, many very important – as if this were a normal time under a normal administration? In one of the few mentions of our uniquely bizarre political environment, Thompson said that the House committee that is supposed to investigate the Russian connection is doing nothing, but that the Senate committee is. That committee has not one full-time staffer, and it has not interviewed one key witness. Thompson suggested we should allow the process to play out and to “let the chips fall where they may.” This is no time for letting chips fall.

In the entire meeting, no one was willing to talk about the orange-haired elephant in the middle of the room. We cannot proceed politely as if this is all just politics as usual. Our entire social safety network (including health and education) and all the rights which have been so hard won over the last century are under immediate threat, as is the stability of the entire world.

In the “only breach of protocol,” the lone agitator shouted a question, not a statement: “What are you doing about impeachment?” I know. It was me. This elicited Thompson’s one clear statement about the leader of the free world: “I think this president is terrible. I think he is doing a terrible job.” But, he’s willing to work with him. It’s time to breach some protocol, folks.

Tarney Baldinger

Sonoma

Plastic frown

EDITOR: I was happy to see the turnout for the climate march on the Plaza on Saturday, but felt kind of empty when I got home and thought it all over. A gigantic plastic bottle assemblage was presented, that represented what the middle school used in one day. There was a statement made about reducing this type of waste in tourism.

I have noticed that many of our wine club, charitable, community and entertainment events now have refillable water stations. But now instead of using washable glass, they are handing out plastic “Govina”

glasses. Why is this allowed?

We need some new rules from both our City Council and our 1st District Supervisor. Let’s get all the plastic out of our permitted events and the hospitality industry, period. And for that matter let’s just put a cap on all tourism development going forward at both the city and the district level in our county. If you can make exclusion zones for vacation rentals, how about one big exclusion zone for mega development, gratuitous pollution and non-reusable and unnecessary plastic stuff?

Our elected officials need to start listening to the earth, instead of the big business and libertarian segments of our Valley.

Josette Brose-Eichar

Boyes Hot Springs

All about the ER

EDITOR: A few times in recent years I have been taken to the Sonoma Valley Hospital emergency room for a medical emergency. The trip to the hospital took only a few minutes. I got immediate, excellent care, and was followed up at Kaiser in Santa Rosa.

I’m a longtime Kaiser member but have been so grateful that I didn’t have to spend 40 minutes on the road getting to Kaiser Santa Rosa’s ER or to Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa for emergency care.

Without a hospital emergency room, ours would suddenly be a much less attractive and much less safe place to live, greatly impacting our quality of life and the desirability of our town as a destination to visit and to live in.

The modest tax proposed by Measure E is a small price to pay to significantly increase one’s chances of survival in a medical emergency.

Joseph Cutler

Sonoma

Hospital provides safety, security

EDITOR: On March 26 of this year I was home alone on a Sunday night, and shortly after dinner, the right side of my face went numb. I’m 81 years old and have had more than a few friends who have suffered strokes, so that’s the first thing I feared. I went through the checklist: Is my face drooping? Can a lift both arms? Can I smile? About 8 p.m., I drove myself to the Sonoma Valley Hospital emergency room. The staff immediately went into action, interviewed me, examined me, and shortly after I arrived I was having the first of two CT scans. A few hours later I drove home with a prescription for an infection in my jaw, nothing life threatening, I wasn’t having a stroke, I was able to go to bed without the fear and uncertainty of the previous four hours. And, more importantly, if I had been suffering a stroke, I would have had immediate and possibly life-saving care.

After 42 years in this town, having raised three children here, our family has had an intimate relationship with the SVH emergency room -- broken bones, serious cuts and bruises, yards of suture thread, two kidney stones and one chainsaw miscalculation on my part, and much more. The value of having a hospital with a responsive and efficient ER has been central to our feeling of safety and security as a family. Clearly, Sonoma needs this invaluable institution.

Please join me in supporting Measure E to ensure that our hospital and our ER will continue be there as a source for medical care for all the families in our community.

Larry Murphy

Sonoma