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Letters to the Editor, July 28 - 31

‘Metal coffin on wheels’

EDITOR: You love your dog. You provide the best food and veterinary care. You exercise your pet and arrange fun activities to keep your companion happy and engaged in life.

Then you take your dog for perhaps its last ride, a “quick” trip to the store.

Try this experiment. On a hot Sonoma day, park you metal box, otherwise known as your car, on the street or simply leave it in your driveway. No shade permitted, which matters little anyway. Get in, crack the windows a couple of inches and sit there as the car quickly heats up. Minutes pass as you are inhaling more air than can be replaced by the small window openings. You are not allowed to drink any water. It would not help that much anyway. You’re now becoming more uncomfortable breathing faster, perspiring, perhaps feeling light-headed.

You may become nauseous and are very thirsty. By now you’ve been in your vehicle less than 15 to 20 minutes. If you own a small or dark-colored car the effects are even worse. Possibly you are now becoming frantic by the excessive heat that envelopes you.

But wait! You can open the car door and exit, saving yourself from heat stroke or death. Your precious dog or cat does not have that opportunity. Age and any medical problems increase all side effects of animal overheating.

People, use the most basic common sense and leave your beloved pet at home. You may not have a cool house or air conditioning but your overheated home is still much cooler than this metal coffin on wheels. Trapped in a car on a blistering summer day is a most violent and entirely preventable death. Prove by your actions that you really do love your cherished canine or feline companion. Please heed and pass on this heartfelt advice.

Sue Weingarten

Sonoma

The will of the people

EDITOR: I read with interest James Cribb’s letter regarding the City Council trying to reshape the Planning Commission (“Council Trying to Reshape Planning Commission,” July 18). My concern about the letter is less the politics that may be at play in City Hall, and more with a comment about how the City Council is doing its job properly when it comes to reviewing the EIR of the Hotel Project Sonoma.

The General Plan 2020 for the City of Sonoma is dated October 2006. Since then a number of economic changes have occurred, as well as business models that are very different 10 years later. AirBnB puts huge pressure on the availability of affordable housing. Tasting rooms for wineries that have no facilities proliferate in an area that once serviced the community, and there is intense tourism-based pressure on Sonoma, very little of which the 2006 General Plan addresses. Sure, the pressure of rentals, wineries, and tourists have always been a part of Sonoma, but not like they have in the last few years.

The General Plan likely represents the direction our community should take in 2006. Eleven years later, our priorities have changed, the business models exerting pressure on Sonoma have changed and, hence, the accuracy of the General Plan’s alignment with the citizens’ will has changed.

It is no affront to the Planning Commission that the City Council is questioning the project’s EIR. They represent the people in Sonoma, not the paperwork that was created a decade ago, and it is their job to ensure that the projects which are approved today, meet the will of the people today.

Tom Fogle

Sonoma

EIRs flawed

EDITOR: Steve Page knows all the tricks on how to get a very flawed Environmental Impact Report through the system. Fabulous lobbying, all kinds of “smoke and mirrors.” Steve is employed by Speedway Motors, owned by 90-year-old Bruton Smith, the father of Speedway Children’s Charities, which helps Smith ingratiate his Speedway Motors raceways into communities like Sonoma. Steve certainly has been an ideal employee for Mr. Smith. He is a major success in Sonoma; loved by the community for all his “public service.” Few of our dear citizens know that that is what he is paid for to curry the favor of hospitals and other charities. Former Supervisor Cale was made grand marshal as a reward for his support of the $35 million expansion some 17 years ago. Now the public suffers from gridlock and long delays on all highway leading to our Valley because of the raceway’s flawed EIR. The raceway is too large to be serviced by two-lane roads. But this major issue of traffic was glossed over just as this is being done for Darius Anderson’s hotel project! Both Darius Anderson and Steve Page share much in common; they love the term “world class” and have very different values than those of us who wish to maintain a healthy Sonoma and support values other than an extravagant and unsustainable lifestyle. I hope our City Council will take note and not be intimidated by Mr. Darius Anderson’s powerful presence in not only Sonoma County but in the state of California. He is very well-connected politically and economically and could make trouble for those with different values. Our town has bone well past the tipping point. I agree with last week’s letter (“We Have Become Disneyland for Wine Drinkers,” July 11). We need to learn to say enough is enough. But will we?

Marilyn Goode

Sonoma