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Letters to the Editor, Feb. 20 - 22

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These are dangerous times, America

EDITOR: In my view, DACA recipients are Americans. Many were brought here quite young, pre- and early grade school age. All their lives they’ve been American, educated and steeped in our American culture. Their functional language is English, many hold degrees, and vast majorities are employed and lead productive lives.

It wasn’t their decision to come here, they’ve played by the rules since they’ve been here, they pose no threat to anyone and they’ve become an integral part of the workforce. They are every bit American in every sense of what that means as everyone else. Do we want to boot close to a million such people from this country — people that we grew up with, went to school with, work with and live next door to?

What is their crime that they should be deported — ripped from their families, friends and the only lives they’ve ever known? This is flat out heartless cruelty compounded with rank stupidity.

That’s just nuts and seriously off the track, not to mention fundamentally immoral. It smacks of the darkest days in Europe before World War II. This is Trump’s vision of “America first,” racist and xenophobic, and it’s echoed by a third of the voting public.

We’re led by people who promulgate hatred and fear. These are dangerous times.

Will Shonbrun

Sonoma

Hoping to avoid another bad trip…

EDITOR: I am glad to see the Sonoma City Council’s reluctance to approve pot dispensaries in Sonoma (“Sonoma City Council Extends Cannabis Ban Another Year,” Nov. 8).

Anyone who thinks this is a good idea should take a walk down Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado where every other place of business is a pot dispensary and take a good look at the quality of the people hanging out there. Most people seeing this would be happy to return to a plethora of tasting rooms in Sonoma.

For the record, I am not against the legalization (and tight regulation) of pot. As a young divorced man some 40 years ago (I am now 80) I briefly dated a woman in New York City who was into pot and let her prevail upon me to try it twice. Having some years before struggled successfully to give up smoking I was reluctant to smoke anything. I found the experience so disorienting, that I successfully vowed never to try it again.

Gregory B. Smith

Sonoma

The wars at home

EDITOR: I’m writing regarding hillside development, and more.

Time for the guidelines to change. And who creates the guidelines? We elect those that then appoint those that create the guidelines. Why do we keep electing people who spew out sound bites as to why they are on our side, but in reality support mega businesses and 1 percenters?

From my perspective the general plan needs to be more specific and long term. What do we want Sonoma and Sonoma Valley to be, in specific terms, in 20 years. And, by specific, I mean an actual plan that specifies in detail what can be built, and where. We need more housing for those that work here and we do not need to expand tourism beyond its present level. There are planned communities to study, where small locally owned and locally serving businesses mix with many types of residential.

We need to get over that everyone needs a giant yard in every neighborhood and that small business cannot be mixed with residential.

With careful and strict planning of what can be built where, open space can be preserved and housing and business can serve us and not those with tons of money. Every time a local official responds to me that what a developer is doing is within the law and none of their business, my head explodes. Yet they freely to toss around terms like workforce housing and commercialization of neighborhoods. Why does each development have to be a little war, fought one at a time? My husband has spent hours and hours helping to fight each of these little wars.

If we hold our elected officials feet to fire and demand a real plan, we can change this dynamic.

Josette Brose-Eichar

Boyes Hot Springs

The road to Parnassus

EDITOR: In reading the article about our hospital joining forces with the University of California San Francisco (“Sonoma Hospital to Affiliate with UCSF,” Feb. 6) it gives me great hope that our Valley will soon be able to provide kidney dialysis for residents that currently must travel 40 miles (round trip), several times a week, to get their treatments. Some of these residents are in their 80s and 90s and I am sure the back and forth can be very taxing on their energy, time and finances (Uber, cabs, para-transit or, for the fortunate, friends).

If anyone from the hospital staff can address this issue, I’d be happy to know what the plan is.

Carol Davis

Sonoma