Letter to the Index-Tribune editor, May 25, 2022

Plaza parking

EDITOR: Regarding the Clay Street residential parking permit program (RPPP) to address the occasional neighborhood traffic around TrainTown, the new affordable housing complex and The Lodge — prohibiting parking and using law enforcement for parking concerns would be better served for the residents around Sonoma Plaza. These homeowners compete with tourists for parking every day of the year. And unlike the Clay Street residents who have two-car garages and driveways in which to park, many families living around Sonoma Plaza do not have that luxury. If anyone would benefit from RPPP, first and foremost, it would seem to be those who live near the Plaza.

Steve Watkins

Alpharetta, GA

Emotions over facts

EDITOR: If the county and its elected and appointed officials really want affordable housing, I wonder why they do not focus on creating working partnerships with nonprofit builders, designate a huge percentage of transient occupancy tax to building affordable housing, help those like Annie Falandes at Homeless Action Sonoma actually build projects like the one she is trying to get done in the Springs for our homeless folks and endorsing and promoting a candidate for sheriff, like Carl Tennenbaum, so that the county does not continue to pay out millions in lawsuits because of wrongful deaths caused by the county Sheriff’s Office.

Vacation rentals are an easy talking point for why home prices and rents are rising. They are rising everywhere, whether vacation rentals are allowed or not. Buried in the county’s own report it states: “In terms of effects on single-family housing units’ prices, data and studies considered in this report show little to no connection between a rise in single-family housing units offered as short-term rentals and single-family home prices.” Government can do something and should. Why not ask developer Ken Mattson who has a ton of money, to help out? Their properties sit undeveloped and neglected. Why does the county pander to them and other wealthy developers and businesses interests, instead of asking them to be more philanthropic?

Why? Because as it was recently pointed out in the San Francisco Chronicle, emotion sells and influences people, facts and data do not. It is easier to find emotional talking points so that the public perceives they are cared about and something will be done in the future. Of course it makes sense to cap the number of vacation rentals in total, and regulate numbers in proximity, but it will not solve our lack of affordable housing for our workers. Only building real affordable housing, not market rate housing, will.

Josette Brose-Eichar

Boyes Hot Springs

Christianity and reproductive rights

Christians need to improve their faith in God. Instead of trying to play God and insist women give birth against their will. Even God doesn’t do that.

God gave women free will to make their own decisions privately on how many children they want. Women have God-given free will.

Women want their children, don’t think that the government needs to legislate it. Family size has decreased all over the entire world, and women don’t want to have seven to nine kids anymore. And the world is quite well populated, you don’t have to worry about the human race being underpopulated.

If you want women to have children, then make the conditions conducive to it. Offer free healthcare, free child care, quality education, affordable housing and a living wage. Put your money where your mouth is. Then watch the baby boom. Then you’ll get your “supply of domestic infants” as insensitive and offensive as that phrase is.

I know that central to the religious argument against abortion is “when does life begin?” Yes, a fertilized egg is alive. And yes, so are the millions of happily swimming sperm. Don’t they look like they are fully alive and on a mission? And so they are. But do we make it a crime when they are split?

Women are the God-appointed Co-creators along with him. And God gave us the free will to choose when to become His Co-Creator. God didn’t force Mary, the Blessed Mother of Jesus to bear His Child. He sent an Angel to ask her if she would and she said yes.

Jesus never mentioned abortion, the Bible mentions it once in the first Testament and does not equate a fetus with a baby who has been born. Making it a crime to choose not to give birth does not align with being a person in the “Land of the Free.” And forcing even young children to give birth at huge cost to their physical well being is an abomination and horrific crime.

It’s just nobody’s business, especially not the governments’. Women have the intelligence, heart and agency to make that decision privately by themselves. Turn your religious fervor toward supporting women and not toward controlling their bodies and we’ll all have a better outcome.

Anne Petersen


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