Letters to the Editor, July 28:

Gentlemen, stop your engines!

EDITOR: We were greeted by this headline in our morning newspaper: “Drag races bring up to 1,000 people to Sonoma Raceway in largest local event of pandemic era.”

We could list a dozen reasons why this is a terrible idea during the COVID-19 crisis. For one thing, it will bring people into Sonoma County from all over the Western U.S. It poses an unconscionable risk to the safety of our community – and far beyond.

We are asking local, county and state officials to take immediate action to stop this event – in its tracks!

Carl Sherrill and Nancy Gardner


Room at the inn

EDITOR: We read that some 38 elderly residents and 15 staff have come down with Covid-19 at Broadway Villa Post Acute — our elderly and our neighbors.

We read that Broadway Villa’s elderly live four to a room. We hear that infected staff have been sent home to quarantine in the small apartments they inhabit with two or more families.

Clearly, there is an immediate and pressing need for space for the sick to quarantine.

We know that there are hundreds of empty rooms in Sonoma Valley, all with private baths. More than 200 of those rooms are in the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn. There are hundreds more in other empty hotels and resorts.

We are told that the city has no money to rent hotel rooms for quarantining our elderly and our neighbors. The county’s quarantine rooms at the Healdsburg Best Western will open next week, but they are few and far away.

We have already suffered as many as eight deaths at Broadway Villa. At least one staff member is in the hospital after being sent home sick. The situation is getting worse.

If there is no alternative, the city and the county must commandeer the empty rooms at the Sonoma Mission Inn and other hotels for quarantining.

We needn’t worry about keeping the hotels clean and working. The people who do that are those whose family members will be quarantined there — and who live doubled up around the inn itself.

Dave Ransom

Santa Rosa

A tree falls, did Sonoma hear it?

EDITOR: Last week while walking along the Nathanson Creek path which borders the construction site of the high school sports complex, I was saddened to see the lone redwood tree had been cut down. This more than 45-year-old sentinel had stood watch over the track, having been planted and dedicated by a graduating class from the early 1970s.

Seems odd the designers of the sports complex could not have made accommodations to incorporate this tree in their plan. I do hope the dedication monument was salvaged and that the school board will rededicate a new tree upon the completion of the sports complex.

As a side note, may I suggest a name for the new stadium — Clarence Edsall Stadium & Track — longtime teacher, coach and athletic director.

Michael Kiser

SVHS class 1967

Dispensing with pleasantries

EDITOR: We applaud Michael Benziger’s letter to the editor (“Light a Sparc for Sonoma,” July 14). Whether it is Justice Grown or Sparc which is granted a commercial cannabis business license in the city, the main idea of having a cannabis dispensary in Sonoma will be realized. Jewel and I feel that Justice Grown is best suited to be awarded the license. Jewel has been working toward a Sonoma dispensary for multiple years. As a founding member of Sonoma Patient Group, the longest running dispensary in Sonoma County, she has worked tirelessly for the safe access of cannabis for all citizens of Sonoma County. As a breast cancer survivor she is the real deal. I am the president of SV Cannabis Enthusiasts and have smoked cannabis since I served in the Vietnam War. As the Mayor of Sonoma three times and serving on the City Council for 16 years I know how Sonoma functions. Together with Justice Grown we can bring to Sonoma the dispensary it wants and needs. Stay tuned and stay safe!

Ken Brown and Jewel Mathieson


Here’s the ‘Scoop,’ kids…

EDITOR: Thank you for directing attention to the needs of nonprofits during this challenging time. As a grateful grandmom, mother of educators, literacy pusher and poet, I personally support and encourage others to support our locally-based literacy nonprofit, Kid Scoop News. For years, it was a monthly print-only publication for children. This past year they launched a digital edition at Now this fun and informative publication is available to children everywhere. My grandkids and their friends have been loving it. It is truly the best thing to hit screens in the worst summer children have known!

I encourage fellow grandparents and parents to check it out with their kids. And while you’re at the website, send in a donation. It is sorely needed now.

Judy Altura


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