Letters to the Index-Tribune editors, Sept. 28, 2021

Yes on Measure F

EDITOR: Among the blessings we enjoy as residents of the Sonoma Valley is one few communities our size can offer — a full-service hospital and emergency room. Without it we would be forced to drive 30 to 45 minutes for routine medical services or respond to a health emergency.

Small town hospital economics are tough, especially in an area like ours where most of the revenue comes from Medicare and other third-party payers who do not cover the actual cost of providing the services rendered. Recognizing that challenge, we voters agreed to a parcel tax that covers the inevitable operating deficit and have kept our hospital open for nearly 20 years. Measure F on the Nov. 2 ballot would extend that subsidy, with no increase in the amount of the tax, and secure the financial health of our hospital for the next 10 years. The measure requires a two-thirds majority to pass, so it is critical we all mark and return our ballots in time to be counted.

There is much to be excited about at Sonoma Valley Hospital including a new emergency department and a state-of-the-art diagnostic center due to open soon. We have a talented new CEO and an affiliation with UCSF that will help attract and retain quality physicians. Passing Measure F will save lives and protect our investment in this vital community resource.

Please join me in voting yes on Measure F.

Steve Page


‘It should not be this hard’ on cannabis

EDITOR: I am disappointed with what happened at the Wednesday, Sept. 8, Sonoma City Council meeting regarding the agenda topic on the second cannabis dispensary. Many council members expressed concern that there was little public support that night, while the only permitted dispensary owner pleaded with the council to table the process for a year so he could evaluate his profitability, at which point he could advise the City on whether it should permit a second dispensary. What a tactic! A business owner wants to eliminate competition, free enterprise and capitalism and be the only operator in town.

Supporters were caught off guard after a three-day weekend, getting kids back off to school, etc., thinking the council had already agreed to a second dispensary, just the process had to be worked out. There are so many folks here who for years have worked tirelessly on getting medical cannabis dispensaries in town. They are weary of the continued roadblocks thrown in front of any progress.

Please recognize the long history of positive support in Sonoma. So many people have spoken directly to council or sent emails numerous times in support of local access over the years. Also, remember that in 2016, California voters overwhelming made cannabis legal. Many communities have approved dispensaries that are up and running successfully without all the drama. It just should not be this hard. Residents with medical conditions should not have to drive out of town for pain relief or pay outrageous delivery costs. Please move forward.

Perri Ellis Paniagua


Party house is a buzz kill

EDITOR: I would like to invite the members of the Sonoma City Council and Planning Commission to share a Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon on my now useless deck. Due to some serious miscalculation, whoever approved the party house in the 500 block of Second Street East assumed, I guess, that they would be good neighbors.

At the risk of sounding sane, I would like to propose you put a party house across from your backyard and see how many times you can't use your deck. Or how often you have to close your windows on a nice evening or day and still have to listen to blaring music. Or better still, drunken reverie that goes on until 4 o’clock in the morning.

The permits for this house need to be revoked as they are terrible neighbors with no thought for those who actually live here.

Michael Pinsky


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