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Letters to the Editor, March 27 - 29

Tickled pink over building green

EDITOR: The health community applauds Sonoma Clean Power and local agency efforts to promote healthy rebuilding in the aftermath of the devastating wildfires (“Eco-Friendly Rebuilds Get ‘Green Light,’” March 2). Sonoma Clean Power last week adopted an ambitious incentive program to rebuild super-efficient, low-carbon homes in areas burned by wildfires in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. These efforts to promote energy efficiency, electric vehicles and clean energy will improve our health and environment, and fight climate change.

Our residents face greater risks from the impacts of climate change driven by fossil-fuel combustion, including risks from extreme weather events such as wildfires, heat waves and floods. The American Lung Association and other leading health organizations support policies to transition to healthier, clean renewable energy and zero emission transportation options that will reduce our health risks from air pollution and climate change, and protect the environment for future generations. As physicians and health professionals responding to disasters, we support these outstanding efforts to create a more sustainable future.

Tara Scott

Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency

Authors Festival, next chapter

EDITOR: Ads for the ritzy Sonoma Valley Author’s Festival have been popping up on just about every media platform. This looks like quite a production. The New York Times best-sellers A-list will be at that party.

After reading a letter about the festival from a local Sonoma resident, Jette Franks (“Authors Festival, a Closed Book to Locals,” March 16), I went to the website to check the claim that the minimum package is $750 and that there was no public evening event. All true.

The first face to pop up on the author’s web page was… David Brooks, America’s leading conservative intellectual and pernicious public apologist for Republican misrule. I recoiled at seeing progressive public enemy #1 as the top featured author. No thank you!

I am amazed that the event sponsors think that reactionary figures like David Brooks and Niall Ferguson are just the kind of warmed-over faux Tory intellectuals that the literati of wine country in Northern California are clamoring for.

These folks obviously don’t operate anywhere near my Left Coast circles. We regard these intellectual enablers of the rise of the modern right as more culpable than the actual Republican base.

This is one of those tony plutocratic gatherings that use price point as a handy instrument for class segregation. Fine, that’s their right. Less excusable is the fact that they are not even using our one beloved local bookstore, Readers Books. This is the kind of cultural appropriation we endure from moneyed interests who just use Sonoma as a scenic backdrop. Should have been held in Napa.

Got low self-esteem? Volunteer for a mandatory training to work for free as a valet, pourer, registrar. “Unfortunately... due to the size and limitations of the meeting rooms at the Lodge, our wonderful volunteers will not have access to the author or speaker sessions.”

The fact that they don’t even have one public night scheduled for one of the marquee authors is proof that the sponsors for this gala don’t want to rub elbows with the plebes unless they are serving them a drink.

Ben Boyce

Sonoma

Don’t text and drive

EDITOR: Prom and graduation plans can easily derail if dangerous choices are made.

In 1992, I was 16 and an athlete at Tracy High School. My eventful life as a junior ended when a drunken driver hit me.

My teenage life was then filled with surgeries and therapy. With my condition, I was unable to study at any college, like Empire College, independently.

My hearing, talking and walking are damaged, and I cannot drive. I never imagined living like this.

I am thankful people are slowly learning to not drive drunk. Please, continue that.

We are in the age of technology. A new driving threat comes: cellphones.

As a teenager, I only saw them in science fiction films. I see them everywhere now!

Driving drunk and cellphones both cause distraction and impair driving. Each can cause drivers to follow too closely, not brake on time or weave into traffic.

Texting is common. You could be driving in a neighborhood checking your e-mail and run into a car or even a pedestrian.

If your phone rings when driving, do not check the message. The speed and location does not matter. Taking one look could be your last.

People kill people, phones do not. Drivers must police themselves and avoid the cellphone and drinking when driving.

Lori Martin

Tracy