Bravo City Council women!

EDITOR: I was present at the City Council meeting April 9 and I would publicly like to commend and acknowledge the three strong women of our City Council, Ms. Harrington, Ms. Hundley and Mayor Agrimonti. Common sense and strong leadership have finally prevailed in our small town (“Schocken Hill Proposals Denied by City Council,” April 10).

I applaud their decision to refer Mr. Jasper’s home design for the Schocken Hill properties back to the Planning Commission for further review. Even under the threat of a law suit they listened to what was being said, they asked very poignant questions of the applicant and the staff and gave very specific reasons for their votes.

I heard very little from either City Council members Edwards or Cook during the majority of the meeting. It was apparent to me from their body language that their minds had been made up prior to the proceedings of last night.

Now the only question remains, will the Planning Commission do due diligence and follow the lead of the City Council, back the request of the people of Sonoma and stay within the guidelines of our ordinances?

Laurie Sebesta


Cannabis double standard

EDITOR: Hey, kids: Define “hypocrisy.” I was glad the I-T was also surprised last fall by the Council’s move to fund an anti-cannabis film (“Putting the Discretion in Discretionary Funds,” Sept. 26). Of course we need to protect our children from dangerous drugs. But I am struck by the inconsistency of a city that has 33 “recreational” wine dispensaries in its core and an official website that shamelessly promotes alcohol-tourism, yet regards cannabis an anathema.

Cannabis is far less dangerous than the drug already soaking this town. Despite whatever anti-marijuana advocates may claim, alcohol-related abuse, disease, public safety incidents, and traffic fatalities are all at least an order of magnitude worse. Check the stats or ask any cop.

I agree we can’t just let market forces add weed to our existing bacchanalia. But vilifying the safer hooch and trying to maintain some bizarre double-standard will backfire. Instead we need to deal with our much bigger problem, our dependence on intoxication-commerce.

We need a moratorium on business licenses for all new “recreational drug and alcohol dispensaries.” Then after figuring out how to phase in a proper balance, a capped number of use permits can be issued. That number should be one we can look our kids in the eye and defend. Almost certainly it will be less than the number of outlets we have now. Sonoma is more than a gin palace... unless we are all so addicted, nothing else matters.

Tom Conlon


Not ‘excessive force’?

EDITOR: Poor Roderick Cameron, a naked 300 pound man, shocked, cuffed behind his back on his stomach, then hog-tied, because seven police officers were afraid he’d kick them. Then he died (“Man Dies in Police Custody at Mobile Park,” March 30). How can this not be “excessive force”? We need a new model for these situations.

Ed Shoop