Use Mother Nature’s straw: your mouth!

EDITOR: I have a question. In all the discussion of plastic straws, paper straws, metal straws – has no one suggested we could live without any straws? In the dear dead days beyond recall, we drank from cups or glasses or, sometimes, jelly jars. Now I have straws available for the grandkids. Why? Maybe we can reeducate ourselves and learn to drink the old-fashioned way.

Jessie Gordon


LPG storage on shaky ground

EDITOR: I wish to commend Norman Gilroy’s letter (“LPG Tankers? Well Blow Me Down!,” June 12) regarding the danger of storing tankers in Schellville loaded with liquid petroleum gas. A number of years ago a Japanese-American firm wanted to establish an LPG dock-and-transfer plant on the coast north of Goleta in Santa Barbara County. The county Firefighters Union publicized this proposal as too dangerous for them to handle. The Board of Supervisors refused to allow the project to go forward. If too dangerous to handle, why does Sonoma County allow up to 80 tank cars of volatile gas to be stored in Schellville?

Tom Martin


Starting new business is no picnic in Sonoma

EDITOR: I was shopping around the square this weekend, as I do often as I live and work a few blocks from the square, and I wandered into a new place at 521B Broadway called Fenchie.

Frenchie is a vision of two young women who are investing in our town with a very well-done local picnic supply and lunch/snack store, and so much more… exactly the kind of thing we need more of.

When I asked them: “Why is there no seating in the store?” – they said that the city wouldn’t allow them to have any seats, inside or out front, because they didn’t have any parking places. How crazy is that? They are a mid-block specialty food (non-tasting room) vendor that is going to live (or die) from walk-by and walk-in traffic, both tourist and locals. Why on earth would we have this only-in-Sonoma requirement to have a parking space for each seat in the place when it isn’t a restaurant. Shouldn’t we be encouraging walking vs. driving anyway? When I asked about why tasting rooms around the square could have seats without parking spaces they didn’t know. When I asked why other restaurants didn’t have to have dedicated parking spaces for their many seats, they didn’t know. So all of the “I hate tasting rooms” people in Sonoma should be backing Frenchie and its wish to have seats so they can thrive.

They do have a picnic table in the store, which is full of display items, but you can’t sit there. How crazy is that? No wonder we have a growing number of empty store fronts in and around the square. If we are not careful we are going to look like Ukiah instead of our lovely Sonoma.

I thought about posting how long I’ve lived here like most people do in these letters-to-the-editor, but I get to have my “say” about my town whether I’ve lived here for a week or 30 years, right?

Steve Burns