Letters to the Editor, July 24 - 27

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Don’t pull plug on skilled nursing

EDITOR: Many of the supporters of Sonoma Valley Hospital are now senior citizens who might need the services of the hospital’s skilled nursing facility (“Hospital May Cut Obstetrics, Skilled Nursing to Trim Costs,” July 17). Don’t forget they are the Sonomans who, over the years, have approved the bond issues.

The patients, doctors, nurses, nurse assistants and all others who provide care and support, I’m sure, want the skilled nursing facility to be available at SVH. The same level of skilled nursing services and emergency services cannot be provided in a setting outside of SVH. In a “code blue” situation it could be a matter of life or death.

Our citizens deserve better. Sonomans are caring and generous and they will continue to support the hospital and the valuable and needed skilled nursing and therapy services available at Sonoma Valley Hospital.

CEO Kelly Maher you must find another way to reduce costs. Closing skilled nursing is not the solution. Don’t let it happen.

Peter Saibene


Location, location, location

EDITOR: I read with interest your article on the proposed Schocken Hill development lawsuit (“Schocken Hill Developers Sue City Over Rejected Homes,” July 17). It seems two organizations that advocate for more rental units and affordable housing joined the lawsuit. Only in Sonoma would a 19,462-square-foot house be lumped in a category with affordable housing.

Richard Raley


Disappointed, but not surprised

EDITOR: Protect Sonoma is disappointed, but not surprised, that Bill Jasper is suing our City of Sonoma to revive his Schocken Hill estates project (“Schocken Hill Developers Sue City Over Rejected Homes,” July 17). This lawsuit is just the latest of the Jasper Gang’s shenanigans.

The lawsuit claims denial of Jasper’s project violates the Housing Accountability Act, a state law created to streamline approval of new housing projects in an effort to stop “discrimination against low-income and minority households.” Supporting Jasper as plaintiffs are Bay Area housing activists Sonja Trauss and Victoria Fierce. They claim their right to rent these multi-million dollar hillside compounds has been violated. Trauss is running for San Francisco supervisor, so her claimed desire to live in Sonoma is suspect. The proposed estate homes were never intended to be rentals.

Another aspect of this lawsuit is the specious claim that an undisclosed communication by a City Council member with an opponent of the project violated Mr. Jasper’s due process rights. Not mentioned is that this “communication” was a form of constituent service and took place long before the projects and subsequent appeals were heard.

What, you say, that’s all they’ve got? Yes. It’s that shallow.

We are saddened that precious City resources will be spent responding to this latest round of bullying by Jasper’s Gang, but our City won’t be intimidated.

Protect Sonoma will continue to ensure Sonoma’s Hillside Ordinance is honored and development adheres to the City’s development guidelines. We recognize Jasper has the right to develop his land. However, he must comply with the rules, just like everyone else.

In 2012, Jasper made a $250,000 donation to the Sonoma Land Trust to, in his words, “protect the land we love.” If Jasper wants to make his mark on Sonoma, perhaps he will explore options for preserving the hillside as open space and connect to the Overlook and Montini trails.

What can our community do? Vote! City Council elections are coming up in November. We will be carefully interviewing candidates to select our endorsements. While this lawsuit will certainly fail, Jasper would like to stack our City Council with allies. We will continue to shine a light on their connections and connections with other candidates to present an informed decision for Sonoma’s future.

Protect Sonoma


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