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Letters to the Editor, Aug. 21 - 23

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Rest in peace, P6…

EDITOR: I am extremely saddened to hear of the killing of P6, a young collared mountain lion in Sonoma Valley, under a depredation permit. From the age of 7 days, the life of P6 and her two siblings had been carefully tracked by the Audubon Canyon Ranch “Living with Lions” team headed by Dr. Quinton Martins.

Martins and his team are studying mountain lions in our county by collecting DNA samples, checking their health, putting GPS collars on them, following their lives and learning about how we humans can live in harmony with such vital apex predators.

I am a volunteer in an interactive education program developed by ACR, where children in classrooms all around our county have been learning about mountain lions. They also learn the vital role predators, such as mountain lions, play in maintaining a healthy, balanced ecosystem as documented in studies in Zion National Park and other areas

Children in elementary schools in Sonoma County have seen videos of P6 with her two siblings beginning their lives. They’ve seen photos of the cubs as they grew up and began negotiating life in our Valley. Sadly the male cub died after only a few months and P6’s sister died before adulthood apparently of natural causes; however we were able to follow the life of P6 who was tracked by her GPS collar into early adulthood.

In our presentations to older elementary students, they learn about some possible solutions to human/wildlife conflicts, such as keeping domestic cats in at night and using a basic predator-proof shelter away from waterways or thick brush to house livestock at night. At the end of the class presentations, the students are encouraged to go to ACR’s website, to learn more about the mountain lions in our Valley and track their progress.

It is important that we work together in exploring solutions to these conflicts and allow mountain lions to continue existing as an essential part of the ecosystem of this county.

Grace Knight

Glen Ellen

Cannabis could be an ‘economic engine’

for Sonoma

EDITOR: Responding to the authors of last week’s letters to the editor: I have never met or talked with any of you and, unfortunately, you never reached out to discuss your concerns with me before you unloaded them publicly.

Your topic should have been voter suppression. I am a Vietnam veteran with the experience, backbone and conviction to stand up in defense of freedom, democracy and voter rights. That alone allows me to question your motives and your understanding of the democratic process.

A voter-qualified cannabis ballot initiative presented to the City Council on July 23 should have been approved and placed on the Nov. 6 ballot. Yet the voters were denied the opportunity in a blatant act of voter suppression. To back up that statement, read the Sonoma County Democratic Party’s rare public scolding of the City Council vote and read the scathing Index-Tribune editorial on Aug. 7.

In the heat of frustration after the Council vote I sent a private email to opposition Council Member David Cook, which included a common hyperbole for continuing opposition. As a politician with lofty ambitions he needs to be responsive to the public will instead of thwarting the electoral process. Public office requires a tough hide and a respect for the electoral process; and he deserves, at the least, to be criticized in future elections. Twisting my intent and contending that anything other than fair political process has taken place is a diversion. For the record, I have apologized to him twice for my unfortunate choice of hyperbole.

As for you self-aggrandizing letter writers that choose to ignore a much needed voter-suppression backlash, what exactly are your motives?

Gil Latimer (“Dispensaries Are Inevitable,” Aug. 14) is the driving force behind a group of cannabis advocates; Stephen Pavy (“Words Have Consequences,” Aug. 14) and Martin Laney (“Cannabis Movement Got Burned,” Aug. 17) are purportedly friends of David Cook; Stephen Kyle (“Yes on Medical Cannabis, No on Dispensary,” Aug. 14) is unknown to me.

Apparently the four of you do not like the cannabis ballot initiative that was signed by 790 qualifying City voters (enough adults to fill three jumbo jets). It may be contrary to your personal wishes but your “voters-be-damned” approach is an unacceptable agenda. Instead you, as well as the present majority of the City Council, should consider switching to a form of American behavior that supports a voter based live-and-let live society.

For the record, the Sonoma Citizens For Local Access initiative is all encompassing and is anything but selfishly motivated. It does not benefit one single property but rather it would allow for fair competition on several properties that could accommodate competitive retail pricing and customer options. It also creates voter-approved fixed property rights, doing so out of the necessity to streamline what has proven to be an impossible, misguided and uninformed regulatory environment prone to creating unworkable business requirements, conditions and restrictions.

As a visual reward along the northern Gateway corridor, this ordinance will also provide an incentive for a much-needed urban renewal of West Napa Street at the Highway 12 curve by creating a platform for a healthy, viable, local economic engine.

Jon Early

Sonoma