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Letters to the Editor, Oct. 2

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Swing vote!

EDITOR: Thank you for your Thursday’s front-page article on Measure M (“Measure M: Sales Tax Seeks to Fund Public Parks,” Sept. 28). Its passage in the Nov. 6 election will be vitally important for Sonoma County’s parks. Long underfunded, while users have increased, the parks need funds for repair of infrastructure, including trails – and for opening new ones – and for fire prevention. A one-eighth cent sales tax will raise about $11.5 million annually, two-thirds of which will go to the county parks and one-third to our city parks. City of Sonoma parks, for example, will receive about $118,000 per year. Bikers, hikers, runners, strollers, joggers, nature lovers, exercisers, baby carriage pushers will benefit. And, what’s more, dreamers of new trails will have them fulfilled.

If there ever was a tax so needed, so valuable and so worthwhile, this is it. Just think what one-eighth of a cent will buy. Vote for Measure M in the upcoming election when you go to the polls or mail in your ballot.

Ted Eliot

Sonoma

Guys, our days are numbered…

EDITOR: Male domination in the human species is as ancient as time. Everyone knows this. It holds true for practically every culture, society and nation on Earth. It’s a given, but the question is: Is that going to change?

I was born in the 1940s and into the long-entrenched American double standard whereby women were relegated to second-class citizenship. The women’s suffrage movement lasted 70 years until they won the vote. Looking back, this history was a blink in time, but equality under the law and in all the aspects of our society where it counts – education, the workplace, the political arena and the seats of power – has not been achieved. There has been progress but, obviously, there’s a long way to go.

As a male who was schooled in the prevailing double standard of the mid-1950s I enjoyed all the attendant privileges and never even questioned the inequality in which I was immersed. It was just considered the way things were, had always been and was regarded as some kind of natural law. Then the 1960s came along and our American society, our unequal culture and laws and our ingrained beliefs had to be reexamined. It was the time of a great reckoning.

We were forced to admit that we were an apartheid society and that the legal system of justice for all was a lie and a hypocrisy. We in this country are still struggling with a reality some find hard or impossible to accept, no less embrace, but one that I believe is inexorable. Once people throw off the binds that oppress, subjugate and exploit them, no matter the society, there will be no turning back. This too, I believe, is a given.

Nevertheless I fear that Brett Kavanaugh will be seated on the Supreme Court by a Senate vote in the next couple weeks. The ancient culture and system of male domination in the halls of power and throughout our society awash in a sea of misogyny will not permit them to back down. This to them is a great contest, a football game where winning is the only standard that counts. This is politics as it’s played here, and justice and truth have nothing to do with it.

I do believe however that there will come a day when the women’s movement for equality and justice in our society will prevail.

Will this take time and will there be backsliding? Certainly. But when the truth of injustice, or imbalance in the playing field, or a system rigged for the benefit of one faction is uncovered it can no longer be denied or continue. Women in every society on Earth will one day demand full and equal rights in every respect and that will truly be a new day.

Will Shonbrun

Boyes Springs

Like rain on your wedding day

EDITOR: Yesterday, at 12:23 p.m., I drove a guy from downtown Sonoma to Kenwood, a 20-minute drive. He was to be best man in his brother’s wedding held at Kunde winery. He was late, and scrambled in the car to get his cuff links on, while his cell phone rang constantly. He answered, with a grump, “Well, you said twelve-ish, and the wedding is not ‘til 4:30 p.m.!”

I rattled off my standard wedding toast for him to use when addressing the bridesmaids and bride. He looked at me strangely. Suddenly, it began to rain hard enough to use the windshield wipers. “Oh, just what we need now!” he groaned.

As I dropped him off, at the hilltop wedding cottage, his brother approached, to chew him out a bit more. “Well, it is about $#@&-ing time!” he chided.

Silently, I muttered to myself as I drove back down the hill, “Actually, that comes after they cut the cake!”

Douglas Chambers

Sonoma