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Letters to the Editor: Nov. 6

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Is this what they meant by ‘great again’?

EDITOR: Over the past two years, it’s been tough to accept how Trump and his ilk have allowed the cream to fall to the bottom and the sour milk rise to the top. If I wasn’t so old and had so many grandchildren nearby, I might consider looking at Canada. Both houses in D.C. are so fragmented, they barely represent much of anything I hold dear. Nearly every day we are inundated with news about daily shootings, arson, people openly shouting racist slogans, mass murders in churches of all faiths, fragmented relationships and $50 haircuts. I would like to know how things have gotten great again since Trump was elected.

But I can’t leave which brings me to the crux of the question: What’s left to do?

This week we have the opportunity to vote and help get others to the poles to vote. Our vote won’t change the crazy bastards who hide in plain sight, waiting to be triggered into action by punks like Trump; those guys have always been a part of our human experience. But if enough good-spirited people take advantage of the midterms and again in 2020, maybe, just maybe, we can swing the compass back toward civility, acceptance and grace, but it’s going to take a long time.

The other thing we can all do is turn off the incessant “breaking news” feeds we get online every day. Maybe Trump has a valid point about “fake news,” since the major online news channels are merely opinion outlets. They are not real news outlets. The talking heads with their inescapable “panel of experts,” sit around and butter the side of the bread that best suits their audience. CNN/FOX are different sides of the same coin, massive opinion pulpits, spoon-feeding their skewed views to their parishioners by the hour; and their followers lap it up and become even more self-righteous in their beliefs. I am tired of the dozens of rehashed “breaking news” stories I get on email every day so I simply took all of these news feeds off line. The world will sort itself out when it’s ready.

In the meantime, I’ll try to change my world, one vote at a time, as long as I am able. I hope you do the same.

Steve Kyle

Sonoma

Kelly for SRJC board

EDITOR: As a former member of the Board of Trustees at Santa Rosa Junior College, I have maintained a keen interest in the future of our college and its students. I believe that John Kelly is the candidate Sonoma County needs. He brings fresh energy and a commitment to the needs of our community.

I find incumbent Jeff Kunde’s failure to consistently attend board meetings distressing and believe that we need trustees ready to show up and fulfill their commitments to the community. SRJC’s budget is complex and needs to be honored to the taxpayers who have supported it for 100 years.

Please vote for John Kelly on Nov. 6.

Marsha Vas Dupre

Santa Rosa

Kunde for SRJC board

EDITOR: As a member of the Santa Rosa Junior College Board of Trustees for over 20 years, I’m pleased to endorse current trustee Jeff Kunde for re-election to the Sonoma area seat.

Jeff and I first met in 1974 as SRJC students and members of the Collegiate Livestock judging team. I realized from the beginning that Jeff was a very honest and hard-working person. Over the last 45 years of working with Jeff I have seen those attributes expand even further.

Jeff’s dedication to Santa Rosa Junior College and its success is something he takes very seriously, and it shows in his everyday life. Jeff hosts fundraisers at his home and winery, donates wine as well as his time to dozens of community events each year. Jeff has been a tireless leader in his position as a trustee for the past 12 years. This trustee position is not a stepping stone for Jeff, it requires time to educate oneself about the college, its governance and the needs of students. Jeff has put in the time needed to be an effective leader and highly respected trustee.

SRJC needs passionate leaders like Jeff Kunde on the board, people that care about the students, the faculty and will continue to make the integrity of the college their utmost priority.

W. Terry Lindley

Trustee Santa Rosa Junior College

Petlock for City Council

EDITOR: I have been thinking non-stop about the City Council election this year and would like to share a recommendation.

Chris Petlock has for a decade served us on the Community Services and Environment Commission and constantly challenged the City of Sonoma to be an environmental leader. More recently Chris has fought for we citizens on the water funds transfer debacle as well as the looming pension crisis, demanding the City come to grips with the financial disaster that has been hidden over the years. We all have been patient with the City to repair the damage but now is the time for the pressure for correction to come from such a City Council Member as Chris.

Chris has been honest with the City, with voters and will work hard to bring the focus back to we citizens of Sonoma. We need transparency, openness and decisiveness to lead our small town and I believe they will all be both encouraged and delivered by Chris Petlock.

Robert Demler

Sonoma

Water conservers shouldn’t pay for water wasters!

EDITOR: The letter from Stephen Berezin and Kevin Carruth (“Water Incumbents Got Well of Experience,” Oct. 30) misstates current law. The law today allows tiered rates, but those rates must be cost justified. The current rate structure at the Valley of the Moon Water District was enacted not to develop fair and smart rates but to have a “bullet proof” rate structure that in effect is subsidizing the higher users. No other water district that I know of has only two tiers and our lowest tier of only 2,000 gallons a month is by far the lowest. What VOM Water Board candidate Steve Rogers is asking for is to bring in the consultants once again to develop a rate structure that takes into account all the costs of delivering water. The large water users represent 10 percent of the water district and use 50 percent of the water in the district.

Today the highest users, which I believe Mr. Berezin and Mr. Carruth are part of, are enjoying significantly reduced rates of around 40 percent under the current rate structure, while the rest of us low-end homeowners are now experiencing rate increases which will continue to rise over the next four years. Valley homeowners will see water rates double over the next four years. Homeowners and other small water users should not have to supplement high end users. VOMWD needed to adjust the rates to comply with Prop. 218 but more tiers could be added like other water district have done.

If you want your rates to stay the same vote for the incumbents, but if you want to see real changes vote for Steve Rogers.

Colleen Cowan

Sonoma

Water misinformation making waves

EDITOR: There is some misinformation circulating about the policies and practices of the Valley of the Moon Water Board that must be corrected.

First of all, we have been criticized for the 9 percent salary increase we gave the employees of our District who service over 100 miles of pipe all over the Valley. We have only six Water Distribution System Operators to serve our district. It takes two years to train these technicians, at a cost of $75,000 each. Their salaries for VOMWD, even with the recent increase, are pegged at the median for the industry. Everyone in the Valley of the Moon knows the cost of living here is significantly higher than elsewhere in the state. Over the past few years over 45 percent of district employees have been successfully recruited by other districts. This comes at a painful loss of investment in training for the water district.

There is also some confusion about what the board members of the Valley of the Moon Water District are paid for their services. We receive a total of $100 per VOMWD meeting, which typically occurs once monthly.

Secondly, there is an essential misunderstanding of who is responsible for the backflow installations in Temelec, Creekside and Chanterelle. These communities use wells and ponds for their irrigation. In 2015, these communities were informed by the State Water Resources Control Board – through VOMWD – that they needed to install backflows due to having two sources of water on their properties (well and VOMWD). The backflow issue could have been avoided if they stopped using their wells and ponds for irrigation. The three communities opted to continue the use of their wells, so the state mandated that they must install backflow preventers. In over seven years on the Water Board, I have sought to hold true to our mission, which is “to provide our customers with reliable, safe water at an equitable price, and to ensure the fiscal and environmental vitality of the District for future generations.”

C. Mark Heneveld

Incumbent candidate VOM Water Board