Letters to the Editor: Nov. 27

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All the pretty horses

EDITOR: So keep the horses/property (“City Pledges $500K to Help Buy Horse Farm,” Nov. 23), but throw out the babies born at the community hospital! Blah, blah.

Linda Lamb


Frustrated over Gateway delay

EDITOR: I’m a resident, a homeowner and a voter and I am writing to you out of frustration. I have been following the Gateway project for over a year as it slowly made its way through the approval process with the city. This project never asked for special treatment that I can see and has been determined to be in complete compliance with the city general plan and zoning codes. It was approved by the general plan and zoning codes. It was approved by the planning commission back in May, was appealed to the city council which in turn voted on Oct. 1 to deny the appeal and approve the project, and yet the paperwork supporting that action was continued from the Nov. 4 meeting to Dec. 3, an additional two months (“Final Vote on Gateway Project Delayed,” Nov. 9).

What I don’t understand is why this project is being continually kicked down the road. Due to the fires and market conditions, there is a shortage of housing in the range of 12,000 homes in Sonoma and Napa counties. This project is offering 34 badly needed homes (eight affordable housing units and 26 market rate units) and some retail as well. There’s really no excuse to delay its final approval any longer.

I knew I wasn’t alone in my frustration about this project and so I started a petition that I intend to present to the City Council at the Dec. 3 meeting. The petition says:

“We the undersigned hereby register our support for the Sonoma Gateway project and urge its final approval as soon as possible. As determined by the city’s Planning Commission at its May 10, 2018 hearing approving the project, and as recognized by the City Council when it denied an appeal challenging the Planning Commission’s May 10 action, Sonoma Gateway is consistent with all objective city development standards, would not cause any significant environmental effects, and would provide badly needed affordable and market rate housing units at an infill location long planned for development with mixed residential and commercial uses. Further delay of the Sonoma Gateway project is unwarranted and we therefore call for its immediate approval.”

Funny thing is everyone I ask supports the project and signs the petition, and a lot tell me they voted for the two people on the council who voted against it. I think it’s high time the council members figured out who their constituents are.

This is a beautiful project that is in keeping with the architecture of Sonoma and will replace a long-time blighted eyesore on Broadway. Let’s get off the dime and get something done here!

Charlotte Ruffner


From Asia to Sonoma

EDITOR: I love living in Sonoma where talented people like native Sonoman Bill Lynch also resides. During the past few weeks I have been fascinated by Bill’s columns on his “Return to Southeast Asia.” Having visited most of the places where Bill and his wife, Dottie, traveled, I could easily envision his experiences, bringing back treasured memories for me.

Given that he has the letters he sent home during his Vietnam days along with his recent reflections, I feel Bill could write another quality book. Many of us in Sonoma and elsewhere come from that challenging 1960s decade. Bill’s insights from those Vietnam War days, as well as his observations today, would be most welcome.

Thank you, Bill, for sharing your candid and thoughtful perspectives as we in Sonoma traveled with you. And, I definitely agree with your closure: “Truly there is no place like home” – Sonoma!

Marilyn Kelly


‘Ingredients for life’ should include cheap gas

EDITOR: I think it is time for the city to approve Safeway to remodel and install a gas station. (If they are still interested after the way the city has treated Safeway.)

The reason for suggesting approval of Safeway gas and remodel:

First of all, we pay the highest gas prices than any surrounding city.

95 percent of Valley residents purchase gas when they are in other cities. The losers are the poor seniors that do not travel out of town

Revenues to the city will be $300,000 to $500,000 to the city annually

By allowing Safeway gas in Sonoma our gas prices will drop at all stations: four 76 gas stations, one Shell gas station, one Chevron and one Valero owned by same owner who owns the other across the street. There would be no reason to fill up out of town as our prices will be lower than adjoining cities. In fact, tourists would also purchase gas here in Sonoma.

This will be no cost to the Valley residents, but will be a benefit from the lower gas prices

Jerry Marino


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