Letters to the Editor, Feb. 15

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Glass full to I-T!

EDITOR: I have been house sitting in Sonoma for the past five years during the winter and just want to let you know how much I enjoy your paper.

I live in Las Vegas and we used to have a decent paper, the Review Journal, which has a great local section, the Sun, produced by Brian Greenspan, son of Hank who started it.

We lost good columnists, John Smith and Jon Ralston, as they wouldn’t do the bidding of the casino moguls, namely, Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson. Then Adelson bought the paper and the editorials and columns are ghastly. Two great women retired and that pretty much did it for me.

So to read your wonderful articles about this lovely town and all the personal stories is very refreshing!

Your letters to the editor are always entertaining and show how well-informed the residents of Sonoma are. The placement of these letters is also quite clever; my favorite being Jan. 15 where a new resident complained about the “stagnant force” in the town and how it looks “tired and dated.” My question is: “Why did you move here?”

Reminds me of the Sun City residents who live on the golf course but don’t want to see golfers!

But the best part was the very next letter of the part-time residents who raved about the work done on their favorite hiking trail and who had researched and mentioned everyone who was involved in the renovation! Maybe the new people need to take a hike! It is a beautiful way to see the town and Valley!

Also, your “Glass Empty” comment about “Tantrum Buster.” Really, a thing? But I loved your old fashioned, “N & O.”

And last but not least. Your cartoons!

I so enjoy your wonderful paper. The town is lucky to have a good one.

J. Winter

Sonoma

Green New Deal, Mr. Thompson?

EDITOR: Today I joined a group of other activists to present Rep. Mike Thompson with the gathered petitions for a Green New Deal. It’s really disturbing that Democrats are going to such great lengths to not mention that the Green Party has been pushing a solid Green New Deal for a decade that they (Democrats) are starting with an outline, with their media cohorts trumpeting that it will take years to formulate the full plan. This is a red flag. If this was truly about caring, they would be moving forward with the Green Party version, but instead they’re going to drag this out so that they can pretend the Green Party wasn’t involved. We don’t have time for this. The minorities and working families we are trying to advocate for don’t have time for this.

I went there with the intention of calling Mr. Thompson out for his pro-military votes and for anti-environmental votes such as voting three times to weaken the Clean Air Act. When we got there, we realized he wasn’t there, so we spoke to his staff instead. I left him: A) What I had written to read to him; B) Another copy of my letter challenging him to debate; and C) A copy of the Green Party version of the Green New Deal. Here is a copy of what I had intended to say to him:

“Today our planet is in grave danger, not just from nuclear war, but it is being destroyed as we speak by deforestation, oil drilling, not just in the Middle East but in the Gulf of Mexico, South America and Canada. Fracking is causing millions of pounds of poisonous acids to be dumped into our ground, and therefore water supplies. Meanwhile Flint, Michigan’s water supply has been poisoned for five years, while Nestle has been allowed to take public water from nearby Lake Michigan and sell it back to the public for billions of dollars in profits.

Our best protection against the poisoning of our atmosphere are our rain forests, which convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. But we are deforesting our rain forests, just as sure as we are deforesting Angwin. The rain forests are being destroyed, not just for agricultural products such as palm oil, but also for animal farming, which is another major source of our planet’s woes. Animal farming accounts for a massive amount of our planet’s pollution, but we, the people, are simply not being told this.

We are also not being told that the No. 1 polluter in the world is the U.S. military. U.S. hegemony in Africa, Asia, Central and South America are not just killing people who were never a threat to the United States and destabilizing governments in places we have no business in being, it is literally destroying our planet.

As all of this destruction has been occurring, the poor and working classes in this nation are struggling more and more because federal spending into the economy always seems to favor the very wealthy or more military spending, which is still favoring the very wealthy. Government assistance, social security and veteran’s benefits need a raise. And the people need jobs. Not part-time, low-benefit jobs, but good jobs that can support a family. We are destroying our people, as well as our planet.

Mr. Thompson, you have voted for this destruction every time you have voted to increase military spending. You have also voted to pave Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, to erode the Clean Water Act (several times) and to encourage hunting trophies from threatened species, such as the polar bear or African elephant.

We are the threatened species now, Mr. Thompson. Our planet will recover, with or without human beings, but we are making it uninhabitable. And it will remain so for thousands of years if we don’t do something fast. This has not just been allowed to happen by the federal government, it has been encouraged. And this has been a bi-partisan effort, which has gotten worse over the last few decades. The construction of more and more weapons, for sales to the Saudis or to Israel, has only made things worse.

These are just a few of the issues that I thought we should discuss when I first challenged you to debate in 2018, during the primary, but most recently in a letter that was sent to all four of your offices and printed in at least four of this district’s newspapers. Some might think you have positions that you cannot defend.

It’s not too late to do the right thing, Mr. Thompson, but it is getting down to the wire. I urge you to support the Green Party version of the Green New Deal, which is very detailed. Thank you.”

Jason Kishineff

Sonoma

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