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Letters to the Editor, Oct. 20 - 23

And now so much of our beautiful Valley is being destroyed by fires that defy the imagination. Though I live 2,300 miles from Sonoma, in Louisville, Kentucky, the fires of Northern California are breaking my heart. I was relieved to see that the Jack London properties in Glen Ellen were spared. But I read that damage in other parts of that tree-shaded little paradise have been destroyed.

My thanks to the many firefighters and residents who are working so hard to contain the blazes. As you save your homes and businesses and fields, you are also saving some portion of my memories and the memories of anyone who ever had the good fortune to live, no matter how briefly, in the Valley of the Moon.

Good luck to you all,

Dan Koger

Louisville, Kentucky

Rules of flag engagement

EDITOR: In regard to the recent flap about the U. S. flag being depicted on Future Farmers of America T-shirts (“Parents Hot Under Collar Over Flag T-shirts,” Oct. 3), I would suggest that the issue might be depoliticized by suggesting that those involved just pay attention to U. S. statutes. Public Law 94-344, Title 4, Chapter 1, “Respect for the Flag” states, in part:

“The flag should never be used as wearing apparel”; and “no part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations.”

Just because the Flag Code is widely ignored, doesn’t mean that we in Sonoma should do it. As an example, another portion says, “the flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.”

We’ve all seen flags the size of a football field carried that way, but I’m not suggesting that we take on the NFL. That’s our President’s job.

Havard Staggs

Sonoma

Hospital board ‘total mismanagement’

EDITOR: The article written by Christian Kallen on our hospital CEO getting yet another raise and bonus (“Hospital CEO in Line for Raise, Bonus,” Oct. 6) demonstrates exactly how mismanaged our hospital is run by the hospital board. To give the CEO Kelly Mathers yet another raise and bonus so soon after the hospital just levied another parcel tax on property owners “in order to survive” and “keep the hospital open” is just amazingly irresponsible to me. The hospital has outstanding loans for millions of dollars to pay off and yet they choose to give their CEO a bonus that brings her base salary up above $350,000 per year along with another $35,000 bonus. Good lord! I used the word “corruption” in one of my last editorial comments regarding this hospital board. I want to add “total mismanagement” to this description. How can they do this and still face the public? This hospital board has got to go! Where was Bill Boerum when we needed him most…?

George Thompson

Sonoma