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Letters to the Editor, Dec. 12 - 15

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Innovation and leadership at Sonoma Charter School

EDITOR: I have witnessed the outstanding improvements and changes at SCS this year.

With the renewed enthusiasm by staff and leadership exhibited by the new Director Marc Elin, the school is providing students and parents a quality education so important in the Valley.

The continuation and expansion of the emotional wellness program provided on site by Hanna and Dr. Macy’s team has proven a great benefit to the students during the recent stressful times we have all experienced.

The enhanced focus on literacy and mathematics provided by Marian Rasmussen and Deena Reeves through Grade Level Proficiency Project (GLPP) has added to the academic rigor so key to educational success and progress. Carlos Ayala from Sonoma State can vouch for the value of this program... in K-2 specifically.

I encourage all educational administrators and the interested public to visit SCS soon and learn how this school is both innovating g and progressing.

On the way to becoming a model for our K-8 schools... in my opinion.

Gary D. Nelson

Sonoma Valley

Water rate increase no drop in bucket

EDITOR: If you are a customer of the Valley of the Moon Water District, please be aware that the VOMWD plans to increase water rates for moderate users by 40 percent by July 1, 2018. In addition, the VOMWD plans to decrease water rates for high users by 40 percent by July 1, 2018. You should have received a VOMWD flyer in the mail. The flyer does not graph the fact that moderate users (below 30,000 gallons per two-month billing period) will thus be subsidizing the high water users (in excess of 30,000 per two-month billing period) whose bills will decrease by 40 percent. Sound smart? Sound fair?

The duty of the water district is provide safe drinking water and to encourage all ratepayers to conserve this precious resource. We ratepayers generally have done a good job of conserving water, but VOMWD plans to punish those of us who have learned to live with less and reward those who continue to demand copious amounts of water for their huge homes, land, hobby vineyards, pools, hot tubs, etc.

These increases are detrimental not just because they are not smart and not fair; there are many rate payers who are on very tight budgets and limited incomes. Even $10 more per month can be a hardship for these customers.

If you are a VOMWD customer, I urge you to protest in writing to Valley of the Moon Water District. Send a letter or postcard with your name, address, city, zip and your written signature to: VOMWD, 19039 Bay St., Sonoma, CA 95476, or drop it into their mail slot at that location. Emails, phone calls or texts will not suffice. You must protest before Jan. 2, when the VOMWD board meets to decide our fate on this important issue. If you can, come to that meeting and voice your concern.

Paula Burkhart

Sonoma

Don’t text and drive!

EDITOR: Going somewhere for the holidays? For years, I have made people aware in newspapers and speeches how my life changed 25 years ago after a drunken driver hit me. I was 16 then. I urge all to have a sober driver if drinking and some are listening. Thank you.

I intend to bring more responsible, safe and sober drivers on the roads.

A new threat is quickly taking its place: Cellphones. I see people on them everywhere like in stores, restaurants and even vehicles. Drivers of all ages are distracted in numerous ways, but cellphone usage takes the cake.

Driving with a cellphone is like driving drunk, if not worse. Who wants to drive a vehicle and not pay attention to the road just to text a petty message? Is this distraction worth the risk of injuring or killing others?

People travel on roads and highways in beautiful California for the upcoming holidays. Drivers need to place undivided attention on the road for safety. Navigating or texting on the phone prevents them from that.

Using the phone for just five seconds is similar to driving the length of a football field at 55 mph, blindfolded. Clearly, that is irresponsible and unsafe.

Please, stop your vehicle when using the phone and do not drive drunk. This brings more safety to the roads every day.

Lori Martin

Tracy