Let the fruit fall where it may

EDITOR: At a time when we are solving real problems like pink doors, gas blowers (some are still around) and names of rooms, for heaven’s sake can’t we find a less destructive way to Keep Our Plaza Clean Again?

How about caution tape around the tree when the fruit falls and volunteers to clean them up?

Oh, by the way, a portable sign outside of the Community Meeting Room that says Council Chambers on appropriate days might just work. Of course, then everycommission would want their sign… maybe they could be made from ginkgo wood.

Dave Brummett


Caveat developer

EDITOR: Reading Bill Lynch’s editorial on development plans for Schocken Hill (“The Fight for Sonoma’s Hillside – How Soon We Forget,” Jan. 29), I was reminded of a land-use battle that raged in Calistoga in 2012. My late wife Kristin Casey had served on the Planning Commission for 10 years and had helped craft a General Plan that would protect open space and preserve the entrances to town.

The plan included Rural Residential zoning for a wooded ridge just south of town. The zoning has been in place for over 15 years. But then a billionaire developer purchased the property, decided that he wanted to build a posh mega-resort on the site – and convinced the City Council to rezone the parcel.

I was one of the Calistogans that launched a petition drive to put the project on the ballot. Sadly, the developers outspent our grassroots group by a factor of 40 to 1. Their tsunami of advertising convinced voters that enormous development fees would pay for infrastructure and keep water and sewer rates down. Now the project has gone forward and – guess what? – water and sewer fees have increased dramatically despite the blithe promises.

Worst of all, a huge eyesore is now under construction on the once-beautiful wooded ridge above town. When completed, it will be there in perpetuity to remind Calistogans of how they were gulled by false promises and dishonest hype.

Beware of granting zoning exceptions on behalf of developers who come forward with grandiose plans.

Carl Sherrill


The road to Parnassus

EDITOR: In reading the article about our hospital joining forces with the University of California San Francisco (“Sonoma Hospital to Affiliate with UCSF,” Feb. 6) it gives me great hope that our Valley will soon be able to provide kidney dialysis for residents that currently must travel 40 miles (round trip), several times a week, to get their treatments. Some of these residents are in their 80s and 90s and I am sure the back and forth can be very taxing on their energy, time and finances (Uber, cabs, para-transit or, for the fortunate, friends).

If anyone from the hospital staff can address this issue, I’d be happy to know what the plan is.

Carol Davis