Saturday’s Letters to the Editor


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Apr 27, 2023

Saturday’s Letters to the Editor

Petaluma ‘pipe dream’ EDITOR: Another pipe dream is being planned in Petaluma.

Petaluma ‘pipe dream’

EDITOR: Another pipe dream is being planned in Petaluma. The city feels like dropping a maximum of $5.3 million on environmental reviews for a bridge, and it put plans for a Rainier Avenue crosstown connector deep in a file cabinet at City Hall ("Crosstown connector proposal advances," May 18).

I was working for the city when I was asked in 1975 to draft the Rainier overcrossing for the general plan, which I did. After having Caltrans build a passage under Highway 101, the city said it's not going to happen. Kind of a waste of money, huh? That plan has been in the basement for 48 years. It looks like another set of plans is headed for the city's basement.

With the Petaluma River being a navigable stream, a proposed fixed bridge would have to be the same height as Highway 101. For the proposed bridge at Caulfield Lane, if it is a draw bridge or movable bridge, I would think the city would have to hire a bridge master 24-7 to open and close, or raise and lower. Maybe a couple more bucks should be added to the kitty for the Public Employees Retirement System fund and other benefits.

The price stated now for Caulfield is $48.5 million. What will it be 48 years from now?



A flawed panel

EDITOR: It's a shame the California Reparations Task Force has closed off true public debate on this topic till now. I know because I am among many others like me who went through all the steps to apply for committee membership only to find we were disqualified. It may have been accidental that we were all white Republicans who were disqualified from the task force, but in the end it was a big mistake to exclude us. No wonder it came up with a $5 billion payoff that was never challenged.

I am an ancestor of famous abolitionist John Brown, whose hanging was a key event preceding the Civil War. I have worked my entire life to help to repair the damage from slavery. Blacks and whites in my native Ohio worked together, with utmost integrity, to free the slaves, risking their lives and careers against many odds. No good can come from a process that does not continue in that tradition (Blacks and whites working together).

George Skelton's Sunday column ("Reparations debate begins in Sacramento") ended with, "The upcoming tussle at the State Capitol over reparations can only have a happy ending if there is realistic compromise." Good point.


Santa Rosa

Art envisions the future

EDITOR: In 1965 Frank Hebert's science-fiction novel "Dune" was published and a series of novels continuing the saga followed. Now, almost 60 years later, the second installment of the movie based on the one-time Santa Rosan's work is due out this November. So this is a story that still has widespread appeal to a large audience.

What may be less well known is that Herbert's son, Frank, and Kevin Anderson wrote a three-novel prequel to "Dune," a trilogy titled "Legends of Dune." This tells the story of how the various political factions of the planet Dune came into being and of the battle throughout the galaxy between humans and "thinking machines."

I am often surprised at how accurately good science-fiction can predict the future. Now that artificial intelligence is upon us, the potential conflict between humans and "thinking machines" is a topic that is (or should be) of real concern. So if you’re of a mind to have a troubled mind, give "Legends of Dune" a read. It may stimulate your thinking.



GOP weaponizes debt

EDITOR: It's interesting to me that Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Donald Trump all cut taxes, increased spending and ran up huge debts without complaints from Republican lawmakers who raised the debt ceiling without question during their administrations. On the other hand, with Democrats Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and now Joe Biden in office, suddenly the debt needed to be dealt with. But raising taxes on the wealthy cannot be used to do it. It must be spending cuts for programs that Republicans don't like. This looks an awful lot like a conspiracy to me. Will Republicans default on the debt? It seems to me that would accomplish their goals of eliminating social programs, and they would, of course, blame it on Democrats. I’m not optimistic about our country's future.


Santa Rosa

Try another name

EDITOR: Will you please stop using the term "sideshow"? It glorifies and legitimizes these gatherings. Your usage only serves to reinforce their attractiveness and notoriety. May I suggest, "illegal, dangerous reckless driving in a crowd" as a substitute? I know it's lengthy, but it's a more accurate and less glamorous term.



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Petaluma ‘pipe dream’ A flawed panel Art envisions the future GOP weaponizes debt Try another name You can send letters to the editor to