Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor
Sep 6, 2016

Crosswalk roulette

EDITOR: I’m a physician, and I walk to work from my home. I walked home from Memorial Hospital recently; five blocks. Five people ran stop signs on my walk home. These were busy intersections on Montgomery Drive, Talbot Avenue entering Fourth Street, St. Helena Avenue at Fourth, Austin Way entering St. Helena and Proctor Drive entering Fourth.

These weren’t rolling stops. They were drivers ignoring pedestrians, cars and traffic while they blew through stop signs.

Sometimes, I cross Fourth at Proctor with an overhead flashing light to alert cars. During the school year, there is a crossing guard. Drivers keep going until they see a crossing guard with a stop sign; then they’ll apply their brakes. Without the guard, I must stop halfway to make sure the traffic will stop in the other direction. Many times, a driver will plow through the intersection when three lanes are stopped.

I’m wondering where our tax dollars are going. We need the police to be more vigilant and observant of our abysmal drivers. It’s no surprise that many pedestrians die in crosswalks in Sonoma County. Nobody obeys the rules. Is anybody policing our dangerous streets? I’m trying to send an SOS before another tragedy unfolds in a crosswalk in Santa Rosa.


Santa Rosa

Attacks on Hopkins

EDITOR: The letter from Thomas Morabito (“For the 99 percent,” Letters, Aug. 28) reaches a new low in the rhetoric and disinformation that has characterized the campaign against Lynda Hopkins. Since her opponents cannot find anything to criticize about what she has to say, they have resorted to fear and smear.

Hopkins is a progressive Democrat, as are most of her active supporters. She is an environmentalist and small farmer with a degree in land-use planning. She supports environmental protection, urban boundaries, affordable housing and supportive services. These are not agenda items of “the 1 percent.”

She was not hand-picked by anyone. She decided to run because she believes that she can be part of a better and fairer Sonoma County in the future. She’s received support from local business because she is smart, pragmatic and eager to work with everyone.

Noreen Evans is the candidate with the history of questionable financial support, including big energy, big pharmaceuticals, Indian gaming, payday lenders and wineries. True, she was in the state Legislature where this type of support is more common than we would like. But it is a disingenuous irony that her campaign accuses Hopkins of being controlled by interests that Evans has represented in the past.


Santa Rosa

Campaign spending

EDITOR: The Press Democrat is correct that Proposition 59 instructs Congress to use all its authority to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United (“Yes on 59: A say on campaign spending,” Friday). That case allowed unlimited amounts of corporate spending in federal elections. But Proposition 59 goes further and calls for a constitutional amendment to reverse all Supreme Court cases that equate unlimited campaign spending and contributions with free speech. This means we would finally be able to limit the amount that billionaires spend on their own campaigns or through super PACs as well. Both of these are good reasons to vote yes on 59.


Campaign manager, Proposition 59

Reaction to Kaepernick

EDITOR: I’m surprised that our military became the focal point of anger following Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem. He was clear that he was protesting racism in certain U.S. police departments — something no sane American can deny.

Kaepernick is a poor NFL quarterback. Well, not exactly poor. He’s going to make another $35 million this year and next whether he plays or not. He’s a poor team leader and crummy on the playing field under pressure. But he was smart enough to get an amazing contract. Kaepernick may realize he’s near the end of his NFL career and want to protest while he has an audience. I guess that makes him pretty smart in non-NFL terms.

In a way, I understand Kaepernick’s actions. Patriotism must be earned. Would I be dissing our military, or our good police officers, if I decided I couldn’t stand and salute the flag at the inauguration of Donald Trump? Come to think of it, could I give a hearty salute if Hillary Clinton wins?

Actually, if I was invited to the inauguration, no matter who is elected, I would stay home. That wouldn’t be very patriotic, but I hope people wouldn’t think it meant I didn’t appreciate the good our nation does as a protector of freedom.


Santa Rosa

Clinton cartoon

EDITOR: Considering all the negative stories you’ve reported about Donald Trump’s actual words and actions, it was very fair and balanced of you to publish the clever cartoon in Wednesday’s paper showing Hillary Clinton proving she’s healthy by hoisting all that Clinton Foundation cash. When you decide to return to the fact-based universe, consider: Charity Navigator gives the Clinton Foundation a higher rating than it gives the Red Cross.


Santa Rosa

The ‘weed train’

EDITOR: Thank you so much for the informative and appreciated column by Paul Gullixson in Sunday’s Press Democrat (“Do we really want to become the mecca for marijuana?”). I too think Santa Rosa getting on the “weed train” is a terrible mistake, and I’m ashamed of our city leaders wanting to get us involved with this, all for the sake of making money. We, the city, would have no control over this as there is too much criminal involvement.


Santa Rosa