So sad to know that the Railroad Square location is a no-go ("Ramen for Here," Dec. 9). I would love to have been able to walk to ramen, but I suppose it's better for my wallet and waistline.
Chris Brokate and his Clean River Alliance volunteers go out every week to the Russian River and remove pounds and pounds of trash. The dumpsters cost $600, and we can fill them in the first hour of the cleanup. After that, we pay out of pocket to haul more trash to the dump. I'm hoping for some assistance to make a difference. The man who runs this organization is extremely compassionate and hard-working. He always remains positive, smiling and laughing, even when covered in the "nasty nasty." When I first met him as a volunteer, he told me, "I found home." This has resonated with me every since. He spends more time cleaning the river than at his day job, and his only motive is to better the Russian River area we all love so much and keep the trash out of the nearby ocean.
Since we are approaching flood season, it has gone from a priority to an emergency. If you look at photos of the Clean River Alliance Facebook page from last week's cleanup, you can see we are at a crucial time before the river rises and sweeps everything to sea. We could use volunteers, dumpsters and monetary donations to help pay for the trash bins, gloves, contractor-strength trash bags, grabbers, coffee and food for the volunteers. Please contact me if you are interested in helping and what talent, service you would like to offer: Molly.firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am distressed to hear about the plans to create two more rows of parking in Courthouse Square, taking away green space and redwood trees with it. We are currently facing a climate crisis, and leaders around the world have gathered in France to talk about this pivotal point in time. To make a decision to create more parking flies in the face of what is needed to sustain ourselves on this planet. We need to be sequestering carbon by planting more trees and biomass, not cutting down trees and releasing carbon into the atmosphere while we then pour asphalt. A parking lot will be another urban heat sink that will increase city temperatures due to the absorption of heat into thermal mass, thus adding to our global warming problem.
We do not need more space for cars; we need to add more easily accessible local transit. We need people to use bicycles, to carpool and the like. I have a car and I drive it, but I still would rather walk four blocks to my location than remove green space for more parking.
This is a perfect time for a creative design strategy. Let's create a solution that will inspire other cities and keep us in the forefront of creative urban-design strategies.
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