I live adjacent to Salt Point. The suggestion that the park is somehow overrun with foragers is just absurd—most of them never make it more than a few hundred yards inland from Highway 1, in a park that extends a mile inland and up steep hills ("Capping the Stem," Dec. 18).
Are more and more people discovering it? Absolutely. Is the forest trampled? Hardly. Wild pigs have a much larger and more negative impact on the park (lately) than humans—period.
This year, there isn't much to harvest anyway, as we simply haven't had enough rain.
The idea that other Coastal Sonoma parks should be opened to foraging is brilliant. The larger numbers of people randomly walking the forest will also stem the emergent destructive illegal pot grows on state property as well—something that is a recurring problem in Salt Point (and others) but somehow is not mentioned much in the press.
It may feel good to call Marty Bennett and the Living Wage Coalition "jerks", and marginalize Sonoma State University as full of "eggheads," yet below-the-belt name calling only camouflages the issues they call out attention to.
Are not workers in Sonoma County deserving of a living wage of $15 per hour, while the stock market soars, real estate corporations buy and rent out foreclosed houses, and income equality expands?
Anyone who has studied the current state of capitalism and the U.S. economy, knows that corporations and their lobbyists rule this country, living standards of the vast majority suffer as the 1% gets richer and richer, and our environment is for sale to the highest bidder.
Thank God for people like Marty and the Living Wage Coalition who wage the lonely fight for the good of all.
A lot of people have given up.
My father fell off a barn when I was about 13 years old. He cracked his vertebrae and missed about six months of work. There was no unemployment insurance or federal relief money. Everything became very lean as life was put on hold in hopes of better days.
By Christmas, my father was getting around on crutches. We had a Christmas tree, but I dared not ask for anything for Christmas. I knew we didn't have any money. On Christmas Eve, we had a family gathering and we had food to eat. There actually was some exchanging of gifts, and my mother handed me a small wrapped box. I was shocked. I anticipated nothing. Opening the present, I found a simple watch. I would guess it cost $8 to $10 at the most. It might as well have been a Rolex. I was so surprised and couldn't believe my parents had bought me something for Christmas. I don't know how they did it.
A couple of months later, my father was back to work and times became better as we hung in there and survived difficult times. The Christmas gift is stuck in my head as being one of the all-time best. The gift was simple but great.
Most of us know about a difficult time in life. We've all been there in some way. Maybe you are there now. Possibly your heath is not so great and you are hoping for better days. You may be unemployed and you don't know how you are going to pay all the bills. Often life is never exactly as we had hoped or planned.
Every year of life is a little different, and if you are reading this, you still have hope. One of the keys to a better tomorrow is hanging in there today. It's easy to give up. Life can be discouraging.
Today . . . hang in there and remember what Christmas is about.
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