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Letters to the Editor: June 25, 2014 

Norman Solomon responds; Ratna Ling's mistake; Berryessa resource grab; restore library hours

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Disastrous Conformity

Victoria Hogan seems to think that good Democrats must not challenge the wisdom of party leaders (Letters, June 18). But from LBJ's escalation of the Vietnam War to President Clinton's corporate NAFTA pact to President Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan, such conformity has been disastrous.

Along the way, Hogan is so eager to be a party gendarme that she can't resist pseudo-factual distortion. From her letter, you'd never know that I've been a registered Democrat for the vast majority of my voting-age life. But if she's determined to root out Green-tinged deviation inside the California Democratic Party, I'd suggest she start at the top.

As the Sacramento Bee noted (Sept. 13, 2010), Jerry Brown went on CNN in 1998 to denounce then–President Clinton for "overwhelming" policy failures and leading the Democratic Party to be "taken over by a confederacy of corruption, campaign consultants and lobbyists." And guess what? Jerry Brown "said he voted for Ralph Nader instead of Clinton in 1996."

But for people with Hogan's mentality, Gov. Brown later redeemed himself by proving to be—yes—a corporate Democrat.

Inverness

Stop the Presses

What we have left of our rural habitat we must keep sacred! The expansion of a 60,000-square-foot industrial printing operation at Ratna Ling in the remote Cazadero hills of Sonoma County would be a grave mistake.

The operation would bring in toxic chemicals, commercial vehicles, water pollutants and an extreme fire threat to a delicate area of our county. Ratna Ling has already shown that they have no regard for laws and regulations by committing serious permit violations. With their track record, we should not be awarding them with an exemption to county plans that have reserved this area for forest and agricultural use.

Supervisors Carrillo, Rabbitt and McGuire have shown their support for this industrial operation that has been creeping into our community. Supervisors, I ask you how many times we must make the same mistakes? Again and again we have seen nature around us destroyed. Reversing our impact has proven challenging if not impossible.

There are places where such activities are appropriate and have the adequate infrastructure to accommodate this production and scale. That place is not here, nor should we continue to destroy our habitat to allow for it to be.

Cazadero

Destruction of Berryessa

Mike Thompson, the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of the Interior, Napa County supervisor Diane Dillon, Tuleyome's Napa branch director Carol Kunze, and Sens. Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein are the pack who contributed to or directed the destruction of Lake Berryessa ("Ghost Lake," June 18). Their goal has been to eliminate family recreation and motorized boating. Stimulus funds were used to destroy infrastructures, marinas and all facilities. The Thompson/Boxer bills to create the Berryessa Snow Mountain Monument are incongruous with the Thompson/Dillon pretense that they want recreation at the lake. This has been and continues to be a land/water/resource grab. The Thompson/Dillon Orwellian speak is the rhetoric of distraction and distortion. Neither has good intentions for Lake Berryessa, a regional asset and boater destination, and its community.

Via online

Support Our Libraries

How have reductions in staffing and hours of operation of the Sonoma County Library affected you? The cuts started in 2011 after the Bush administration/Wall Street collapse of 2008 and 2009 caused mandatory, across-the-board funding reductions.

The library's operating hours of 52 hours per week were sliced to 40 hours per week. Attendance plummeted from 2.9 million in 2010 to 1.9 million in 2013. Today, the Sonoma County Library struggles to do its job with barely $33 per capita here versus $51 in Napa County and $95 in Marin County.

Contact your county supervisor. Ask him or her to place a funding ballot measure of 1/8 of 1 percent or a parcel tax of $25 on November's ballot. A vote of more than 66 percent is needed to pass. Regular hours and full staffing would resume. Teen parents, children and seniors will thank you, and planning would start for a new Roseland District branch. Visionary educational advocates from Ben Franklin to Sam Brannon to Andrew Carnegie would be pleased. A young person or brand-new Sonoma County reader will gain his or her reading skill and an ability to soar.

Santa Rosa

Write to us at letters@bohemian.com.

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