I feel fortunate my parents chose Sonoma County to raise their family. My siblings and I were able to live in a modest home in the Montgomery Village area in Santa Rosa.
Mom and Dad hailed from Milwaukee, Wis., where polka is king. As a family of six children, we would pack ourselves into the station wagon and make the drive into the Valley of the Moon to spend the day at Little Switzerland. I have such fond memories of these family outings with the music, dancing, good food and fun activities for children.
Now, as a grown woman with daughters and granddaughters, I can no longer create new memories at Little Switzerland. I am glad every so often that I can drive to the Moose Lodge on Broadway in Sonoma and get a good workout on a Sunday night trying to keep up with the polka masters out on the dance floor there.
My point is this: the only thing I am certain of in life is change. Sonoma and its outlying communities are changing, much like other areas throughout Sonoma County. Who among us old-timers could truly have envisioned gaming casinos gracing our rural landscape, much less the "friendly city" of Rohnert Park?
Please keep the conversations going among yourselves in Sonoma regarding your community and growing pains. Some of us even remember when there was a swimming pool at the Sonoma Valley High School, which was a wonderful asset to the most important part of any town: its children and youth.
I have pledged $100 to Native Songbird Care & Conservation to help Veronica Bowers, her staff, and her mission ("Bird Call," April 24). I have signed the petition to remove the nets on the NSCC website. I have shared this horrible problem with over a hundred conservationists. If you can, please help. Please sign the petition at www.nativesongbirdcare.org, and please spread the word.
West County Hawk Watch
Thank you Moss Henry, you said it all (Letters to the Editor, April 24). I couldn't have said it better, and I'm only wanting to know what actions could change this course of events that has us playing bully to the world. Of course we are now targeted. Of course we are hated. When will the psyche of the United States realize that its role in the world has changed from great defender to self-righteous oppressor? How many more lives anywhere have to be sacrificed in the name of what Moss aptly calls "unwinnable madness"?
So in reality, we have an out-of-our-control government, out-of-our-control lobbyists (read: bribers), domestic (read: gun control) and international policies that no longer serve the common good (read: peace at home and peace in the world). And this is the light of democracy? More like its shadow side.
What do we have to do?
Great Open Mic by Pieter S. Myers ("Rights Left Behind," May 1). The slow erosion of civil liberties has surely reached a tipping point. Manufacturing consent, as Noam Chomsky puts it, is done slowly, deliberately and with great specific intent every day with relentless fear messaging via mainstream media.
If you choose to have fear in your life (and I am not recommending it), let it not be for the occasional crackpot radical—they have, and always will be around (born inside this country or not). It should be for the legions of government agencies (19 in total, apparently, in Boston—BTW, where are they every weekend in Oakland?) that are growing every year on your tax dollar and devoted to broadening every manner of surveillance into our lives.
This all to keep the tired, slaving (and voting and taxpaying) masses staying terrorized of terrorists!
Public safety? Yeah, right.
Just like the war on drugs, this is another misguided government policy justified in order to keep large corporate shareholders happy, and for us to silently comply with increasing illegal intrusions into our daily life. And we are lucky: at least the drones aren't shooting us in this country. Yet.
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