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Letters to the Editor 


Funny Flashback

Thank you for "Field Trippin'" by John Moss (Jan. 21). I appreciated it for two reasons. First, the candid approach Mr. Moss employs when addressing his students' questions about drugs is a healthy departure from the too common "Do as I say, not as I do" tack, which clearly doesn't work.

Secondly, his story was vividly reminiscent of a fine spring day in 1968 when I, then a student at Sonoma Valley High School, decided it would be a good idea to drop acid at lunch. It wasn't. Turns out high school is not the optimal setting for that type of pursuit. Who knew?

What I did know for sure, though, was that no adult in my entire world at that time had any inkling of what I was experiencing, and it was likely that any adult attempts to "help" would be hysterical and counterproductive. Mr. Moss' students are fortunate in that regard.

Such serious issues aside, I was right there with him, walking those same streets 40 years later! Eerily synchronistic, too, that Mr. Moss sought refuge under the very same giant eucalyptus that was the place we budding hipsters would gather and, yes, trip, way back when. Coincidence? Probably.

Jeff Falconer

AGua Caliente

Dose of Humor

I laughed so much that empathetic tears streamed down my face. John Moss' "Field Trippin'" was terrific. His account of an acid trip unknowingly given to him by a high school student had me smiling and in stitches. Thanks.

Carla Sarvis

Mining for Information

I landed on your website by tracking the financial articles by John Sakowicz. I enjoyed reading the coal article by Ms. Locke (Green Zone, "Powering Past Coal," Jan. 21). I was aware of the coal-ash mess because I am involved with an alternative energy startup company. I just wish to address a couple of points raised.

I am no defender of the coal industry, but when they talk "clean coal," they specifically mean carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology, which is not even a proven, viable standard. This technology involves piping CO2 emissions back into the ground. My references indicate the system requires 25 percent additional coal burning to handle the penalty of CCS inefficiencies. This definitional application was not brought out in the article. No need to set up a straw dummy.

Next, the author may be unaware to the extent the Obama campaign took lobby money from this industry. Check it out: he got more from them than Clinton or McCain. So don't be surprised by the industry getting paybacks. Above all else, Obama is a politician.

Next, my U.S. government data indicates that we get half our electric power from coal. Perhaps the author is mixing in the transportation sector energy use of oil to arrive at her one-third figure mentioned in the article. The world figure is 40 percent of electric power derives from coal. But China and India are nearly 80 percent coal-powered and growing, which means more coal plants. Even Germany plans to add coal plants to its portfolio. I hate to bring sad news.

Finally, keep the faith. If we can get our technologies developed, the world can go 100 percent renewable. We're hoping to obtain our proofs of concept within a few years.

Mark King


AutoReply to Sen. Boxer

Well, Sen. Boxer, as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, your autoreply email regarding the recent Israel-Gaza "conflict" continues to place the onus on Gaza and the empathy on Israel. That is completely one-sided. Where is your sense of justice and fairness, Sen. Boxer? Even a look at the simple facts illustrates the numbers of Palestinian civilians who were killed and maimed in the 22 days of Israeli bombing. I am sadly disappointed in your thin analysis of that harsh reality.

T. Freedman
Santa Rosa


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