Letters to the Editor


Savvy, not Sinking

While I was slightly dismayed at the indirect characterization of Mentor Me Petaluma as “sinking” and in need of a bailout (“Advocate for the Advocates: George Moskoff’s Minerva Project bails out sinking nonprofits,” Nov. 3), I was very happy to be included in the article as an example of one of the many savvy local nonprofits working with George and his fellow consultants. The Minerva Project, along with SSU’s Center for Community Engagement, is a fantastic resource, and I applaud their efforts!

Val Richman

Executive Director, Mentor me Petaluma

Corruption of the board

The city of Bell, Calif., has nothing on the Sonoma County Office of Education Board of Directors when it comes to gratuitous retirement benefits. At a recent meeting, the board set aside its own rules for the time of service needed to award retirement health benefits for the superintendent. Dr. Carl Wong asked for and received lifetime health benefits, even though he had not served the required number of years to do so. The board bypassed the requirements by allowing him credit for “time served” as superintendent of Petaluma Unified School District.

This extraordinary gift comes at a time when Dr. Wong has issued five furlough days for all of his staff. Additionally, he is seeking to cut health benefits to teachers and clerical staff, cut summer school for the Community School program, and place substitute teachers to teach in Juvenile Hall for 63 days per year.

With this, the board then increased the salary of the new incoming superintendent by close to $20,000—before he even steps in the door. This means he will be making in the neighborhood of $193,000 per year. Shame on you, Dr. Wong, and shame on the board.

Richard Hargreaves

Santa Rosa

There are Enough people Already

I am a student at Santa Rosa Junior College majoring in environmental conservation. One topic I can’t get out of my mind is the overpopulation of humans. I believe we have exceeded our carrying capacity and then some. When I look for solutions to environmental issues, whether it be improving salmon habitat or protecting ecosystems, wildlife almost always loses over the needs of human growth. If there’s a debate over whether gravel mining should be permitted in our creeks, sure, there’s a council meeting about it. But wildlife loses, somehow the project passes, and the destruction begins.

If only we could see that we are in the way. There isn’t room anymore, and I don’t hear anyone address this in a public forum. I am 34 years old and probably won’t have children. There are simply too many people already. I can adopt. To me, that is recycling at its finest. I know that convincing people to plan their number of children or to adopt instead is a touchy subject, but it needs to be said.

Erin Middleton