Letters to the Editor


Powered for the People

Cutting ties with PG&E and developing a local power supply through a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is a noble goal (“Voltage and Violets,” May 25). The article names some possible local power sources: solar panels, geothermal, chicken manure, wave power.

PG&E has recently abandoned trying to generate electricity from ocean waves. If PG&E can’t do it, I doubt that a Sonoma County CCA can. “Sonoma County is the Saudi Arabia of geothermal energy,” gushed the article, “with room to expand.” I read the environmental impact statement (EIS) section regarding seismic activity, when Santa Rosa began pumping its wastewater into the Geysers, some years ago. The EIS stated that this action would increase the incidence of earthquakes, which it has. Just ask the residents of Cobb, near the Geysers, after reading the official statistics. Cloverdale is too close for comfort to the Geysers. Santa Rosa’s wastewater could trigger our Big One.

As for chicken droppings and solar energy, I hope that they work. It would be fitting for a chickenshit utility like PG&E to be bested by bird turds.

Philip Ratcliff


Sorry, Ry Cooder

I thought you captured perfectly, in one brief phrase, the entire mood of Down Home Music and Arhoolie: “Eyefuls of boredom” (“Fifty Years of Howlin’,” Jan. 26). I know this scene very well, and you were able to convey it without belaboring a thing. Excellent work.

Sandy Rothman


Hobbs vs. Jenkel

I agree with Bruce Robinson (“Sour Grapes,” May 18) that John Jenkel has been an overbearing person. He has paid the homeless to protest his causes and has shouted loudly in public meetings, the very definition of a loon, and in my opinion has given the anti-war movement a bad name.

But just as a teacher does not steal a child’s lunch money just because he disrupts the classroom, the Sonoma County court shouldn’t have given away John Jenkel’s land simply for being an annoyance.

Winemaker Paul Hobbs says this all started with Jenkel damaging his trees, but driving along Highway 116 shows what his retribution is: Jenkel’s redwood trees, chopped into oblivion. Clear-cutting redwood trees to put in more vineyards for the so-called community good? What sort of community does he think he lives in?

It is my hope that the court reverses its decision or offers some kind of retribution, but it’s already too late—the redwoods have been felled. All we can hope for is that when Paul Hobbs himself is old and senile, someone takes advantage of him the way he’s abused John Jenkel, and steals the land back.

Don Elliott


Buy a Parks Pass

There is a very simple way to keep all of our state parks open and have enough funding to properly maintain all facilities: buy an annual state parks pass.

Instead of spending money on political campaigns to raise taxes, every person who voted for the state parks bond needs to buy an annual pass.

California voters numbering 4,190,793 voted yes on Proposition 21 in last year’s election. Multiply that by $125, and our State Parks system would gain $523,849,125—money that would go directly into State Parks coffers and cannot be reallocated or moved to other state agencies or to the general fund. Each and every dollar stays with our State Parks.Buy your pass today; it’s the only sure-fire way to preserve and protect our valuable cultural and natural resources.

Dan Young


A Freeway Fix

Here’s an idea: Instead of reading “Slow traffic use right lane” (“Who, me? I’m not a slow driver . . .”), what if we made the more accurate request “Left lane for passing only”?

J. T. Younger

Santa Cruz