Letters to the Editor

September 26 – October 3, 2007


I was interested to see this article (“Yo Soy el Army,” Aug. 29) finally published, having worked months ago with the author, Deborah Davis, to correct some of the misinformation that she had initially been given by others. I’m disappointed, however, to see many factual inaccuracies in the final version.

Among the most egregious errors is the repeated reference to ICE, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement, being responsible for military naturalization applications. In fact, military personnel file their citizenship applications with the same agency as every other citizenship applicant: the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS is not ICE. ICE is responsible for deporting immigrants, not naturalizing them, and no one files citizenship applications with ICE.

The process for applying for citizenship has been well-publicized on the Internet and in military units, and there’s a brochure that explains the process on the USCIS website.

USCIS also recently publicized its new hotline for helping military personnel with their immigration and citizenship applications. Rather than relying on the inaccurate information contained in your article, I suggest contacting a good immigration attorney or at least the hotline.

Lt. Col. Margaret Stark, Professor of military law, West point

Nothing Escapes Peta

We are rightfully outraged by visiting Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s taunting denial of the Holocaust. Yet at every meal, we deny the daily abuse and slaughter of millions of cows, pigs, and other innocent, feeling animals in U.S. factory farms and slaughterhouses.

There is no life before death for these animals. From birth, they are caged, crowded, deprived, drugged and mutilated. At the slaughterhouse, they are frequently dismembered, skinned or scalded, while fully conscious. Although 93 percent of consumers condemn such abuses, no state or federal law prevents them.

Like the “good Germans” of the 1940s, we have a fair idea of what goes on behind those walls, but we reject any reality checks. We fear that the truth might offend our sensibilities and perhaps even force us to change our diet.

This is why, on Oct. 2 (Gandhi’s birthday), 400 communities in all 50 states and two dozen other countries observed World Farm Animals Day with public education events. The purpose was to expose and memorialize the tragic use of animals for food and to promote an animal-free diet.

So the next time we are outraged by Ahmadinejad’s taunts or other injustices, let’s refuse to subsidize animal cruelty with our food dollars. Let’s observe our own World Farm Animals Day every day at the supermarket.

Steven Alderson, Santa Rosa

Girl Power

The Bohemian rocks! A big thank you from the members of Connections: A Forum for Women in Business, for getting out the info for our third annual gala fundraiser Sept. 11 that benefited the Circle of Sisters self-esteem-building girl’s programs (girl power!), local women’s shelters, and additionally provides funds to set up a new SSU scholarship fund.

Thanks again from Connections, the most fun women’s nonprofit organization in the North Bay.

Ilona Lea, Public Relations Director


The Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) is seeking millions of dollars from the Bureau of Reclamation to build a huge pipe and pumping network in order to export treated wastewater from their contractor cities to southern Sonoma and Napa valleys for more agricultural irrigation. This would put added demands on SCWA water sources, including the Eel River, to supply new growth rather than maximize the reuse of treated wastewater to first displace potable water demands for landscaping, toilets, industrial and commercial uses.

Senate bill 1472 (Feinstein, Boxer) and HR 236 (Thompson, Woolsey) are funding bills requested by SCWA for this purpose, and they have already been heard in subcommittees in both the House and Senate. Friends of the Eel River urges you to write to Sen. Bingamen, D-N.M., expressing your opposition, as soon as possible: Sen. Jeff Bingaman, Chairman, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, 703 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C., 20510.

Ellen Komp, Friends of the Eel River, Redway

The Ed.,
Covered in cardboard cuts and odd bits of tape