Letters to the Editor


Pay Attention, Please

Sometimes we innocently value something because it has been costly and the effort would feel futile if the result were found lacking. In the case of the Northeast Area Plan (NEAP), Sebastopol City Council members have made earnest deliberations, giving of their time and skills. The cost of the plan and the draft EIR is $470,000. Is the dubious result so vigorously protected because it has cost so much? It is not too late to modify the plan.

If citizens aren’t in favor of four-story buildings—including 300 homes—on up to 10 feet of fill in a flood/liquefaction zone and unnecessary commercial spaces with unknown and unexplored economic impact on Main Street merchants and a mighty increase in traffic, it would be a good idea to attend the next meeting of the city council on Feb. 19 as they discuss the NEAP’s proposed amendments to our general plan. For more information, contact the Sebastopol Preservation Coalition: [email protected] It is all possible.

Gayle Bergmann


No Thanks, Joe

I met Joe Nation a long time ago when he first took a shot in the political arena, then running for Marin County Supervisor. Joe is a nice guy who seemed to have a desire to do good. When Joe miraculously won the assembly seat in an all-too divided race, Joe had his opportunity to show his stuff and represent Marin and southern Sonoma counties.

Joe’s service to his district was ineffectual at best. Joe always seemed to be heralding legislation that went nowhere or certainly didn’t represent either the needs or interests of his constituency.

Joe’s lack of continued success in politics was a signal that the fit wasn’t right; Joe wasn’t for us and we weren’t for Joe. The will of the voter had spoken, the message was clear then.

Joe took a poorly calculated risk running against Lynn Woolsey for the congressional seat in 2006. Joe didn’t stand a chance. It didn’t take a seasoned political pundit to see that. And once again, Joe is running for State Senate Third District.

Nothing really has changed except for the date on the calendar and the number of gray hairs some of us exhibit. Joe’s politics and his support aren’t those of this community’s. Joe has the looks of a superhero but not the powers required of the title.

I wish Joe would stop charging that windmill that doesn’t exist and just quietly and permanently remain in private practice and private life. We have far better representation than Joe ever gave us and a far better candidate than Joe could ever be running for State Senate. I know who my money is on.

Thanks Joe, but really, no thanks.

Ted Newman

Mill Valley

paper trail

I want to thank Secretary of State Debra Bowen for decertifying voting machines that might be faulty. Touch-screen machines are vulnerable to tampering. That’s what computer-security experts concluded in the “top-to-bottom” review she convened.

I’m glad they won’t be used to count my vote. Our Founding Fathers didn’t use electronic voting machines, and many democracies around the world still use paper ballots. Paper ballots got us George Washington. Electronic voting machines got us George W. Bush. We all know what a disaster that’s been.

Joyce T. Naylor

Santa Rosa

negative reinforcement

I read your recommendations every election cycle and appreciate your commentary on the issues. Especially for the initiatives, which are always suspect in what’s supposed to be a representative democracy, your thoughts help clarify.

But what you wrote on the first two initiatives actually convinced me to go against your recommendation! When will we stop earmarking funds for specific projects in the Constitution? Aren’t we already totally hamstrung by past initiatives? What’s the use of an annual budget or even a legislature when almost all their decisions are locked in by temporarily swayed voters?

Anyway, thanks for convincing me on those two and making me feel better for not totally aping your recommendations overall.


via e-mail

Sonoma County Library