Letters to the Editor: Aug. 15, 2012

Letters to the Editor: Aug. 15, 2012

Not-So-Silent Springs

Thanks so much for Stett Holbrook’s article (“Traveling the Taco Trail,” Aug. 8). It was informative, accurate and inclusive. Rarely have the Springs’ history and wondrous food been so well represented.


Chasing Them Out

Despite Sebastopol City Council’s past-midnight, contentious 3-2 decision to conditionally approve the controversial Chase/CVS development in our downtown commons, the struggle isn’t over. First, a lawsuit will follow that maintains the project violates the California Environmental Quality Act, especially regarding traffic. Of 80 California cities its size, Sebastopol has the second highest number of injury accidents. This suburban strip mall would add at least 2,000 car trips daily.

Next, council elections happen Nov. 6, and two seats are open. Of four viable candidates, two oppose the development—Robert Jacob and John Eder. If either wins, he replaces outgoing councilmember Guy Wilson, who voted for the project, which then could potentially be voted down.

Thank you Vice Mayor Michael Kyes and Councilmember Sarah Gurney for standing against Armstrong Development, the U.S.’ largest bank, Chase, and its 18th largest corporation, CVS Pharmacy. Your insistence on conditions that CVS/Chase may not accept could sink this development. Sebastopol’s brave design review board also deserves credit for repeatedly rejecting the project.

A recent local editorial alleges there are no “good reasons” to reject Chase/CVS. Yet the applicant refused to cooperate, used stalling tactics, manipulated the truth and bent the rules. The editorial also refers to Chase’s “management blunders.” This minimizes the epic scale of criminal activity that both Chase and CVS have engaged in while paying out hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements to make us forget. In Sebastopol, we’re not forgetting.


Comic Relief

I really enjoyed the article on comedy (“Laughing Matter,” Aug. 1) by Leilani Clark. It was spot-on with interviews from several local comics and the different venues offering comedy in Sonoma County. Mr. Tony Sparks offered his “perils of wisdom” to comics of all levels on the comedy scene, just one example why Tony is called the “godfather of comedy” in the Bay Area. I realize the article was about local comics and the huge comeback of comedy in the Santa Rosa area, which is great! I want to give a shout-out to the local clubs and businesses who support comedy by providing comics the venue or the “rooms” where locals can meet friends, have dinner and a martini of two and enjoy an evening of comedy without having to drive to San Francisco.

I’d say it’s a win-win situation. Support the local businesses who support comedy and comedy grows! Thanks again for the wonderful article.

Santa Rosa

Segregated Spaces

I was at the Veolia hearing (“Bad Bus Business,” Aug. 8). Photos were shown of Jews and Muslims crowded together on public transportation. Photos were shown of signs and schedules in English, Arabic and Hebrew. Frankly, it’s hard to pretend that these facilities are segregated when all the evidence indicates that they weren’t.

Via online

Veolia’s buses aren’t for “Jews only”; however, they are instrumental and complicit in Israel’s system of apartheid and segregation. It is insulting to hear that people believe signs in three languages is enough to prove that a country is morally competent and does no harm. The fact that there were signs in English and Xhosa did not prove my experience with residents of Khayelitsha Camp, South Africa (2008), to be a joyous and celebrated occupation.

Take a look at a Wall Street Journal article this year that focuses on the resistance of women in Israel who have been forced to the back of the bus. In Veolia’s case, although they may not directly segregate their own buses, they run a business that supports a racist, heinous, disgusting, unfathomable system oppressing the native Palestinian population.


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