Letters to the Editor: Jan. 4, 2012

Credit Where Credit’s Due

Oops! I hate to tell ya, but the Boho gang has been scammed. Well, maybe that’s too strong. But the “letter” from Glen Ellen reader Irv Sutley (“Rhapsodies & Rants,” Dec. 28) is bogus. Sutley might have sent it, but he didn’t write it. I’ve received this one several times in the past month or so in my inbox.

Santa Rosa

Construction Time Again

This last week, a lively rally to support the SMART train and bike pathway drew over a hundred folks at the San Rafael city hall. We were there to celebrate the sale of nearly $200 million in bonds that will permit construction to begin early next year, creating over 900 jobs.

The train has now left the station. For more than two decades, the transit community has been working with local government to create a multi-modal, integrated transit system for the North Bay. The challenge of the 21st century will be to rationalize and regionalize our basic life-support systems: land, water, energy resources sustaining ecosystems, housing and transportation. SMART is the natural next step in building the transportation infrastructure for a sustainable future in the North Bay region.

All around us we can see the effects and consequences of the Great Recession. It is not a surprise that the rollout of SMART has been delayed by the Wall Street crisis. The new SMART general manager, the estimable Farhad Mansourian, has pledged publicly that he will deliver this project in full. We will get the whole train line and the regional trail with it.

The SMART rail and trail is a classic example of a good long-term investment that will generate jobs and economic activity now, and will yield substantial benefits for generations to come. This is the exactly the kind of infrastructure investment that we need to get America back to work building for future generations.

Accountable Development CoalitionSanta Rosa

Bad Meat Year

Twenty-eleven has not been a good year for the meat industry. In May, the World Cancer Research Fund advised limiting meat consumption to reduce the risk of bowel cancer. In August, salmonella contamination forced the world’s largest meat processor Cargill to recall 36 million pounds of ground turkey.

Then there were cruelty exposés. In March, an undercover investigation of the E6 Cattle Company in Texas showed workers bashing cows’ heads with pickaxes and hammers. In November, ABC News publicized atrocious conditions at Iowa’s Sparboe Farms.

Every one of us can resolve to cut our meat consumption in 2012. Entering “live vegan” in our favorite search engine brings tons of useful information.

Santa Rosa

Save the Tidal Slough

Though I am a long-time resident of Petaluma and was born and raised in Napa, I am relatively new to the Dutra plant issue. I am not new to issues surrounding the effects that development has on water resources and the fragile habitats they support.

Over the past years, I have been involved in efforts to facilitate responsible and sustainable development in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on Donner Summit, the headwaters to major river systems that supply California with our precious water. The Petaluma “river system” is as fragile, if not more so, because it is actually not a “river” at all. It is a tidal slough that does not have a river flow to protect it from the damage and destruction the impact of development brings.

In these times when water resource management / sustainability and wetlands habitat preservation is critical to the future of our community and beyond, it is imperative that we find sane, sustainable and responsible solutions to the issues of development along and among these fragile habitats. Our “tax dollars” should be used wisely and conscientiously in ways that benefit our community today and for generations to come.


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Sonoma County Library