Letters to the Editor: June 11, 2014

Letters to the Editor: June 11, 2014

Why I Like You

The Bohemian is always a pleasure to read. I prefer hard copy to any online experience, and the quality of the paper, the layout and organization never fail to please. Yours is the only publication I look at that does not have typos, grammatical errors and ridiculously bad writing. Please take a look at SFGate.com and the Pacific Sun for thousands of bad examples of what I mean. The Bohemian is obviously staffed by intelligent people who care about producing a quality publication. When I open an issue, I know I am in good hands and will have a good time reading through all the thoughtful and accurate info. Thank you for the weekly pleasure.

Mill Valley

Climate-Friendly Food

I am delighted that the EPA has finally moved to abate the disastrous impacts of climate change by regulating carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. But given the adverse reaction from the coal industry, the agency should have issued parallel regulations on emissions from meat-industry operations. Each state could then determine its own strategy for curbing greenhouse gases.

A 2006 U.N. report estimated that meat production accounts for 18 percent of man-made greenhouse gases. A 2009 article in the respected World Watch magazine suggested the contribution may be closer to 50 percent.

The meat industry generates carbon dioxide by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to confine, feed, transport and slaughter animals. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are discharged from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.

In the meantime, each of us can reduce the devastating effects of climate change every time we eat. Our local supermarket offers a rich variety of plant-based lunchmeats, hotdogs, veggie burgers and dairy-product alternatives, as well as ample selection of vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts. Product lists, easy recipes and transition tips are readily available online.

Santa Rosa

Share the Road

Assuming every motorist is a careless idiot, and getting out of their way will never shift bicyclists out of second-class citizenship (Open Mic, May 21)—this is a civil rights issue, as much as it is an issue about access to education, because transportation is vital to economic and social opportunities in this sprawling society. It’s also a health issue, since regular exercise while commuting would eradicate America’s obesity epidemic.

Sharing the public roads is possible without friction, but not without education. A motorist is legally required to provide three feet of clearance to cyclists in a traffic lane. That can be done without crossing double yellow lines by most cars. My 1983 bike route sign introduced both Share the Road, a meme gone national, and three feet clearance, now the law in 23 states, including California.

Sure, cyclists like the tech titan in Mill Valley and neon-clad crews blowing through stop signs and red lights give riders a bad name. But bicyclists aren’t killing 30,000 motorists a year, along with several hundred pedestrians and bicyclists.

The documented failure to charge motorists who’ve killed pedestrians or cyclists with their vehicle reflects the motor-vehicle bias of our entire transportation system. Engineered solutions, such as bike lanes and separate paths, have not increased safety over sharing existing roads legally and visibly. Education of motorists and cyclists on how to share the road has been squeezed out by engineering costs for separate but unequal bike facilities. The carnage in crosswalks demonstrates pedestrians’ need for traffic-calming and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks.

Stinson Beach

Open Our Hospital

My husband and I attended our first Palm Drive Hospital community meeting and came away delighted. The Open Our Hospital campaign created by the allied physicians of Palm Drive and the Palm Drive Health Care Foundation makes sense on a business level. It is so refreshing to see fiscal responsibility embraced. Spending wise money by hiring professionals with successful track records such as nationally recognized hospital-turnaround expert Terry Newmyer is a good move. His excellent presentation showed various cutting-edge ideas to make Palm Drive the state-of-the-art hospital our community can get behind.

Imagine marketing a “no wait” emergency room. St. Helena Hospital did this with great success. Imagine our already in-place, award-winning stroke and orthopedic surgery specialists turning Palm Drive into a “destination hospital.”

I’m excited by the possibilities and I want to be involved. The difference now is that rather than feeling pity for a dead horse being beaten, I can envision the jewel just waiting to be polished within those hospital walls.

Susan Bendinelli


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