Letters to the Editor: May 11, 2016

Where is Hunter S. Thompson, indeed

It’s a Scam

Phil Graf (Letters, May 4) denounces rent control as a scam lottery that would be unnecessary if Santa Rosa decreased its building fees and respected the “laws of economics.”

The truth is slightly deeper. Since Proposition 13, cities must collect their costs for infrastructure, schools and security (police and fire) up front in building fees or Mello-Roos assessments, or diminish the level of service for the rest of the community.

A more intelligent solution to the shortage of affordable housing is mandating mixed-income neighborhoods. This means that multi-family housing would have to be scattered among the mansions. Mansion owners might pay slightly more, but would have neighbors who were not quite so preoccupied with the almighty dollar (never mind those mythical “laws of economics”).

Mr. Graf is correct in pointing out that “planning” as conducted throughout most of California is an illegitimate abuse of power, but building fees aren’t the nexus of that abuse.


Call Me a Dreamer

The Hil gets indicted over her emails. The Donald gets exposed for his ties to organized crime. Bloomberg and Bernie each emerge as third party/write-in candidates. The country gets its first New York Jewish president.

Where is Hunter Thompson when we need him?

Santa Rosa

GMOs No, Noreen Yes

The citizens of Sonoma County have long been concerned with the risks associated with the planting of genetically modified crops. The vast majority of GMO crops are engineered to be herbicide-resistant. As a result, farmers who plant them tend to use more herbicides per acre than if they had planted conventional crops.

In 2006, a proposed ordinance to ban GMOs, Measure M, was defeated here in the county, thanks to an expensive campaign largely funded by the Monsanto Corporation. Monsanto (surprise!) makes a lot of money from GMOs.

In November, a new ordinance to ban GMOs will be on the ballot. You can read it at www.gmofreesonomacounty.com/ordinance. It is very clear: it does not ban the sale of GMO products; it does not ban research into GMOs; it only bans their cultivation.

In the 5th District supervisorial race, one major candidate has hired the consultant who ran the campaign to defeat Measure M. The other, Noreen Evans, is very clear on where she stands: for the ordinance and opposed to the planting of GMO crops. Noreen has my vote.


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