April Letters to the Editor
Sonoma Strong for everyone
I was saddened to read about the Sheriff ’s reaction to a request to join in a fund raiser for Latinix residents who needed help during one of our many fire disasters. I see nothing wrong with helping a group that may need a bit more help than more privileged people. I am shocked to learn that the slogan “Sonoma Strong” is interpreted by some as supporting systemic racism. I never thought of it that way but then I am not a victim of pernicious racism as many of my fellow citizens are. We must respect the worth and dignity of all.
The Sheriff ’s office should embrace all segments of our society and learn that helping one part of us is helping all of us. Also, it does not matter when we moved into the County, we all contribute.
This snobbishness has to cease.
Linda Robinett Sebastopol, CA
Continued vaccine conversations
I thank you Gazette for keeping a balanced attitude as we struggle to seek the truth about vaccines and covid. It is good to keep in mind that there is not one science.Especially in the area of health care, there are many valid scientific pathways; acupuncture, ayurvedic, chiropractic, shamanism, homeopathy, massage, diet, exercise, meditation, flower essences, herbology...There is not one science. At its best , science is an ongoing inquiry of observation, thought and research , that leads us to a deeper understanding of life.
There are many troubling issues with vaccines , past and present. To know this , all one has to do is inquire. You may not want to inquire, but do not fault others for doing so. Please do not disparage others for thinking thoughts, different from your own.
There is NOT one science, that is the truth.
Theresa R Melia Graton
Proposed cannabis regs ‘cookie cutter’ approach
There is a reason that of 58 California counties only 15 allow outdoor commercial cannabis.
Impacts on neighborhoods are just too severe to offset with any mitigations.
Sonoma County started out with a use permit process, which is what is required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) but is now attempting to go to a ministerial process to accommodate the cannabis industry demands. This is applying a cookie cutter approach to land use. Our county is too diverse to assume all parcels are so much alike that you can apply the same imaginary checkbox solution to each one. Other counties have tried this scheme but have had to return to use permits, after years of wasted time and lawsuits.
This attempt to bypass CEQA law will not succeed, but our County officials surge blindly ahead. Meanwhile the failed Penalty Relief Program allows those who broke the law and avoided taxes for years to continue
to operate and even expand without consequences.
The commercial cannabis rollout is a failure and the only way forward is to abandon the 2/16/21 Draft Ordinance and go back to amending the previous ordinance so that the scuttled neighborhood compatibility phase will finally be fulfilled.
Marcy Meadows Graton
More inclusive spaces, please!
Thank you so much for creating this meaningful learning and connecting opportunity. I hope there will be more in the future!
With gratitude, Saskia Garcia
What about neighbor inputs?
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in their original 2016 cannabis ordinance promised that cannabis growing “would not be detrimental to health, safety, welfare or materially injurious to properties or improvements in the vicinity.” This is being sidelined in the new draft ordinance proposals. Gone will be any ability for neighbors to have input into permits.
The cannabis industry successfully lobbied for a much easier permitting process. In the draft ordinance cannabis, permitting will now be directed by the Ag Commissioner instead of a more rigorous process with Permit Sonoma.
65,000 acres will be open to cannabis growing, eclipsing wine grapes at 60,000 acres.
Little is being done to check environmental impacts. Water usage, estimated to be at least seven times that of the wine industry, is not being addressed. Nothing is being done to insure that smells caused by growing the plants will be monitored and mitigated.
Grows are allowed a mere 300 feet from neighboring structures.
If this new ordinance is allowed to go into effect in its current reiteration, the rural character that we love in Sonoma County will vanish.
Let the Board of Supervisors know that this is not the correct direction for Sonoma County.
Chris Stover Sebastopol, CA
Looking to the next steps
Thank you so much to you and the organizers Amie – passionate experience and look forward hearing next steps. Also, in alignment with the topics discussed that night was our annual violence prevention seminar: Deconstructing Race & Racism with Dr. Washington.