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Sonoma County Gazette
Letters to the Editor

Gazette Readers Respond
to Articles and Issues

Nov 21, 2017


Immigrant Stories

Christopher Kerosky of Immigrant Stories needs to get his facts straight. My son-in-law, a college educated Englishman, who has never broken any of the U.S. Visa rules, has been waiting for over 7 months for a Green Card. We are nearing the end of the process, but will probably be waiting another month or two. Definitely not an easy 6 months!

Perhaps he could have applied from here, but he chose to return to England for the wait because he can only stay 3 months on a Visa to the U.S. I doubt that if he broke our immigration laws he would be getting a Green Card any time soon.

Did Mr. Kerosky just make up his facts?

Christine Philpitt


Dear Ms. Philpitt,

I have represented many thousands of immigrants through the green card process over 25 years, so I can assure you that I did not just “make facts up”. The truth is that persons from the UK and most of Europe do not need a visa to come here (unlike Mexican citizens). When they marry a US citizen, these Europeans are almost always eligible to process for a green card without leaving the country and without a pardon – even if they stayed here illegally and worked here illegally for many years. That’s not true for most Mexican citizens – even those who were brought here as children (not of their own volition).

This green card process for Europeans has taken approximately 6 months for the last 25 years, although it is now taking a few months longer under the Trump Administration. Your son-in-law apparently chose a slightly longer process through the Consulate.

Unlike most Europeans, these young people from Mexico with DACA must apply for an additional discretionary waiver and if denied, are barred from the country for 10 years. They must leave the country and process abroad, even if they get the waiver. Most people would say that’s unfair and that was one of the elements of anti-Mexican bias in the immigration law that was the subject of my article.

The immigration system is broken and it’s important that our society have a fact-based conversation about how to fix it. Even if we disagree about a solution, having a constructive and respectful dialogue about how to do so is preferable.

Christopher Kerosky

Six Point Action Plan for Homeless

Does the County or City have a right to make you use a private Co. for utilities in your Accessory Dwelling Unit or Agriculture Labor Force Unit that you could otherwise provide yourself? ie. Electricity? This seems to be on the table and I believe SB1069 placed and mandated by the state says No...anyone else research this?

People Need Homes P.N.H.

Friends of Shollenberger and Supporters of our wetlands,

We are relieved to announce that once again, Dutra has failed to provide evidence that their asphalt plant is necessary or feasible, that it is not damaging to Shollenberger Park and our river and wetlands, and our health, and that it won’t interfere with river navigation and safety.

Thank you to each and every one of you who took the time to write a letter to the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) and the U.S. Army Coprps of Engneers (USACE. We hope for the best, and with you) will continue to work to defend our wetlands, park, and Community health.

Keep informed via our FB pages Save Shollenberger and Save Shollenberger Park. “Like” us or ask us to “Friend” you. Tell your friends and neighbors that the fight to save Shollenberger Park is not over.

Joan Cooper
David Keller
Friends of Shollenberger

Attn.: Mr. Ross
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District
1455 Market Street, 16th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103-1398

Attn: Mr. Bryan Matsumoto
Briscoe, Ivester & Bazel, LLP
155 Sansome Street, Seventh Floor
San Francisco CA 94104
Attn.: Mr. David Ivester

Living with Redwoods

I have an small backyard with two very large redwood trees, every few years costs lots of money to trim them, during autumn and winter the whole backyard is covered with dead leaves, never mind growing anything, impossible.

Don’t u think planting redwood in an small backyard is a very bad idea?

Shirin Happ

Redwoods are beautiful, long lived, native trees. I love them in the rural and wild land setting but they are not ideal close to houses. It sounds like you already know about that. They can drop limbs, needles and they have roots that can be invasive to foundations. All that being said if you have well pruned and well established redwoods there are lots of reasons to keep them. They are beautiful and can add value to your home. They can also be very expensive to remove and may require a lengthy permit process depending on where you live. Generally, if the trees are well cared for, have good structure and are not presenting a nuisance to your house I’d recommend keeping them. 

Matt Banchero, 707-921-9217

Don’t Cut Those Oak Trees!

As described in local newspapers, our ecologists have seen trees felled in Sonoma Valley that were still alive. People may assume those trees are dead, because the fire scorched their leaves and bark. But as UC experts make clear, California trees – particularly native oaks – have evolved with wildfire and will likely regenerate themselves in the spring. The same goes for native chaparral such as manzanita, toyon and coyote brush – let them be!

Sonoma Ecology Center

No Pot on Purvine

When the Collings Property at 334 Purvine Rd. was sold in June of 2017, neighbors were shocked when, two months later, they received a letter from Sonoma County’s Permit & Resource Management Department informing them that the new property owner had submitted an application to create an industrial-scale medical cannabis farm for over 30,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor cannabis plants. Petaluma Hills Farm, LLC. will set precedent for industrial cannabis in the Middle Two Rock Area--unless they are stopped. If you would like to join us on our mission to protect natural resources in our area and promote ethical use of this land, please visit - or visit our Facebook page. Contact:


Cut for Christmas

piled three deep

leaning against each other

the back row on the concrete

in the Rite Aid parking lot


How they loved their roots in the earth

their branches reaching

Now here they are

doling old songs of green wind



their next world -- glittering

ropes of plastic and glass balls


then the green bin

the grind into compost


And they’re still alive

you can see that


in their soft needles and the sap bleeding out

the cut butt ends of their small trunks


The thing is

I love them –


as I love the child on the scooter just crossed

in front of my car

her thin leg a blur

as she pushes for speed

her pink parka flying open

hair a tassel of brown ribbons behind her

all her world in the sheer joy of being

--Elizabeth Carothers Herron



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