LETTERS - from Sonoma County Gazette Readers in PRINT and ONLINE - July 2019
Letters July 2019
Sonoma County Animal Services Director
Dear Sonoma County Gazette:
We, the undersigned, have recently learned about the elimination of the Sonoma County Animal Services Director position in the County’s FY2019-20 Budget. We are writing to encourage the Board of Supervisors to reconsider this detrimental decision and do what they can to “add-back” this position. And we’re hoping Sonoma County residents will ask them as well.
The Director position is simply too important to eliminate or divide up. As representatives in neighboring jurisdictions, we care about what happens to Sonoma County Animal Services (SCAS) -- as many of our animal welfare issues, policies, challenges and solutions require a regional approach now more than ever before.
We respectfully disagree with the Public Health’s conclusions that there will be “no client impact” and no “provider impact”. Without a director, decisions will be delayed, oversight of the animal services program will be a lower priority and partnerships with agencies will be hampered. Sonoma County seems to have a high turnover with its leadership at ACC and this won’t help! Constant turnover is hard for staff both for morale and to have consistent policies and direction.
It also takes time to build relationships with other organizations. Given the lessons learned with responding to disasters, we have built an important network of animal organizations and strengthened the communications among the humane societies and animal service agencies in Northern California. Regrettably with the elimination of the director from our network and communication channels, we are concerned the role Sonoma County Animal Services will have in future disasters will be compromised as well.
We hope the County will consider other options before the director position is permanently eliminated from the FY2019-20 budget.
Sonoma County Animal Services has made great strides in the past few years, and all of us want to see that progress continue with a director at its helm.
School Supply Drive
Dear friends at Sonoma County Gazette,
Thank you so much for running information on our school supply drive for the children of farm workers on your website.
We truly appreciate your assistance in getting the word out.
Food Empowerment Project
To Honor and Grieve for the Gray Whales
Over 70 gray whales have washed up dead on the US Pacific shores this year, 13 of them in the San Francisco Bay Area. Most have died of starvation, a few by collision with ships.
My heart is breaking as we witness what may be the beginning of the end of this magnificent species that has shared the earth with us for as long as we have been human. Our world will be a poorer place without them.
My friends Doug von Koss, Francis and Judith Weller, Elizabeth Herron and others are planning a memorial service and grief ritual for the whales July 20 at Dillon Beach. The ritual will begin at 9:00 AM. All are welcome. If you are touched as we are by this tragedy we invite you to join us.
In solidarity with all beings,
Larry Robinson, Sebastopol
Fire Safety Tree Removal by PG&E
PGE threatening to take out a large number of redwoods and Douglas firs for “fire safety” as they improve the power lines here at Odd Fellows Park. I’m sure this is happening all around us.
PGE has made outrageous proouncements about what they intend to do. We’ve had 4 different companies—all sent by PGE—to mark areas and trees that need thinning—each with a different color. All eventually replaced by a new group that will come in and do the same thing.
Well, serendipitously, Bob and I went to an annual fundraising event Forest Unlimited whose executive director helped and guided a small group of Park members to intelligently oppose and ultimately defeat an effort to launch a timber harvest above our cabin back in 2002 - 2004. He and many of the group’s members also planted redwood seedlings up there to help stabilize the mountain.
Unbeknownst to us, They had a brilliant guest speaker, Brian Nowicki,  201.6938 —California Climate Policy Director of the Center for Biological Diversity [firstname.lastname@example.org] who gave a slide show presentation demonstrating that the trees did not spread [let alone start] the fires of Paradise and many others. He repeatedly made the point that the homes were what burned and the aerial photos showed that the trees were not the problem [since they didn’t burn] and that the fires were spread from house to house. Another slide showed a fire fueled by chapperal—which is a fire hazard. He also made the excellent point that if the trees are cut, it will result in the growth of grasses and chapperal which are very fire hazardous!