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Letters to the Editor

Published: Tuesday, March 22, 2005 at 5:57 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 22, 2005 at 5:57 a.m.

Animal control

EDITOR: As past president of Petaluma Pet Pals, a spay/neuter advocacy group, and a former Petaluma resident active in humane initiatives countywide, I was encouraged to see volunteers speaking out about conditions at the Sonoma County Animal Shelter and the hoarding of spay/neuter funding by the manager ("Animal shelter showdown," March 11). According to Tim Tesconi's article, nearly a year after county supervisors authorized $41,000 specifically for spay/neuter, only $3,000 has been spent. Even worse is the shelter's under-use of a $160,000 spay/neuter van.

In a county where local governments and humane groups have spent more than $10 million building huge new animal shelters over the past five years, hoarding funds and resources for spay/neuter is a disgrace. Why? Because taxpayers are going to end up paying the bill for the pet overpopulation that is now occurring because of unfixed animals, because shelter volunteers and staff will pay the bill in emotional suffering, and because the animals will pay the ultimate bill, by being killed at the Sonoma County Animal Shelter.

That Barry Evans would think it prudent to "save" spay/neuter funding "left over" for the future shows a distinct disconnect from the realities of breeding dogs and cats: they don't wait for the future. You cannot fix the problem without fixing the animals. It's called animal control.

JUDY REYNOLDS

Grants Pass, Ore.

Really good air

EDITOR: So April Thibadeaux (letters, Friday) thinks Santa Rosa has good-quality air. She has yet to visit Lake County. Especially the Lucerne/Lakeport area. Then, she would know what really good air is and she would get to see our beautiful clear lake.

TED GAER

Lucerne

False innuendoes

EDITOR: Don Appleby's March 13 letter illustrates a troubling consequence of the Santa Rosa Junior College Republicans' "Red Star Flier." Appleby began with the question, "Is it really wrong for students to protest when instructors teach material that is forbidden by existing educational code?" While the answer to this question is "no," the question does not accurately depict the SRJC Republicans' actions. Not only have the club's representatives disassociated from these vaguely implied allegations, the club's secretary has confessed that they never attended nor spoke to anyone who had attended my classes. If they had, they would have known I do not even cover communism in my classes, let alone indoctrinate a preference for it in any way.

So, a more accurate question would be, "Is it wrong for students to deliberately associate faculty with the misleadingly sensationalist charge of indoctrinating a preference for overthrowing the government and replacing it with a communist dictatorship?" The answer to this question is "yes." And the fact that these students' sensationalist innuendoes deliberately encourage people to jump to Appleby's misleading question is part of what makes their actions so malicious. Have they no shame?

MICHAEL APARICIO

SRJC philosophy department

Over the top

EDITOR: I have to laugh at the pettiness of the Santa Rosa Junior College instructors who seem to be outraged and threatened at the attempt by some students to have dialogue on the subject of political bias. I find their comments and assertions to be over the top. Some of the instructors have complained it was an attack on academic freedom and freedom of speech. The action was described as "sensationalist" with the intent to get media attention.

I will leave to others whether the tactics used by these students were the best way to go about starting a dialogue. However, I'd bet that a smart third-grader could find similarities in these tactics to many political movements through the ages. Liberals have used similar tactics, and their supporters have called them heroic. I might suggest that Anne Ysunza and Janet McCullouch (Close to Home, March 11) take one of the history classes on campus. I recommend one on the American Revolutionary period.

Does academic freedom end with the teacher, or do the students have a right to their opinion and to question the teachers? If teachers think free speech requires one to sign their name, I would once again refer you to the American history class mentioned above. Many of the pamphleteers of the time wrote anonymously.

The instructors involved want everyone to believe that it was a media stunt by the SRJC Republicans, but I would like to point out that it was the faculty that called the press not the students. Now who wanted the media coverage?

MARK J. CARPENTER

Santa Rosa

Poor representation

EDITOR: The Rohnert Park City Council has expertly proven the sad fact that public servants (or better said "politicians") are far removed from representing the people. I thought democracy runs federal, state and local governments, but that is not so. Without being either pro or contra this City Manager Carl Leivo, it strikes me as the height of stupidity to disemploy this man, offer him a bonus called "severance pay" of some $250,000 plus lifetime medical benefits and, to add insult to injury, Mayor Jake Mackenzie thanks and praises Leivo ("RP council OKs Leivo severance pay," March 9) for his "competent manner."

All of this, of course, at Rohnert Park taxpayers' expense. It strikes me as obvious, that "competent" Leivo should be staying on and the mayor plus some of his cohorts should be kicked out for the good of the "poor people" of Rohnert Park. A clear-cut indication of democracy not for but rather against the citizen.

MAX A. HAJEK

Santa Rosa

What a legacy

EDITOR: I'm writing regarding the new LeBaron archives housed in the Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center at Sonoma State University. I want us to stand up and cheer for this woman -- truly a one-woman show at its best. I'm also writing because many years ago, I hired Gaye LeBaron to be my assistant editor. It was 1950. It was the "Dragon's Tale" at Sonoma High School. She was good. I had great plans for us. Well, I was derailed, but LeBaron went on to collect and present the history of Sonoma County for all of us to enjoy. And what a legacy she has woven. Move over, Jack London, there's a lady on board your literary train. Bravo, Gaye, for a job well done. You have our continued gratitude and admiration.

LUCILLE PAWSON

Santa Rosa

Truly wasteful

EDITOR: Why did Congress pay less than 2 percent interest on the bonds for the money they borrowed from the Social Security trust fund when they were paying 5 percent to Japan, France, Germany, etc.? It is called internal theft. If Congress repaid the trust fund all the interest they should have paid them, there would be no shortage of money for Social Security payments.

It is not too late. All Congress has to do is authorize the issuance of a few hundred billion dollars of 5 percent bonds to be sold to Japan, China and others. Then repay the trust fund with the proceeds to cover the money both Democrats and Republicans stole from American workers. This will better reflect the debts of our truly wasteful government.

IAN T. ALLISON

Santa Rosa

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