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Letters to the Editor: April 5, 2017

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Yes on C

I have lived in Santa Rosa for over 30 years. I value this community for its diversity, livability, music and art. I am voting Yes on C because I want Santa Rosa to continue to be a vibrant community, not an enclave for the rich. Stopping unjust evictions and steep rent increases will not prevent ethical property owners from making a profit, but it will keep students, working families and artists from being kicked out of their homes in the middle of a housing crisis. Long-term residents are already being forced out of the area by the high cost of housing. Let's choose to keep Santa Rosa a place where people can create, work, learn and grow. Yes on C!

Santa Rosa

Wasteful

You ungrateful dreamer ("A Dreamer's Diary," March 8). Spend all that money on that good education, and all you are is an artist. What a waste.

St. Helena

Water Rights

Sonoma County will be facing, in the next few weeks and months, important decisions about groundwater. It is vitally important that the public be given a voice in these determinations involving the composition and voting rights of new agencies regulating groundwater in Sonoma County under California's new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

Over the past 18 months, working groups representing Sonoma County and other public entities have been meeting to consider these questions. These have not been public meetings, and little is known about them. It now appears, however, that the working group for the Santa Rosa Plain groundwater basin has determined that Sonoma County, the Sonoma County Water Agency, five cities including Santa Rosa, Windsor, Rohnert Park, Cotati and Sebastopol, the Sonoma Resources Conversation District and one representative for mutual water companies will be the only voting members on the board of the contemplated agency, even though 80 percent of groundwater users in Sonoma County are rural agricultural or rural residential users.

These water users have "overlying rights" to groundwater which can reasonably claim the highest priority of any class of groundwater users under the common law. Overlying rights are enjoyed by virtue of ownership of overlying real property. The fact that the proposed agency posits a nonvoting advisory committee of 18 representatives, two of which are rural, residential well owners and two of which represent agricultural interests, can offer little comfort to holders of overlying rights to groundwater in Sonoma County.

Sonoma County and other members of the SGMA working group for the Santa Rosa Plains basin should take steps to inform the public and provide representation to stakeholders commensurate with their legal and equitable rights.

Sebastopol

Write to us at letters@bohemian.com.

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