Cutting Down Redwoods
The tree removal along 101 at taxpayer expense and the profit of Ghilotti Brothers is complicated and disturbing ("Deadwood Hwy.," Feb. 6). Does the removal of carbon-sequestering, mature redwood trees justify the increased vehicle traffic and carbon emissions of a wider highway? Tree removal along Highway 101 is not confined to Sonoma County; I witnessed a tree company (who may have been Atlas Tree Service) removing mature eucalyptus trees near Mountain View last fall. It's true that highway construction brings many benefits to our local area, and money has been set aside to plant trees elsewhere. But the fact remains that large, mature trees are already doing the work of sequestering carbon from our crowded freeways, producing oxygen and abating storm water. We should by all means continue planting trees, especially in our growing suburban areas, but old, mature trees are already doing a lot of work. I cringe when I think about the carbon it takes just to remove them: gas for the tree crews' lift trucks and chainsaws, and gas to transport the lumber. And all that so we can have a quicker ride to work in the morning in our cars.
It should be obvious to even the casual student of history that all aggressively expansionist and exploitative nations end up doing unto themselves as they do unto others. Wreaking violence upon others is a toxin, a pollution. "Hate multiplies hate; violence multiplies violence," said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—and it inevitably infects the population back home. Check out daily life in imperial Rome, 16th-century Spain, Wellington-era England and Stalinist Russia, among others. We suffer from so much violence here in the United States because our decision-makers, bent on maximizing wealth and power, have inflicted violence on innocent victims around the world: native North Americans, Africans, Central and South Americans, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Iraqis, Afghans. Small wonder that violence has become the chief hallmark of our public entertainments, or that mass murder is intrinsic to our existence.
Luxury Bowling in Napa
Just wanted to make sure you knew that Crush Ultra Lounge at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa also offers bowling, along with drinks and food ("Late Night at the Lanes," Feb. 6). Crush Ultra Lounge is open to the public daily with its six luxury bowling lanes beginning at 11am daily; it closes at 1am Monday through Thursday, 2am Friday and Saturday, and midnight on Sunday. For more details, see www.themeritageresort.com.
Peace is Possible
Many people believe that peace is a pie-in-the-sky idea, that war will always be with us, that violence is a part of our humanness. For centuries, people felt the same way about slavery and the lot of women until a few people spoke and wrote and grew movements of people who all changed their beliefs—our beliefs.
Society's view of violence has also changed radically. My mother, Del Martin, wrote the first American book on domestic violence, Battered Wives. Out of that a movement grew that changed beliefs, attitudes, services and the law. I try to continue her work to eliminate violence through the Peace Alliance and the Campaign for a U.S. Department of Peacebuilding to nurture a culture of peace from the group up and the top down.
When we know better, we do better. We invite you to learn more about the Sonoma County Season for Nonviolence at www.mettacenter.org/season.
Dept. of Cosmos
Having absolutely nothing to do with Mercury being retrograde, a renegade lunar eclipse or any other stew of heavenly omens, we mistakenly ran the wrong Free Will Astrology column last week. Rob Brezsny knows which week is which; we just had a small karmic conundrum.
Thus, we are running last week's column in this issue. We apologize for the error, and we'll be back on track next week.
A Libra, Wouldn't You Know It
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