Hey, Cordell, Gabe here. You're a good guy with a tough job, which is why I ran your op-ed last week in support of Sonoma Clean Power ("Moving Forward," by Cordell Stillman, June 5). But I can't get over one thing: your statement that Rachel Dovey's overview of the four companies vying for the Sonoma Clean Power contract "misled" readers.
Since you didn't actually dispute any of the information in Dovey's article, I assume you agree that it was accurate. You took no issue with the tone, which was plain and informational. So all I can gather is that you're dismayed about the very existence of such an article.
I understand that it's your job to get Sonoma Clean Power passed, and that verifiable facts about power companies' environmental violations, business practices and human-rights abuses probably don't help you out. That information, though, is the very opposite of misleading. We vet our candidates for office, our schools, our cable companies, our ISPs, our electric-car choices—why would we not also vet our power company, with whom we are about to sign a very large contract? If finding a more ethical alternative to PG&E is one of Sonoma Clean Power's main sales pitches, why not let the press do some reporting to help find the most ethical alternative?
We've been big fans of Sonoma Clean Power since day one, but we've also kept a keen eye on where that power will come from, as you're surely aware from several articles we've run over the last few years. We want to know as much as we can about the company supplying our power. We think it's in Sonoma County's best interest to know, as well. Call it misleading if you want—we call it doing our jobs.
Who Is This Ignoramus?
Who is this ignoramus Nicolas Grizzle? The fact that most school lunches suck is no reason to come down on a school that is trying to fix the problem ("Je ne sais whaaaaat?" June 5). From my understanding, the extra funding came in support of organic healthy food, not "fancy food." I would also like to know why you were inclined to call it a "mostly white charter school". Do you know what a charter school is? I won't bore you with the answer but you should look it up. It is definitely not what you think it is. If you don't like French, start your own charter school of your choice and raise the bar yourself. As far as I'm concerned, any second language is a good second language, and considering the number of local French schools, I would say they are in the minority. In closing, why don't you stop your "economic-racial segregation in our already-segregated schools"? I hope that any other school that can't stay afloat is lucky enough to get swooped up by someone with a dream of a better education.
If you wonder why so many Americans are alienated from politics, here's more evidence: Several weeks ago, I sent a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein about the recent flap over the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) proposal to change its policy on the length of knife blades permitted through airport security checkpoints. I supported the change as a former TSA federal security director with experience on such issues.
What I received in reply was a form letter acknowledging my opposition to the TSA change—the exact opposite of the position I outlined in my letter. Does anyone on the senator's staff actually read constituent mail? Just to make a point, I wrote back complaining about the response and received another form letter saying, "The truth is, my office receives thousands of letters and telephone calls per week and regrettably, in your case we made a mistake. I have made note of your comments and am aware of your point of view."
The truth is neither Sen. Feinstein nor any of her Senate colleagues would send such careless or dismissive responses to any of their big campaign contributors. This is because U.S. Senators have two classes of constituents: the masses like you and me, whose correspondence, opinions and concerns appear to be largely ignored or misinterpreted; and the big contributors who have the private phone numbers of senior staff to be used to personally discuss an issue of concern or to make an appointment with the senator to make special pleadings in person.
Even for those of us whose political preferences align with Sen. Feinstein, we insist on not being taken for granted.
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