In the letter "Maher's Decision" ("Rhapsodies and Rants," Oct. 17), I'm not sure exactly what Mr. Maher is being accused of specifically, but I know what the word "hypocrite" means.
While the letter fails to give real specifics about the exact "hypocrisy" being committed, the writer Steve R. Finnegan asks, "Doesn't he know where the money comes from?" He further states, "The money has blood, sweat and tears on it." I'm assuming he is referring to the $47 million public bond and the alleged "dirty" corporate money used to build the $150 million state-of-the-art facility called Weill Hall.
When we point a finger at someone's hypocrisy, three fingers point back at us. So I would like to ask Mr. Finnegan (and everyone) a few questions: Do you buy gasoline or drive a car? Do you fly? Do you eat meat, fish, dairy or any food that is not local? Do you use any banking services at Wells Fargo, Bank of America or Chase? Do you shop at Safeway, Home Depot, Target or Wal-Mart? Are you connected to the grid of electricity and natural gas? Do you have an AT&T, Verizon or Comcast account?
So while you and others rail against Weill Hall and the evil money and power that built it, doesn't your money have "blood, sweat and tears on it" as well?
Angwin, with a permanent population of just 1,500, is an unincorporated area with limited infrastructure. Angwin's wells are being dug deeper. PG&E says Angwin's electrical is almost maxed out. Napa County has not budgeted road improvements for the one lane in and one lane out of Angwin.
Eight years ago, Angwin residents began fighting a Pacific Union College housing development. Pacific Union College's board—18 of 21 live outside California—voted to sell their agricultural land for the college to expand. A large housing development on Howell Mountain would rip Angwin and the upper Napa Valley at the seams, and cost all taxpayers of Napa County.
Yes on Measure U, backed by Save Rural Angwin, believes the PUC has the right to sell its land. But does the college have the right to change the character of a community? Can this college cause an explosion in population, resources and way of life so they can have more money in the bank?
Vote yes on Measure U and preserve Angwin and Napa County ag land and open space. Protect Angwin from large-scale development that would ravage a community and tax its people's resources—in more ways than one.
One Crop Mind
Sixty thousand three hundred and two acres of Sonoma County are monocropped with vineyards. It's bad for the soil, wildlife, ecological diversity and riparian zones of this region.
Sonoma County is prized for its high-quality wine production, but what often goes unnoticed are the environmental and social costs. The clear-cutting and removal of native grasses, which made these vineyards possible in the first place, erased the complex ecological workings between soil, plants, mushrooms and wildlife. Pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers used on vineyards run off into rivers and streams, poisoning everything in their path. The long-term effects of monocropping on the soil may also render it less fertile for future generations.
Additionally, almost all of the laborers that pick and take care of these grapes are people who don't have citizenship, and for that reason are exploited relentlessly. Often, vineyard workers have no breaks all day, no safety regulations, are exposed to toxic chemicals and sometimes just don't get paid and are deported at their boss' will.
In all of these ways, the intensive monocropping of grapes in Sonoma county is unethical and reflects a general disregard for ancient ecological relationships, and by extension, a general disregard for the well-being of working people.
Dept. of Round
A letter last week in support of roundabouts was incorrectly attributed to Zal Moxis, who, incidentally, has expressed to us his irritation with roundabouts. The comments came from Chris Lyman. We regret the error.
Driving in Circles
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