No more strip malls

To the Editor:

Regarding Alex MacLean’s article on 8-30-19 concerning development - The “Stone Mill Center,” proposed in the past by developers and championed by Ron Kopf, was an ill conceived proposal from the get-go.

Why would any Columbia (or Sonora) resident want another strip mall development right smack dab at the corridor entrance to Columbia State Historic Park, which happens to be one, if not the top tourist destination in our county.

Tourism and the income it generates, is far more preferable than lining the pockets of the private “economic development’ firms trying to shove their projects through the county. Especially strip malls, which we have an overabundance already, it’s starting to look like Modesto, which is definitely not a tourist destination.

Bob Ragan


Trump is unhinged

To the Editor:

The world is terrified and some allies are laughing at us because of our unhinged, so-called commander in chief.

Trump wants his wall built by Election Day and he said that he will take the land, even though some of it belongs to private citizens. Doesn’t he know that there is a law called eminent domain?

Donald does not care about our environmental rules, endangered species or his own people, or the world. He only cares about himself. It is very scary that our country is being destroyed by the person who is supposed to protect us.

I never thought that I would live to see our president says that he “fell in love” with a dictator who wants to kill us. Now, Kim is building a submarine so he can get his rockets closer to the U.S. when he decides to nuke us. Where is our national security?

Trump started out by saying that he was going to be the law-and-order president. That was one of the thousands of lies that he has told. He shows over and over that he has no regard for rules or laws of the constitution.

Trump is reckless, ignorant and cruel and we will be the ones who lose out because Putin helped him get elected.

Vladamir now has a barge with a nuclear power plant on it, and it is heading towards Alaska.

The Tongass National Forest in South Eastern Alaska is the next target for destruction by the Trump administration. The plan is to log this pristine wilderness for its minerals and oils and endangered animals and fish that call it their home. Grizzly bears, wolves, bald eagles and salmon will be affected, by the logging of old growth spruce and fir trees.

Sydney Taylor


Crime stems from black-market pot

To the Editor:

I attended the recent Board of Supervisors meetings concerning commercial cannabis regulation. It was a hate fest with little good will and logic. Some thoughts:

The problems with criminal activity relate to the black market grows, not the permitted ones. This was confirmed by the Sheriff and Ag Commissioner.

The black market is created by government ban just like alcohol prohibition with a similar increase in crime. The black market can also be expanded by over regulation and taxation. Some want regulation to be very extensive. This would have the same effect as a ban. More crime. We do not need more crime. That is why prohibition was repealed.

The key to a better tomorrow, in my opinion, is reasonable rules.

The state already regulates commercial cannabis, but does require a permit from local government. The county already has land use regulations regarding locations, set backs etc. Also, there are existing rules regarding pollution etc. The permit should be easy to obtain at reasonable cost. That is the best way to shrink the black market and crime.

The present proposal has been vetted by government departments involved. Good administration.

Why not get feedback from the industry?

After all, it is the permitted cannabis farmer who will have to abide by the new rules. Make sense?

Al Segalla


We should be scared

To the Editor:

In January 2017 Trump criticizes the FBI for not doing its job concerning foreign countries’ involvement in the 2016 elections.

Shifty Schiff warns Trump that the FBI will get him. FBI agents actively in the middle of collusion hoax. The FBI arbitrarily changes the whistling blowing standard from firsthand information to third party hearsay. Then voila two weeks later a CIA “whistleblower” submits a hearsay allegation written by an attorney recommended by Schiff’s department.

Schiff lies about his department’s knowing anything about it. God forbid that any of you who think this is OK, will need to defend yourself on hearsay. Hearsay is not admissible in any court in our country except the politically motivated get Trump court.

I don’t support everything Trumps does but the Democrats are destroying our system of law and order. Recently another op ed questioned how the Republicans could so quickly claim Trump’s innocence. Well, the standard is “innocent until proven guilty.”

They say, “justice is blind.” Currently the only thing blinding this country is the Democrats’ determination to get Trump with the aid of the mainstream media and the over reaching activity of both the CIA and FBI. Trump brings up the question of corruption involving a Democrat and he is breaking the law.

The Democrats knowingly make false allegations and Trump is guilty without due process. Many people wrongly blame Trump for dividing our country. Take a minute and really think about what the Democrats have been doing since Trump won. In the meantime, with no support from the Democrats Trump has built our country back to be the most economically stable country in the world and lower all levels of unemployment to numbers never deemed possible. Imagine what could happen if the Democrats did something constructive for our country.

Thomas P. Neiderer


Another costly mistake

To the Editor:

The city is making a mistake again. By the time this letter runs, the city will likely have approved the changes proposed to the intersection of Washington Street and Stockton Road.

The goal was to make a bus stop that has wheelchair accessibility.

The method of achieving this is to remove eight of downtown’s parking spaces and also eliminate a lane of traffic on Stockton Road in both directions between Washington and Green Streets.

Is it possible that narrowing the roadway that much will make it so buses can no longer make that turn?

And why a bus stop west of Green Street would demand bulb outs on Washington Street is beyond me.

Sadly, the only one that benefits from this is Kimley-Horn -- the firm hired to design of this project. Once again they have created a Taj Mahal that this community neither needs or wants.

The goal of better wheelchair access is worthy. But why not place the bus stop in the parking lot north of Stockton Road? There’s ample room between the location of the old Mother Lode Bank and where Bertelli’s Drug was. The cost would likely be far less than what it will cost the city to assume liability for the Caltrans right of way at Washington and Stockton.

Does transit ridership justify the expense of this project?

Elena Linehan


Our library matters

To the Editor

We have recently become aware of possible changes to library hours, or even closures. I would like to express the detriment that would be to our family and so many others.

We are a homeschooling family with five kids. The focus of our education is reading books, because as May Ellen Chase said so well, “There is no substitute for books in the life of a child.”

For our kids, going to the library is like going to Disneyland. They can’t wait to run through the security sensors and off to their own section of the library. They wander through the rows of books, filling their arms full as if they were picking out candy. When I’m finished selecting our next great reads, I eventually find them all together on the floor somewhere showing eachother their finds and marveling through pages as if they found treasure. Checking out is only accomplished by reminding them that we can come back to search for more as soon as we’re done with these jewels. Leaving is successful when each child gets to carry their own armful of books.

Whether I read books to the kids, they read to each other, or they read to themselves, the time of learning is invaluable. Although some people say they’ve never been to the library, it’s always busy no matter when we go. And though many people say they buy all their books, that’s not feasible for most, especially when many books are only needed once.

Our endless community of homeschooling and public schooling families alike, agree that the libraries, as they are, are a crucial part of the lives, education and future of our children and community.

From the wise words spoken by Albert Einstein — “The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”

Trish Werner