Letters to the Editor June 1, 2018
Don't cut down live treesDear Lawndale area neighbors,
Citing safety concerns, PG&E would like us to agree to having all vegetation from the ground up cleared to 25 feet on both sides of the power lines. Second choice is 15, and last choice offered is eight feet. But this is entirely up to property owner approval. Personally, I don't want any more trees cut down (they're talking about live trees). This fire may have started with electric lines. Lightning causes fires, too, as do careless humans. There are no guarantees against fire. Living with a 50-foot swath of nothingness along the power lines translates to a swath of nothingness along our beautiful rural roads.
Subcontractors for PG&E are traveling through the neighborhood trying to get permission for this cutting. We do have the right to refuse their offer. I hope many of my neighbors choose to keep the trees that survived the fire.
No cannabis dispensary in OakmontDear Editors,
The City has sent a notice of Pre-Application for a Cannabis Dispensary in Oakmont. It could be in the office building at 6575 Oakmont Dr. This is busiest area in Oakmont: the Oakmont Market, two banks, various real estate offices, physical therapy, dentist, dermatology and even a dog groomer. The Berger Center and buildings where most of activities take place are just around the corner. Down the block is the beautiful Star of the Valley Church and the entrance to the polo fields and the Saddle Club and the entrance to Wild Oak. The building backs up to Oakmont Gardens where our most vulnerable residents live. Everyone entering Oakmont will have to stop at White Oak Drive and make a U-turn to get to the dispensary.
The notice was sent out on May 1 and on May 14 there was a neighborhood meeting chaired by City planning and economic Department personnel. Even though no resident of Oakmont was officially notified, news of it got out by word of mouth. There is so much opposition to this that the Cannabis Club voted that they do not want it here. The Oakmont Village Board unanimously voted that they do not want it here and there were hundreds of individual emails sent to the planning department voicing residents' opposition.
In my opinion, the potential owners of this business know that there will not be enough business in Oakmont to warrant this type of store. Users in Oakmont are now getting their cannabis delivered. They want to be able to attract the thousands of people who travel Route 12 on a daily basis. They envision it as an easy on and off. They also want to attract the visitors who come up here for the wineries. There are over 13 wineries from here to the town of Sonoma. On the night of May 16 Channel 4 highlighted a new business that is running buses of people to the wineries and cannabis dispensaries in the same area. You can go to cannabistours.com and see their ads. The other problem that arises from these tour buses is that they cannot make a U-turn, therefore they would have to enter on Pythian and drive through all of Oakmont to reach the store.
Now is the time for our elected officials to help us stop this terrible and unwanted intrusion in our lives. Over the years, you have asked for our votes, and we have delivered. Now it is time for you to stand up for us. We are over 4,000 strong and we vote. Our elected officials are to vote the way their constituents want them to vote, not the way that they feel they should vote. You have been elected to support our ideals and needs, not yours. The residents of Oakmont would welcome a meeting about this with any of our elected officials who will want to stand with us. The meeting should take place during the day, in Oakmont so that many people will be able to attend.
If you have any questions or care to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact me. I do not represent any groups in Oakmont and I am just a concerned resident.
Rosalie A. Bulach
[This letter was edited for space.]
Vote for MutzDear Editor,
I have been a Sonoma County resident for many years. I have seen local policing go from “Now, you go straight home,” or “How about if I give you a ride home,” to the polar opposite, especially in our Sheriff's office. The resulting deaths and alleged jail beatings due to poor oversight and a lack of accountability have increased to an unacceptable level, causing unnecessary harm, and incurring costly lawsuits.
Now, inexplicably, the brass at the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) has thrust a deeply polarizing conflict-based reality show (COPS) into our community, making a very controversial patrol sergeant a potential TV star in the process. These bad decisions further divide our community and pour salt on as-yet unhealed wounds.
What is needed is a “sea-change” within the Sheriff's office, including hiring, training and retention; policy and procedure; and internal investigation and discipline. We need a sheriff who is an experienced reformer, who will work diligently to change the culture.
John Mutz has the experience and temperament (and none of the political baggage) for this tough undertaking. Let's bring the shine back to the unfairly tarnished badges of our fine men and women of the SCSO.