The Kenwood Press
Letters to the Editor: 10/01/2019

Letters to the Editor October 1, 2019

No cheeseburger in paradise

Dear Editor,

After years of exhaustive study by the world’s most educated and esteemed scientists, employing the most rigid research techniques, utilizing anecdotal worldwide experimentation data by selfless individuals, the controversial State decision was made to lift the ban on recreational and medicinal cheeseburgers.

Local and state governments hailed the decision based upon:

1. Another revenue source for them (besides short-term rentals, tribal casinos, lottery, ride sharing, etc.).

2. Eliminating crime associated with underground black market cheeseburger manufacture and distribution.

3. Scientifically proven medicinal benefits of cheeseburgers.

Regulation specifics were left to the individual municipalities. Sonoma County leaders spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars crafting the County Cheeseburger Ordinance including a helpful video. Only nine cheeseburger joints will be allowed in the unincorporated area of Sonoma County and operation is restricted to Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Cheeseburger joints cannot be within 1,000 feet of a public park or school and within 100 feet of a residential area. Of course these land use compatibility restrictions will be waived by adding a wood fence or other simple “separation.”

The first five County-approved cheeseburger joints are located in areas primarily commercially zoned, near the Highway 101 corridor in Santa Rosa. A company with joints in Los Angeles and Napa has applied for one in the Kenwood Village, across from the U.S. Post Office. Understandably the developers are ecstatic since, if approved, they would have a monopoly with the only legal place to buy cheeseburgers in the Sonoma Valley, from Napa to Santa Rosa. If you make it, they will come.

Personally I’m not against cheeseburgers (usually I hold the cheese) but is it fair that our little paradise becomes the cheeseburger mecca for this entire valley and its worldwide visitors? Anyone who lives here knows that turning in and out of the Kenwood Village is already hazardous, the parking lot is located across from Kenwood Fire Department’s driveway and is full on Fridays and weekends. The County needs us to let it know Kenwood Village cannot support a major cheeseburger joint, or any other tremendous traffic and parking-generating joints.

Thank you.

Jim Simmons

Get ready – power outages aren’t if, but when

Dear Editor,

I’ve glimpsed the “what when” scenario of planned PG&E outages when conditions (high winds, drought conditions) in Sonoma Valley warrant. My refrigerator died and a replacement is seven days out. It’s a real(ity) check of how unprepared I am for a wide-spread electrical outage.

Scrambling for an ice chest and cold packs from neighbors, and use of their own freezers and fridges, means I salvaged most perishables.

But when their power is shut off too, what then? It’s time for a real disaster plan that can work for up to seven to 10 days.

I shopped the internet the next day for basics: ice chests, cold packs, external battery charger (for iPhone), hand-crank radio, lantern, and possibly a 1200-watt gas generator. Low-end cost: under $300. My car will need a portable emergency kit, too.

I share this with fellow readers as another early warning. Power outages are not an “if,” but a “when,” scenario.

Liz Watson

Violation of private property rights by OVA

Dear Editor,

As I read my Oakmont News a few days ago, a chill went down my spine. The powers that be (the Oakmont Village Association), have decided they will take control by conducting fire inspections of Oakmont homes. Because you are so wise, you have taken it upon yourselves to enter the property of anyone living here and deciding if my property, or that of anyone else, is safe.

There was a saying that, “Your home is your castle.” Evidently, that is a thing of the past. What has happened to private property rights?

I realize that after the fire of 2017, everyone is on edge, but this is a complete invasion of privacy. Of course, if you find anything objectionable, you will want it removed. If I don’t comply, you will remove what’s objectionable and bill me accordingly.

I do not believe that the OVA is a legislative body. Do you really have the power, as you described, “to create and establish a property inspection policy?” You are already planning an increase in the 2019-20 budget for hiring inspectors. As stated in the paper this would be a yearly occurrence. Just what we need after the big increase for the golf course purchase.

Agreed, the fire has caused consternation for all of us, but do not get carried away and trample on civil liberties and private property rights. I would suggest you slow down and consider exactly what it is you are proposing.

I am an adult with the capability to handle my own affairs. I would greatly appreciate it if you would allow me to do so without interference.

Joan Johnson

Timing is everything

Dear Editor,

It’s often said timing is everything in life.

The County of Sonoma and its leadership ought to take note.

At the very height of the second fire season since the deadly wildfires, the county (as of this writing) has no community alert and warning program manager in place nor a second in command, the alert coordinator.

The county’s emergency services department has been advertising for a new manager and will start interviewing soon to replace a person who had held the job for only four months.

A coordinator has been hired, but, as of this writing, has not started work.

After widespread concern and complaint from the public about the lack of real, effective notice before the 2017 wildfires, the two people directly responsible for alerting Sonoma County residents and executing a response come the next natural disaster aren’t even on the job.

Country music artist Trace Adkins has sung,

“It can happen too fast

Or a little too late

Timing is everything”

Sadly, in the case of this county and its leadership, timing just doesn’t seem to matter.

Gary Kozel