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April 1, 2023

Letters to the Editor: May 6, 2021

A proclamation condemning violence and hate toward the AAPI community
Editor’s note: The following proclamation was submitted as a letter and was passed by the Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise.
WHEREAS, there has been a documented regional and nationwide trend of increased discrimination, hate and violence against Asian American, Native American and Pacific Islander individuals of all ages, businesses, organizations and communities of faith exacerbated by false narratives and xenophobia around the coronavirus; and
WHEREAS, these ongoing and reprehensible displays of hate have often gone unnoticed and unreported, perpetuating a myth that AAPI persons will be complacent and stay silent, even when being targeted and harmed; and 
WHEREAS, hate, violence and bias are not acceptable in our community especially when targeting or scapegoating individuals based on their race and identity; and
WHEREAS, the Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise looks forward to recognizing and celebrating our AAPI community during national Heritage Month in May, we are acutely reminded that our diversity is a key strength for the club and our community, and that we are a community where everyone should feel safe and welcome; and 
WHEREAS, each of us has a personal responsibility to prevent the spread of misinformation, condemn violent acts in any form, support all fellow community members, and reject stigma, hate and bias in all its forms; and 
WHEREAS, there is an urgent need for the community at large to support the AAPI community, stand together against anti-Asian violence, and report incidents of hate and bias, especially as we continue to recover together from the impacts of COVID-19;
NOW THEREFORE, We, the members of the Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise support the Proclamation issued by the Sebastopol City Council, strongly condemn any violence and hate towards the AAPI community, and do hereby proclaim our renewed and ongoing commitment to be a diverse community free from racism so all those in Sebastopol and West County feel safe and welcomed, and urge everyone to interrupt instances of racism and intolerance by speaking up in support of equity, justice and inclusion. 
Michael Fels

Real estate disclosure and cannabis
If the Board of Supervisors approves the draft cannabis ordinance, some permits will be ministerial with no notice given to neighbors and no way to object to site-specific particulars. Health and safety protections and notice to impacted neighbors will disappear. The presumption is that a cannabis operation is no different than a tomato crop.
Real estate sellers will be unable to disclose if an application is pending, and buyers could be making serious financial decisions without full knowledge. A county counsel at a recent “town hall” meeting stated that owners could apply for a property tax reduction if they felt they were negatively impacted. Not much consolation if your property value has dropped substantially or if you have serious buyer’s remorse. Besides the issues of 24/7 operation, noise and water consumption in a drought, there will be the additional impact on our scenic aesthetic not to mention odor and crime.
It would benefit the county if our supervisors followed Napa’s decision to disallow commercial production. There is no particular cannabis shortage that I am aware of, however the much appreciated world-class aesthetic of Sonoma County is unique and deserves to be protected.
Cary Fargo

Who’s behind the Ravitch recall efforts?
I was grateful when I found out the Sonoma County District Attorney was investigating what happened at the Villa Capri Assisted Living Facility during the 2017 Tubbs fire. But that gratitude quickly turned to disappointment when I found out there was a settlement with Oakmont Senior Living, and the victims wouldn’t get their day in court, or any justice for what happened. I know first hand the epic failure at Villa Capri that night, I was there.
Then just weeks later I heard about a recall attempt for Jill Ravitch, Sonoma County District Attorney. Then I find out that the owner of Oakmont Senior Living is the one behind this effort and apparently the sole funder. I’m not much of a believer of coincidence…could it be that he’s angry that his company was investigated and wants revenge? If so, this recall attempt seems to be not just vindictive but it also sets an extremely dangerous precedent.
Kathy Allen


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