Residential zoning

EDITOR: Your Feb. 19 article about the travails of rural pot growers suggests that recent county actions have unfairly changed the rules (“Rural pot growers in quandary”). Not true. The rules only support that “rural residential” means what it says. “Residential” means “residential.” “Commercial marijuana” is incompatible with “residential.” Thousands of Sonoma County homeowners purchased their properties believing that the concepts underlying “residential” would be honored.

The Board of Supervisors should be commended for standing up to the potent pot industry lobbyists and not betraying the trust of “rural residential” homeowners by degrading their parcels to allow commercial marijuana.

Marijuana is basically an ag product with some nasty characteristics requiring regulation. We already have zoning in place for commercial ag production. Taxation and control of the now-legal marijuana industry can proceed within the now-clarified zoning.

The supervisors shouldn’t degrade many residents’ zoning just to help a few convert their formerly illegal activity to legal. The robust county economy has plenty of job openings for any displaced pot growers.


Santa Rosa

Trump’s comments

EDITOR: In what way are reporters responsible for the correctness of President Donald Trump’s statements that are contradicted by his own staff and/or his own Cabinet members?

Regarding what is happening (or going to happen) at the border with Mexico, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told reporters that there would be “no use of military in this” and “at least half of you try to get that right, because it continues to come up in your reporting” (“Mixed signals in Mexico City,” Friday). The president himself described “a military operation” at the border. What would Kelly have the (still-free) press do: refuse to continue to print truthfully what the president of the United States said?



Water math

EDITOR: The gentleman, Gerald Dion, who wrote about the water use of wineries in winemaking failed to account for the amount of water produced by rainfall (“Wine and water,” Letters, Feb. 21). Let’s concede his 46 million gallons of water calculation for the wine produced. Then consider an average rain year. Let us use 30 inches of rain for arithmetical simplicity. Multiply that by the conversion factor of 0.623, which changes inches of rain into gallons of water. Multiply that by one acre, or 43,560 square feet, and you get 814,136 gallons. If only 100,000 acres are devoted to wine grapes, that gives 81 billion gallons of water, or roughly 1,770 times the water used in the wine. Another way of seeing it is the water in the wine is 0.06 percent of the water that the sky brings.



Trump and violence

EDITOR: I have to remind Jim Owen Jr. (“Stifling free speech,” Letters, Feb. 21) that it was his president who encouraged violence against his opponents at his rallies.

How quickly people forget the videos of attendees (usually brown people or women) voicing their opposition and being punched, kicked, pushed and spat on while his president said, “You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks.”

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