Letters to the Editor April 15, 2019
Traffic calming measures work on Madrone RoadDear Editor,
Good news on Madrone Road! Since the new 30 mph signs have been installed and the digital speed indicator put in place on the north side of Madrone Road heading west, there has been significant improvement in the speed of the drivers. Unfortunately, the digital speed indicator will not be in place for long, but I hope that Madrone Road drivers will have learned something and will not continue their errant ways. The drivers heading east toward Highway 12 still are speeding, and it would be great if the Department of Transportation will decide to place the digital indicator on the south side of Madrone Road as well.
It would also be a great idea if the county would add more 30 mph signs and attach a “Radar Controlled” beneath the sign as an additional warning. The CHP from Napa is increasing their presence on Madrone Road and that is a good thing, too.
Maybe drivers just need to be informed and reminded in different ways to change their ways.
Jerry M. Owens
Dirty little secretDear Editor,
There is an unspoken, yet obvious competition going on in Santa Rosa between Sutter and Memorial Hospitals. Last May, after waiting five hours in the Sutter ER, my partner was diagnosed with a brain tumor and we were told they would send her to UCSF by ambulance. When I complained that I would have to drive to San Fran at 2:30 in the morning and find a hotel room, they begrudgingly agreed to send her to Memorial instead since Sutter doesn't have neurosurgeons on staff.
After her biopsy, we returned to Sutter to meet with an oncologist that I had a previously established relationship with. After the diagnosis, we were told we had two options for chemotherapy, UCSF or Sutter Medical Center Sacramento. We said we would take whichever became available first. The next five months were spent running back and forth to Sacramento. The emotional and financial strain added to our newly acquired burden of grief and shock. I was very dissatisfied with the communication skills of the Sacramento oncologist and in the meanwhile, our Sutter oncologist was placed on leave for unethical behavior.
Once the treatment was complete, my partner had to be hospitalized again for a neurological issue and we ended up back at Memorial. While sharing our Sacramento ordeal, we came to discover that all of the chemo administered at Sutter Sacramento could have been given right here at home through Santa Rosa Memorial. I am certain we are not the first, nor last people to be taken advantage of. The cost of transportation, lodging, and food, came close to $9,000. We could have used this money for much needed home care. Shame on a system that perpetuates this 'dirty little secret!' Adding emotional and financial suffering for patients and their families already struggling with life and death decisions is unconscionable.
Kudos to the community for SDC dealDear Editor,
In light of the April 5 agreement between Sonoma County and the State of California concerning disposition of the 1,000-acre Sonoma Developmental Center property, we would like to thank everyone who signed a petition, wrote a letter, made a donation, spoke a word of encouragement, or uttered a prayer on behalf of this priceless public treasure. Without your support, this deal could easily have gone the way of every other shuttered developmental center - surplused and sold to the highest bidder.
Thanks to the combined efforts of county and state staff, elected officials, and pressure exerted by the community, we now have three more years to do something truly historic. We have three years to creatively plan for a future that meets pressing needs for housing and jobs, addresses issues of climate change and sustainability, and respects and preserves the environmental, historical, and cultural resources that make this property such a unique and valuable asset.
Yes, we have some breathing room, but a difficult road lies ahead. Crafting a community-driven, specific land use plan for Eldridge is a monumental task that will require tremendous time, effort, and expense. Now is not the time to sit back and let others do all the heavy lifting. Now is the time to double down on our commitment to ensuring an outcome that benefits our community, our wildlife, and future generations seeking recreation, inspiration, and healing in the property's open spaces.
Now is the time to get more involved, share your wealth and/or talents, attend a meeting, voice your opinion. In the upcoming months, the community will be asked, at workshops and in public meetings, to define a vision for the site. We will be asked to develop and review land use alternatives and provide input on design guidelines, as well as quantities and types of housing, commercial space, etc. Your input is required.
Participation in the grassroots effort to shape the future of the SDC has opened our eyes to the fact that, like an intricate spider web, the strength of our community lies in our interconnectivity. While frame threads connect multiple anchor points and give the spiderweb its shape, it is the radius threads, from center to frame, that hold the web together, give it strength, and make it a home. Like radius threads, every heartfelt action you have taken to further the cause of protecting the SDC, no matter how small, has made this movement that much stronger and helped define a vision for a future Eldridge that, if realized, we can all be proud of.
We often don't notice spiderwebs until something forces us to see them, such as dewdrops clinging to seemingly delicate threads or the frantic movements of an insect as it desperately tries to free itself, the threads not so delicate after all. Similarly, the firestorm of 2017 and closure of the SDC have forced us all to take greater notice of the many ties that bind us together as a community. Some of these ties are in dire need of repair, but - as evidenced by the April 5 agreement on the future of the SDC - a great web of interconnectivity continues to hold us aloft as the winds of change shift. Thank you for doing your part.
For more information and to sign up for our automatic updates, visit eldridgeforall.org. To be kept up to date on the SDC process, subscribe to our blog by opening any of our blog posts and submitting your email address where indicated.
Co-Chair, SDC/Eldridge Committee of the Glen Ellen Forum