Letters to the Editor
SDC closure death sentence for residents
The news of Governor Brown's new budget plan is unconscionable! I was saddened to read the report in the Kenwood Press and was ashamed I voted for him. He is ordering the closure of The Sonoma Developmental Center by 2018. This is a death sentence for the residents who, as State Senator Mike McGuire points out, “are the state's most medically challenged in our entire state health service system.”
Now I know we are only talking about 400+ residents, but as the Talmud points out, “Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.” To which I add, every single life is important. Be terrified of a society that does not value each life.
The SDC population has already been reduced because of budgeting, and talk of what will be done with the property has been circulating for a long time. My husband and I live in Glen Ellen, which is six minutes from the Center. We both naively hoped that the powers who determine these matters still have a heart and would turn the decisions around. Then I read about Governor Brown's recent plan. YIKES! In speaking with people who work at the Center, they have said they fear for the lives of the residents when they are transitioned into community care programs. Many of the residents have lived at SDC their entire lives. The community care programs cannot possibly provide the level of care and support they are receiving now.
Elected officials are supposed to protect the populace, not pick on the most vulnerable citizens! It appears to be easier to focus on the weak and the frail to balance a budget because they cannot defend themselves. Surely there is a more creative and humane way to stabilize our state's financial problems. Governor Brown's solution does not belong in the America we know and cherish. And please do not say this is out of our hands to correct. I am speaking out because, tragically, this recent action by the Governor reminds me of the writings of Martin Niemoller, a German Lutheran Pastor, who lived during the time of The Holocaust:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the incurably sick because they just cost the state money, they were a burden to themselves and to others. People said, 'Isn't it best for all concerned if they are taken out of society?' Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Please speak out for these people who cannot speak for themselves. Write your congressperson and anyone who can help maintain the Sonoma Developmental Center and American integrity.
On the failure of Measure A
What shall we make of the voters' rejection of Measure A by a 63-37 margin? Does that mean Sonoma County voters don't care much about the poor condition of County roads? I don't think so. Bad roads are a common and highly visible problem. I think a big block of voters rejected the apparent duplicity of the County supervisors. They wrote one thing - “Measure A will be a general tax to be applied to a multitude of services.” But they said another - “Measure A tax money will be devoted only to repairing the roads.” Both could not be true. It is true that the roads need repair, and most County residents know that. Next election, the supervisors would do better by playing it straight with the voters.
Timothy J. Hannan
Lack of government accountability
I would like to submit a “somewhat belated sympathy reply” to Mr. George Steffensen's June 1st letter to the editor entitled, “Yes on Measure A,” wherein Mr. Steffenson asks, “Have you ever known an elected official to voluntarily set themselves up to be caught in an unkept promise?” Yes, Mr. Steffenson, “read my lips,” we have... many, many, many times. It's always hard to accept defeat, especially on Measure A which was put forth with the best intentions and which would have greatly benefited all Sonoma County residents. Perhaps Mr. Steffenson and others who supported Measure A would benefit from reading the following post, June 4, 2015, from the website Naked Capitalism: www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/06/calpers-admits-it-has-no-idea-what-it-is-paying-in-private-equity-carry-fees.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NakedCapitalism+%28naked+capitalism%29
[or go to bit.ly/1HZZ69F]
Yet another example of how California funds, entrusted to officials, lack accounting: We are not making this up. Private equity partners like CalPERS have no idea what they are paying in carry fees, one of the biggest costs they incur.
P.S. Solution to come next issue.
Potluck at the Depot a windy success
Thanks to all those community members who made the 1st Annual Memorial Day Potluck at the Depot a success despite the relatively cold, windy weather. Fabulous food provided entirely by the community abounded as did the very apparent bon amie, giving neighbors and friends a great chance to schmooze.
Jazz was provided by the world-famous Kenwood Jazz Group and despite frigid winds the music brought a great deal of warmth to the proceeding.
The “52 Card Super Wine Raffle” was won by Ken Uboldi who walked (drove) away with two cases of super premium wine. The raffle itself raised over $3,000 for the nonprofit Kenwood Community Club (KCC) and the proceeds will be used to repair and beautify the Depot as well as to produce future community events.
The Club wishes to thank all those who contributed to the event, including all our neighbors without whose gourmet contributions the event would have been impossible. And special thanks to the local wineries and vineyards who contributed generously to what will now be an annual event for the Kenwood Community.
This was the first event for the KCC under the new, community-based business model whereby all operating revenues and expenses for the Club and its flagship Depot derive exclusively from memberships and sponsored events.
The KCC is redeploying its website and we will look forward to seeing our members, neighbors and friends at upcoming events including our Christmas Potluck, our Fine Art at the Depot and several other events to be announced.
Board Member, KCC