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Letters to the Editor: 05/15/2018

Letters to the Editor May 15, 2018

No marijuana dispensary at old Fire House

Dear Editor,

A medical marijuana dispensary has been proposed at the old Fire House at the corner of Madrone and Arnold. This location is surrounded by residential neighborhoods including the 122-unit The Grove apartments with approximately 400 residents. If you do the math, this apartment complex houses at least 155 children about 61 feet away from the dispensary. The Sonoma County Cannabis Ordinances specify a minimum of 100 feet from a residential lot. In addition, there are 122 single-family residences across the street in the Rancho Madrone subdivision with about 50 children. A total of at least 200 children live within 600 feet of this proposed business. And the Sonoma Unified School District buses pick up and drop off students on the sidewalk that borders this property.

We, the residents of Rancho Madrone and the surrounding area, believe this business is not compatible with our residential neighborhood and for the safety of our children we kindly request the applicant, Apothevert, to find a more suitable location among other commercial entities, not surrounded by residences, and a location with easy access and ample parking.

In addition to the unsuitable proximity to homes and children, and not having the required distance from a residential lot, we believe that the projected 150 customer visits per day, according to the proposal, will negatively impact the safety of an already busy intersection at Madrone and Arnold, particularly on weekends with the influx of wine tourists.

We are concerned that the projected 150 customers per day will find the 12 parking spaces insufficient, and that excess customers will park on Madrone, depriving apartment and subdivision residents of much needed on-street parking, or Glenwood Drive, or park in the tiny adjacent lot of the Madrone Market, depriving that business of their customers.

We have confirmed that the owners of The Grove apartments and the owner of the Madrone Market do not want this marijuana dispensary in that location, either.

No one is disputing the legality of the use and sale of medical marijuana, just not in a residential neighborhood. We are convinced that it is in both the owner’s and the neighborhood’s best interest to find a more suitable location. We say, “No to neighborhood dispensaries.”

Please join us at the Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Commission meeting May 23, 6:30 p.m. at the Sonoma Police Department, Community Room, 177 First St. West, to speak against this project in this location. Help us preserve our family neighborhood.

The residents of Rancho Madrone and surrounds:

Paul and Liz Morrison
Dave and Pam Palmgren
Moriah and Conn Dunning
Judy Condon
Elias Casolla
Karla Noyes

Essick for sheriff

Dear Editor,

Mark Essick is the only candidate qualified to become our next sheriff. His experience of 25 years, educational qualifications and his philosophy is what we need. He currently serves as captain in the Sheriff’s Office.

We don’t need Mutz, a 69-year-old coach, working with executives in private sectors like banking. He was removed as station commander in LA after the Rodney King beating in 1991. He has been out of law enforcement too long. He is not qualified to run our Sheriff’s Office.

We also don’t need Olivares, a City Council member, who has been out of law enforcement for 10 years and who served as the campaign treasurer and political ally for the unpopular Sheriff Freitas. As council member, Olivares did not read the public reports on the shooting of Andy Lopez. Olivares is a good man but not what we need at the Sheriff’s Office.

Roxanne Thornton
Santa Rosa

Vote for Essick

Dear Editor,

The Sheriff’s race is a particularly important election for us in Sonoma Valley, as our local law enforcement is provided by the Sheriff’s Office. After listening to the three candidates, and studying their experience, I believe only one has the breadth and depth we need to properly serve us, Captain Mark Essick.

Captain Essick began his career as a deputy with the Roseland substation community policing program. This is experience no other candidate has. Roseland is a mostly Latino community that, until recently, was an unincorporated island inside Santa Rosa. He says this had a huge influence on his career, as it gave him the understanding that community policing starts with building relationships through listening to community needs.

Unlike police officers that work in cities, the Sonoma County Sheriff is responsible for much greater diversity of terrain and communities. Essick is the only candidate who has experience providing service outside a city. The Sheriff is also responsible for running the county jail; again, only Essick has experience in this area.

Essick also participated in drafting the Sheriff’s Office policy limiting its cooperation with ICE, and served on the Community and Local Law Enforcement Task Force in the wake of the Andy Lopez shooting. He is also mentoring two young Latino men as they strive to become police officers.

Our next sheriff must have the confidence of the Board of Supervisors. The majority of the board has endorsed Essick, as has Interim Sheriff Rob Giordano and Sonoma Police Chief Bret Sackett. Please join us in voting for Mark Essick for Sonoma County Sheriff.

Gina Cuclis
Boyes Hot Springs

Tell your representatives “No tax on water”

Dear Editor,

There is legislation pending that will put a tax on water. The Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 2 is likely to take up the budget trailer bill that proposed the tax on water during the next three weeks – and possibly as early as May 10. I don’t think many Californians are aware of the pending legislation. So I am hoping that you can publish the following ASAP. Thank you!

Valley of the Moon Water District is committed to providing affordable, safe and reliable water to our customers. We also vigorously support safe drinking water for all Californians. When a community is struggling with tainted water, state and federal resources should quickly become available. But a new state tax on water, being proposed by the Brown Administration, is an inappropriate way to address this problem.


• Many people in California struggle to make ends meet. Adding a water tax will only drive the cost of living higher.

• Californians are against taxing life essentials, including water and some types of food.

• No other state in the nation taxes drinking water. If passed, this tax will set a precedent, allowing the state to impose additional water taxes in the future.

• By attaching this tax to a budget trailer bill, the Brown Administration is attempting to avoid an open legislative process.

• Valley of the Moon Water District is dedicated to keeping costs as low as possible for our customers. We do not want to be forced to become a tax collector for the state.

There is a better approach. A package of funds comprised of federal safe drinking water funds, voter-approved general obligation bonds, proposed assessments relating to nitrates in ground water, and state general funds would assure safe drinking is available to all Californians, without burdening people with additional taxation. Valley of the Moon Water District and the Association of California Water Agencies support two water bond proposals scheduled to be on the ballot next year.

If you believe that taxing water is wrong, then please join Valley of the Moon Water District in opposing the drinking water tax and let your state legislators know:

State Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry,

State Senator Mike McGuire,

State Assemblymember Marc Levine,

State Senator Bill Dodd,

Jon L. Foreman
President of the Board
Valley of the Moon Water District

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