More is not sustainable
EDITOR: Thanks for the excellent coverage about the debate over the Sonoma Valley’s future and residents’ fears of Napification (“Crowded route hints at valley’s future,” Feb. 19). Sonoma Valley, however, is not the only area being impacted by the wine industry’s gold rush. This may be the canary in the coal mine, as other parts of the county are now victims of case-by-case permitting that ignores cumulative impacts.
The general plan accounted for 239 wineries by 2020, yet more than 460 have been permitted.
“Wine industry leaders say events are a vital tool for local vintners to sell their wines and remain competitive,” the Feb. 19 article states. Yet Silicon Valley Bank (from its May 2015 webcast on tasting room profitability) warned that competition and costs associated with the direct-to-consumer model were eroding profitability.
More is not sustainable. Silicon Valley Banker Rob McMillan says “tourists come to wine country because it is beautiful. … If (it) gets crowded and loses its charm, we will be killing the goose that laid the golden egg.”
We are at a tipping point. Let’s seek balance and support existing wineries. That means putting the brakes on ever-more reckless development and curbing competition, which will only continue to cannibalize existing wineries and tasting rooms.
Preserve Rural Sonoma County
EDITOR: All deserve to be treated equally under the law, regardless of race, class or immigration status. Your Feb. 19 editorial (“Immigration rules that protect families, not criminals”) claims to encourage “immigration rules that protect families,” yet you criticize state Senate Bill 54 for potentially limiting local cooperation with federal immigration forces for those convicted of serious crimes. To deport anyone against their will after serving their sentence is inequitable. It jeopardizes immigrants who have already served their punishment. We need to stand strongly against xenophobic immigration sweeps and treat all community member the same as we treat the wealthy and well-connected.
Sound of silence
EDITOR: One of the foreign short films nominated for this year’s Oscar told the story of a private school with a very famous choral group. Anyone could join. However, if a student wasn’t a talented singer, the choral master forbid them from singing. They were to just mouth the words. The members of the chorus got together and decided that at the next major competition all would just mouth the words. The choral master had a tantrum and left the stage. Then, all the children began to sing.
I would suggest that at the next White House press conference that none of the reporters ask a question. Why bother when they are disrespected, insulted and talked over — not to mention that President Donald Trump never answers the questions anyway. Care to guess how our president would react?
Gone, best forgotten
EDITOR: After Milo Yiannopoulos’ resignation from Breitbart News, I felt a level of surprise — unexpectedly, the alt-right news platform actually has standards. Now that he has very few platforms of influence besides his Twitter account, the press should stop paying attention to him and allow him to fade into the obscurity he so obviously detests.
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