EDITOR: I’m a volunteer firefighter, agricultural business owner and resident in the Cazadero hills. I urge all residents of Sonoma County to speak out against the proposed industrial printing operations at Ratna Ling Retreat in the forests of rural Sonoma County. Supervisors David Rabbitt, Efren Carrillo and Mike McGuire aren’t acting in the public interest by voting to allow this operation.
The facility presents an extreme danger to humans, the environment and the resources of our coastal forests. Our all-volunteer, shoestring fire department isn’t equipped to deal with the hazardous materials and fire dangers that this facility brings. Allowing a 60,000-square-foot printing facility with 20,000 gallons of flammable and combustible materials is the equivalent of inviting a huge fire breathing dragon to move into our drought-stricken, tinder-box forest.
This not only violates our county plan and codes, it is unconscionably dangerous and irresponsible.
There is a public hearing at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Sonoma County Administration Building in Santa Rosa. To find out more, visit sonomacoastalhillsruralpreservvation.org.
EDITOR: With regard to reopening Palm Drive Hospital, the west county community should consider that the hospital’s annual $3.5 million taxpayer subsidy goes for a service that is used largely by older people. In 2010, according to Centers for Disease Control statistics, 45 percent of the total days in hospital nationwide were accounted for by people over age 65, 61 percent by people over age 55.
Should we not ask of west county educators: How would you use an additional $3.5 million every year, and how would it benefit young people? The same question might also be asked of the $7 million-$8 million in “new giving and campaign contributions” that has been reported to be required to reopen Palm Drive.