The real miscreants
EDITOR: Hundreds of Sonoma Valley High School students took part in a hazing ritual known as “Fugitive Night,” causing thousands of dollars of damage, including to the window of attendance specialist Crystal Morgan, who took to social media to express her displeasure in a curse-riddled video (“School staffer on leave after viral video,” May 13).
You have this coverage exactly backward. The story is not the curse-laden video. It is the extreme, egregious and unlawful behavior of the offending students. You owe Morgan a prominent published apology for putting attention on her admittedly ill-chosen words obviously written in understandable frustration.
What she wrote hardly compares to the students’ destructive behavior. You reported: “Sources who asked not to be identified said several students … were ‘shocked’ by the content of her post.” Well now, I wonder if they were also shocked by the damage caused by their classmates. Do us a favor: If sources won’t consent to be identified, don’t use them as sources. Otherwise, we are left to wonder whether there were any sources at all.
Cleanup is costly. Repairs are anticipated to run into the multiple thousands of dollars. If even a cent comes out of taxpayer dollars, that’s wrong. Get the money from the offending students and their parents. Maybe it will teach them a lesson.
A flag desecrated
EDITOR: What a sad irony to find the inclusive Pride flag, designed to expand the rainbow flag to include black and brown stripes to include people of color and pink, white and blue stripes to include the transgender community, in a heap on the ground at the base of the flagpole on Memorial Day morning at Sequoia Elementary school in Santa Rosa. The American and California flags were still raised.
This is the day we honor military members who gave their lives in service to our country, protecting the values we hold dear. Among those cherished values are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans. We can recognize the full humanity of everyone, in all our colorful diversity, without diminishing anyone else’s piece of the pie. Shout out to Sequoia for raising the flag in the first place. I hope to see it flying again soon.
Tips and extra fees
EDITOR: We need to get a handle on tipping policies since the pandemic. I get it — restaurant workers aren’t paid enough and rely on tips to subsidize lousy salaries. I tip well, as do my family and friends. However, I was always under the impression it was for outstanding service. We ordered pickup from a semi-upscale restaurant. I ordered online, picked up in person, served it at home and did the dishes afterward. Upon looking at the receipt, not only did we pay a 25% tip, we were also charged a “kitchen gratuity.” Really? Between the tax and tips, our bill was inflated by nearly $30. That’s outrageous for takeout.
EDITOR: As the anxiety, hand-wringing and Republican-blaming over the debt ceiling reach fever pitch in news stories, editorials and letters, there’s an inconvenient fact the blamers are ignoring. Democrats — by themselves — could have raised the ceiling at any time up until the start of 2023.
Don’t believe me? Read how the Democrats could and should have raised the ceiling themselves in an article posted in October on Vox.com and headlined “Democrats the chance to prevent an economic calamity.” Why they didn’t is anybody’s guess. The Vox article describes how it would have been somewhat troublesome but definitely doable and worthwhile. Were the Democrats lazy? Incapable of thinking ahead? Or did they want the current impasse as a useful election campaign tool? None of these is what anyone would call a worthy reason.
In any case, calm down and watch this piece of political theater play itself out. The sky is not falling — unless both parties exceed their usual levels of incompetence.
Let elk range free
EDITOR: As a student majoring in wildlife management and conservation at Cal Poly Humboldt, I will not support nor visit Point Reyes National Seashore as its continues to support ranching first and not the native Tule elk. I moved to California in 2022 from Montana, a state where my family has lived for six generations. And if I wanted to see cattle, I wouldn’t travel all the way to Point Reyes when I can see them here on the Humboldt coast where I now live.
The National Park Service at Point Reyes National Seashore cannot continue to allow preventable deaths of Tule elk at Point Reyes. The problems facing elk management in the park would be eliminated if they removed elk fences and had free-ranging herds. By doing so there wouldn’t be a need to continue wasting money to send water to Tule elk herds when they could find water themselves.
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