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Letters (January 1, 2020)

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It's another holiday season, a part of which for me includes following the college football old games. I began following college football in the early 70s when I was a boy. Back then the four major bowl games were the Rose, Cotton, Sugar and Orange BowlS and they were all played on New Year's Day. Beyond that there were only five or six other bowl games before January 1.

Now, including the FSB (Football Bowl Subdivision) National Championship game, there are 41 bowl games. 78 out of 130 total FBS (the higher of two Division I levels) teams (60%) go to a bowl game, and a 6-6 record is all it takes to qualify.

I found out a few days ago in a local community newspaper that my former pastor’s son is playing football at Southern Methodist University in Texas. Today, SMU is playing in the Boca Raton Bowl in Boca Raton, Florida — "Boca Raton" meaning "rat's mouth" in Spanish. Currently, this bowl is the only one named after a rodent's body part, but who knows? That could change in the next few years.

Almost all the bowl games have corporate sponsors as part of their official name. My favorite corporate bowl name of all time was one that took place about 15 or 20 years ago: the Poulan Weedeater Bowl. Even the most traditional Bowl game, the Rose Bowl, usually has a corporate sponsor's name before "Rose Bowl."

ESPN and ABC, both owned by Disney, deserve a lot of credit (?) for the plethora of bowl games since they televise about 35 of the 41 games including all six of the New Year's Six (the most prestigious) Bowl games, only two of which actually are played on New Year's Day. 

As a college football TV consumer, I do think ESPN does a better job broadcasting college football than the other networks (Fox, FS1, CBS and NBC).

Two of the New Year's six bowl games every year host the two semifinal games of the four team playoff to determine a national champion, the four teams chosen by a "playoff committee." Until the mid-1990s the national champion was chosen after the bowl games by both a media poll and a coaches poll. Seemingly fans would be satisfied with a four-team playoff, but there are those who now demand an eight-team playoff, proving to me that there is always a segment of the population who will never be satisfied no matter how much you try to please them.

Anyway, for those readers who will partake in some or only one or two of this season’s bowl games, have a happy bowl season.

My prediction for the national championship: LSU over Ohio State in the championship game.

Keith Bramstedt

San Anselmo

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If we really wanted to end the homeless situation, we’d approve homeless encampments close to the most affluent and expensive parts of the county. Let the most fortunate spend some time with the least fortunate and see where it goes from there.

Tom Glynn

Santa Rosa

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Everything Trump Touches Dies — A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever 

by lifelong conservative Rick Wilson. Pg. 233. 

"Page was an easy mark for Russian intelligence services because he lives in the same world of willful self-deception as Trump. Carter Page, International Business Man of Mystery, jet setting wheeler-dealer, and foreign policy savant was an image shared by only Carter Page, world-class dork and sucker. In the FBI investigation of a Russian intelligence cell that sought to suborn Page in 2013, the contempt in which the SVR agents held Page was clear: "This is intelligence method to cheat, how else to work with foreigners? You promise a favor for a favor. You get the documents from him and tell him to go f-ck himself." Foreign Policy reported, "Based on the FBI complaint, it appears Page never realized his Russian contact worked on behalf of Moscow's intelligence services." 

Wow, I'll bet most Americans don't understand that the Russia investigation found so much evidence of criminal conduct by the Trump campaign, that there were 215 charges, 38 indictments and 5 prison sentences so far. 

To all the stupid people who refuse to understand why the Democrats (plus True Conservatives ) want to remove Trump, how much more evidence do you need? How about the evidence that Trump is a witting Russian asset? Yep. US Intelligence officers think so. Next week, The Plot To Destroy Democracy! 

Best Regards, 

Rob Mahon 


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SMART was a good experiment, and I’m glad we tried, but we should rescind Measure Q, not extend the tax. It is clear from the 2018 financial report that the tax and ticket revenue don’t even cover current operations, much less expansion.

Regarding General Manager Farhad Mansourian rejecting The Press Democrat’s request for ridership data, I contacted the U.S. Department of Transportation and received ridership information in four hours. Per SMART’s filing for September 2018 to October 2019, there was an average of 57,932 passenger trips per month, or roughly 1,931 trips per day. That’s about 0.12% of the population of Sonoma and Marin counties. Golden Gate bus transit had an average of 256,268 per month. Golden Gate provides better accessibility, which is far more effective for low-income riders, and flexible routes.

Given climate change, we shouldn’t have two systems covering the same route, with one serving the well-to-do (average income per SMART rider is $97,000). Diesel trains with fixed routes that stop traffic, making cars burn fuel waiting for trains to cross, are so yesterday.

Let’s invest in electric buses and autonomous transportation of the future. Let’s rescind Measure Q.

Paul Franceschini


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There are two kinds of actions regarding the homeless — those that make it easier for them to get out of homelessness, and those that make it easier for them to remain homeless.

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors just approved spending $50,000 to give each of the 210 homeless people on the Joe Rodota Trail taxpayer-paid shelter, which only makes them “housed” homeless instead of “unhoused” homeless. This is the wrong kind of action. They need jobs. They need education. They need mental health care. They need drug rehab. Those will get them out of homelessness.

And, of course, as soon as homeless folks around the U.S. hear of this, guess where they will be headed? To Santa Rosa to demand their “free” housing at your and my expense, with no end to the number in sight.

Seriously, aren’t there many people more deserving of a $50,000 handout? We don’t have enough money to fix potholes, we have old folks living on a pittance, but we have enough to give $50,000 apartments to homeless people? Really?

Willis Eschenbach


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Mary Nichols was hired by Maria Shriver, Arnold Schwarzenegger's girlfriend. When Jerry Brown took over he gave Nichols full permission to start the CARB thing, another Democratic ploy to screw the American people out of millions and millions of dollars. CARB is designed for places like San Francisco and LA where we have a lot of traffic congestion. From Sonoma County to the Oregon border and over to eastern California and down the mountains there is no air pollution problem. None. How can this woman get away with taking the trucks away from guys who have been in business a long time, bought a truck, paid for it, kept fixing it, working on it, changing the tires, transmission, overhaul the motor, painting it, and keeping it up to make a living, an investment for their future? Nichols has taken them all away. If you don't have a truck that’s 2012 or newer you have to discard it. Junk it. They won't license it. 

Democrats can spend time doing stuff like that but they can't even control the homeless crisis or open borders, first aid and driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, death row prisoners in perfect condition thanks to the ACLU stopping them from the death sentence while people are raging about the fact they lost their loved ones because these death row monsters committed rape and murder and heinous crimesand now they get to live in the lap of luxury because the ACLU will make sure it happens. 

Governor Gruesome is sickening. Mary Nichols is sickening. Jerry Brown is sickening and the whole Democratic party that controls California is sickening and it has to change. President Trump is just about ready to do it, and I hope he does a whole lot more because I'm on his side. 

Hundreds of people are disgusted with the Mary Nichols BS and CARB. They haven't seen anything until they see the war that will be started by this by Mary Nichols and her CARB thing. The homeless crisis will look like a picnic. Mary Nichols will regret the day that she shut our trucks down. 

God bless Donald Trump. Four more years!

Jerry Philbrick


One Comment

  1. joe January 1, 2020

    Re Rob Mahon

    I’m not sure if it’s just Trump Derangement syndrome or what but if anyone was paying attention to the I.G. report they would see that Carter Page was a informant and working FOR the CIA and FBI lawyer, (Kevin Clinesmith currently under criminal investigation), altered emails from the CIA changing them to reflect that Page was not working with the CIA. The FISA court has come out and excoriated the FBI for basically lying to get warrants to spy on the Trump campaign and withholding exculpatory evidence. Someday when people care to look at the facts and bypass the lying MSM they will understand that the Obama led CIA, FBI and justice department basically led a coup on a sitting president. You can blind yourself with hatred for this president but to excuse this level of criminality at our highest levels of federal government you are just opening the door for tyranny to run rampant. This coup was led by both Democrats and Republicans and so I encourage people to look past the MSM media and do some digging and find out the truth for themselves.

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