Marin IJ Readers’ Forum for June 25, 2023

Gun Rights

Negative response to Pride decorations disturbing

At the Fairfax Town Council meeting on June 7, Mayor Chance Cutrano spoke about negative messages some community members sent to town officials and members of the council about Fairfax’s Pride Month decorations, specifically the rainbow-colored crosswalk and rainbow flags throughout the town.

During discussion of the town’s proclamation to recognize the celebration (the recording is online at, Cutrano said that they received comments about the decorations “calling for their removal, calling for toning down Pride.” He added: “(They are saying) that this is not the type of thing that Fairfax should be celebrating. It has really been crushing to see some of these emails.”

I find this attitude disturbing. It is a reminder that the LBGTQIA+ segment of our community remains under attack.

In a recently published IJ editorial (“LGBTQ+ rights, under attack, must be voiced loudly,” June 15) Marin towns — including Fairfax — were celebrated for Pride Month displays. I agree with the editorial board that reactionary demonstrations opposing LGBTQIA+ rights and the rights of other marginalized communities and individuals “demand a strong rebuke.” But we also must rebuke hateful attitudes in our own towns.

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The attacks in other states are very real and dangerous. They absolutely should be strongly opposed, but I would hope that we don’t ignore the intolerance and hate in our own communities.

— PJ Feffer, Fairfax

Convert state to regional energy transmission plan

The essential question of the climate crisis is this: How fast can civilization transition to only producing environmentally clean energy?

It was not until 1885 that the U.S. produced more energy from coal and oil than from wood and charcoal. Oil did not overtake coal as the dominant fuel until 1964. If clean energy is to power all aspects of the world’s economies by 2050, we’ve got to move fast. An enormous amount of new long distance grid transmission must be built. Policies must change to allow that to happen.

In his recently published California Voice commentary (“Regionally isolated power grid leaves state vulnerable to failure,” June 20), Mark Specht wrote a thoughtful piece about the need to remake the California independent system operator into a western states regional transmission organization.

Assembly Bill 538, the bill which would do this, has been postponed by the appropriations committee, which seems to have led to support from Gov. Gavin Newsom. The idea is not new: Former Gov. Jerry Brown supported similar legislation to no avail.

Western states are coalescing around regional energy-sharing and carbon-free energy. Eight states have adopted renewable energy goals. Colorado and Nevada have passed legislation requiring utilities to join a regional grid operator by 2030. Studies have shown that an expanded regional grid could produce billions of dollars in benefits. It would help ensure there are more buyers for California’s excess solar power in the daytime while enhancing reliability in the evening hours.

Regional transmission can enhance the opportunities for clean energy to out-compete fossil fuels. Assemblymember Damon Connolly sits on the energy committee as well as the joint legislative committee on climate change policy. He must ensure the details are worked out so that it can pass quickly.

— Alan Edmondson, San Rafael

All must speak up to stop scourge of gun violence

The Founding Fathers of this country certainly never contemplated the near-daily mass shootings of today. I love our country, but it has a reputation around the world of being a very dangerous place.

Most Americans want something done. The Second Amendment is an impediment to stopping needless harm to innocent civilians. Our elected officials, who appear to be afraid to do something constructive, should be responsive to their constituents, not gun manufacturers or the National Rifle Association.

I am not lobbying to eliminate guns. I am insisting that reasonable, functional controls be put in place.

I don’t care if you are a Republican, Democrat or an independent voter, all of us should be ashamed. We must insist that our elected representatives understand that they are working for the good of the country. Unless we all say something, the carnage will continue.

— Jim Libien, San Rafael

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