Duane Cronk, in “For the right reasons,” his last letter to the editor, on Dec. 29, 2017 drew readers to his optimism for people that realize their goals as legitimate, can also produce constructive change. He saw a compelling nexus uniting the coming voters’ choice to protect watershed streams and oak woodlands by ballot and a grassroots effort to preserve the wooded hillsides that define the Napa community.
Duane has now left us; but, with a distinctively courageous call to democratic action in the end.
Not alone, his nexus is reflected in two subsequent letters to the editor by Carol Barge and Patricia Damery; both posted in the Register on Jan. 24. There is indeed a groundswell for democratic change to protect the beauty and benefits of oak covered hillsides from crass exploitive development. These people are gaining encouragement throughout the city and county-wide. They deserve support, because it is the right thing to do.
Now, we elected officials ought to concur. We are held to a higher principal in an open society. Hannah Arendt once observed in her essay on “What is Freedom?” that “Courage … is demanded of us by the very nature of the public realm.” She noted Winston Churchill, who called such courage “the first of human qualities … which guarantee all the rest.”
I remain steadfast in seeking preservation of natural valued Napa hillsides. I do support Measure C, the Watershed and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative of 2018. Over 7,000 voters have requested it be placed on the June ballot. I invite others to find their courage for Measure C and vote 'yes.'