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Tuesday's Letters to the Editor

Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 8, 2012 at 4:43 p.m.

Where is outrage?

EDITOR: I am happy that Gov. Jerry Brown is helping California car commuters and other users of gas by releasing the gas held for winter (“Brown tries to drive down gas prices,” Monday). What I fail to understand is why our people have to pay for the failures and mistakes at the oil company refineries.

What happened to the profits made by these companies? Why shouldn't that money be used to make repairs? Why are we at their mercy? Where is the outrage over this, another example of our being pawns of large corporations?

Can anyone answer? I would really like to know.



Don't ban roundabouts

EDITOR: Intersection design has huge safety implications for motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and emergency vehicles. Congestion and economic vitality also come into play.

Because no single design works best everywhere, road intersections should be designed on a case-by-case basis. Roundabouts may prove the best design choice in some cases, so they should continue to be allowed in Cotati.

Upset by a controversial change to the downtown plan, the authors of Measure U have blindly attacked Cotati's planning process, seeking to ban similar designs throughout the city, perhaps forever. This is a bad idea. It's our city, why should we tie our own hands and those of future generations? Please join me and many others in opposing Measure U.



X is for parks

EDITOR:I would like to address one of the arguments that opponents of Measure X incorrectly put forward regarding the use of funds.

California Government Code Section 50075.1 restricts how funds from a “special tax” are used. Petaluma Friends of Recreation followed this code when drafting Measure X. The ballot language clearly states that Measure X funds derive from a “special tax” and are restricted to the use for which they were approved — parks and recreation. It would be illegal for the city to use Measure X funds for any other purpose.

The argument that the city could use Measure X funds as collateral for a loan for another purpose distorts the legal definition of a “special tax.” This distortion is inconsistent with the Constitution and statutes. If the city defaulted on a loan, state law prevents the city from using Measure X funds if that was not the purpose of the loan. Accountability measures for “special taxes” are part of the state code and the ballot language of Measure X.

Be reassured. Measure X funds go only to park and recreation projects, are deposited in a special account and are subject to an annual report by a citizens' oversight committee.



Cover grapes

EDITOR: We live in an amazing county with a lot of diversity and activities. Right now, it's harvesting season for grapes.

Last Wednesday morning at about 6:30 a.m., I headed to work on my motorcycle. I got on the freeway at Alexander Valley Road onramp headed south. Just as I make the turn, I saw some round objects off to the right side of the lane. So I kept more in the middle of the lane, but before I know it, my rear tire was sliding — and down I went. I was only going 15 mph when this happened, luckily, but I was forced to lay my motorcycle down.

After getting my bike up, I noticed that there was a strip all the way up the onramp that was super slick. The round objects were grapes, and the slick strip was smashed grapes.

The next day at the intersection of Alexander Valley Road and Healdsburg Avenue, there are more smashed grapes. On Friday, again there were grapes on the onramp.

The trucks that are carrying the grapes are not tarping or covering their loads. Other types of loads must be covered, so why not grapes — especially if they are causing our road ways to become slick?



Buying water

EDITOR: Nancy Martinez called Petaluma the city of extortion (“Petaluma's new legacy,” Letters, Monday). I thought that Rohnert Park was the champ in bribes and payoffs. It has now taken millions, with more bribes to come, from a proposed gambling joint to be built over an already overdrafted aquifer.

Where will future water come from for people dependent on water for simply living? When did gambling overrule people's basic necessities?


Santa Rosa

Fact and fear

EDITOR: I agree with Ruth Waltonspiel (“Close to Home: No on Proposition 37,” Sunday). Food labeling should be based on fact, not fear.

Fact: There is an abundance of genetically modified foods on market shelves, and a strong majority of consumers are buying them.

Fear: If Proposition 37 passes, there will be an abundance of genetically modified foods, labeled as such, on market shelves and a growing population of consumers who choose not to buy them. If you want to choose what you consume, which is your right, vote yes on Proposition 37.



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