Respect area's beauty

EDITOR: As a relative newcomer to Petaluma, I find that after eight years the natural rural beauty of this area is still awe-inspiring.

The green hills, the open fields, vineyards and flowers are truly a treasure. What amazes me is that some people here use the rural roads as a dump. Computer monitors, furniture, old refrigerators and Christmas trees!

I guess it's too much trouble to dispose of these items properly so they choose to use the countryside as their personal dump.

Casa Grande Road between Adobe Road and Ely is a prime example. How much trouble can it be to get rid of this stuff properly? Imagine if we lived near the Grand Canyon. Imagine what they would toss over the edge to the river below. We have been given so much here in terms of natural beauty. I wish everyone would respect it.

Terry Hurdy, Petaluma

More taxes a bad idea

EDITOR: Michael Caruana is right about taxation in the letter to the editor he wrote in the Dec. 13 Argus-Courier. Let me digress to explain my view.

About 25 years ago, then, Gov. Jerry Brown created the public service unions. He did so to insure Democrats would always be elected in California. It worked. But the union had to support democrats to get the wages and benefits they now have.

Over the years, the unions' greed has become insatiable, but it was unsustainable. So the Democrats always run tax elections and Prop 30 was one such election. Democrats solutions have always been more taxes.

Obama works on the same theory: Tax the wealthy, then the middle class, and elderly and get the money he needs for his social welfare programs.

But Petaluma is only a microcosm of the sickness in America today. The liberal Democrats spend the money on social and environmental nonsense then ask the taxpayers to pass a measure to pay for the parks and soccer fields.

What did the Petaluma Democrats use that park maintenance budget for?

America voted for Obama by a slim vote of 49.3 percent to 49.1 percent for Romney. Petaluma voted 70 percent for Obama so I assume they want to be taxed more.

Petaluma obviously votes for those who misuse the budget so I assume they want more taxes also. So Petaluma, California and America, expect more taxes, you voted for it. We will get what we deserve. Caruana is right, Democrats will come calling again with more taxes.

Robert A. Casper, San Rafael

Kudos on smoking law

EDITOR: I am a longtime Republican conservative and a business owner here in Illinois as well as a frequent vacationer to California.

I do not like government overreach or what many call "Nanny State" laws. However, smoking bans are different as they are a matter of public health and therefore I believe that they are warranted.

In addition, I do support the Petaluma City Council's recent decision to ban smoking in many private apartment and condo complexes as I can attest to the hell that secondhand smoke from adjacent apartments can cause to nonsmokers. This is due to my past firsthand experience with it.

Congratulations to your community for being one of the first in the nation to enact such an important local law and rest assured that there will be many more communities and states that will follow your lead in protecting nonsmoking residents of apartment and condo complexes.

Bill Kerschner, Rockford, Illinois