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Tuesday's Letters to the Editor

EDITOR: Having worked in the grocery industry these past 10 years, I've heard plenty of reasons for bagging groceries, and none really have any merit. Scale back the gluttony and the need for bags is reduced. Most good ingredients use less packaging; prepared foods generally take up more space with superfluous layers of wraps and other packaging.

Folks request a bag so “the groceries won't fall over on the way home.” My solution: Drive less and more carefully, or ride a bike instead. The guy who wanted double paper bags for each of his plastic one-gallon milk jugs (they have handles) uses the bags in his wood stove for heat. Not cool. No more double bags for you, buddy.

Most groceries come to the market in boxes. Get a box or two when you enter the store, fill your box(es) and leave with a sturdy package that won't rip, tip or drip.

RICK RILEY

Fort Bragg

Big spending

EDITOR: Recently, two young ladies became lost in Annadel State Park around sunset. The weather was unseasonably warm, and neither of them was injured, yet the Sheriff's Office sent the helicopter in to find them (“Cell-phone light leads rescuers to Annadel hikers,” Jan. 23).

Maybe that is not the best use of the very limited funding available to our county. I don't know the cost of operating the helicopter, but I know it is not cheap. Maybe they should have sent a squad car to the park, turned on the siren and told the young ladies to walk in the direction of the siren.

This is just one example of public safety agencies in Sonoma County wasting money. The Rohnert Park Public Safety Department is another. When a Rohnert Park officer is on fire duty, the day largely consists of sleeping, eating and watching TV. This is right from one of their officers. He brags about making more than $100,000 for going out on a medical assistance call once or twice a day.

In a city that has had only a handful of structure fires in the last 10 years, it seems having a full-time fire staff is a waste. Public safety is important but so is being financially responsible.

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