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Tuesday's Letters to the Editor

EDITOR: How is behavior such as domestic violence, shoplifting, drunken driving, carrying a loaded handgun without permission and legal misconduct by officeholders related to the courage of Gabrielle Giffords, who resigned from Congress to devote herself to full recovery (“Officeholders behaving badly,” Editorial, Monday)?

Yes, they should resign, but that should in no way be compared to the courage of Giffords.

NANCY DILL

Santa Rosa

Healthy diets

EDITOR: I was glad to see Susan Swartz's article in Sunday's paper (“Setting the stage for a healthy life”) regarding the local efforts in place to improve our children's diets. It seems that a grass-roots effort is in order to change our culture's perception of acceptable foods. As a mother, I find myself pressured to supply unhealthy snacks and drinks for my children's sports teams, and I'm tired of it.

Simply cutting out sweet beverages makes a huge difference in our children's health. The greatest amount of empty calories comes from sugar-laden beverages such as soda, juice and syrupy coffees. The Network for a Healthy California will soon launch a statewide campaign called Rethink Your Drink that aims to educate the public about the dangers of sweet beverages and the benefits of increased water consumption. I love the idea of going back to water as our primary beverage and look forward to the day when we have more water fountains and fewer vending machines.

RUTH GONZALEZ

Santa Rosa

Treating dental decay

EDITOR: As a dentist in Sonoma County for almost 40 years, I have seen the explosion of dental decay. Whether it's parent's “negotiating” tooth-brushing with their children, allowing multiple daily exposures to sweetened foods and drinks or the cost of regular dental care, the fact is our children and the elderly are being ravaged by this disease.

Kelley Larsen (“Some arguments against fluoridating our water,” Close to Home, March 15) is correct about the topical effectiveness of fluoride, but most of his argument is based on classifying fluoride as a medication. It is not. It is a mineral supplement found naturally in many parts of the country, and it passes harmlessly through the body in concentrations much higher than are being suggested.

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