Monday's Letters to the Editor
Published: Monday, March 4, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 1, 2013 at 3:08 p.m.
EDITOR: Am I the only one to notice the disconnect between two front-page stories on Wednesday — “County takes next step toward fluoridating water” and “Retirees' suit against county revived”? Sonoma County wants to spend $8.5 million to fluoridate water, yet it doesn't have the money to provide health benefits to retirees.
Oyster farm ruling
EDITOR: Hats off to the members of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court who allowed the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. to stay open while challenging an order to close. Sanity has returned to our legal system (“Court gives oyster firm a reprieve,” Tuesday).
In deciding that “there are serious legal questions and the balance of hardship tips sharply in appellants favor,” the judges said enough is enough, that the National Park Service is the administrator of the land, not its owner.
The National Parks Conservation Association replied smugly that the decision “unfortunately delays by two months the ability of Americans to enjoy their national park wilderness.” That sort of response, repeated over and over when the Park Service wants to acquire total jurisdiction of property, has become too familiar to be believed.
Unlike Lola, who always got what she wanted, this American is hoping that in this case Lola will not get what Lola seems so desperately to want.
EDITOR: Adding fluoride to our water in Sonoma County is absolutely ridiculous. If people want fluoride in their water, let them add fluoride drops at their own expense. Why should we have fluoride in our toilet tanks and on our plants when they are watered? Did our supervisors think about anything other than teeth? What about our general health? I know this is a very hot subject, and I hope it gets dropped fast.
Dog owners' duty
EDITOR: What a nice article in last Monday's paper about the newly opened Taylor Mountain Regional Park (“ 'Dream come true' ”). My husband and I went there the day before to enjoy a hike. We brought our dog because, as the article stated, there are few hiking spots where dogs are allowed. We arrived at the top of the ridge designated by the map as the vista point for the Santa Rosa plain and there in the middle of the path someone had left a tidy blue plastic bag of dog poop. The park had barely been open for 24 hours. There are signs posted about cleaning up after pets as well as bag dispensers. I guess the signs need to say “and please dispose your pet's waste in the garbage cans provided at the end of the trail.”
EDITOR: The Sebastopol City Council is considering a sewer lateral ordinance. Currently, the city maintains sewer laterals located within the public right-of-way. This proposed ordinance states that the city will be responsible for maintenance of the sewer main, and responsibility for maintenance of sewer laterals located in the public right-of-way will be shifted onto the private property owners.
Last year, the council voted to raise sewer and water rates in Sebastopol. One reason for increasing the rates was to establish a capital improvement fund to pay for replacement of aging sewer systems. Under this proposed ordinance, as the city replaces sewer mains, it will require individual private property owners to pay for the replacement of sewer laterals, as necessary, within the public right-of-way. I believe that the city should be responsible for infrastructure within the public domain. When a sewer main is replaced in Santa Rosa, that city typically replaces all sewer laterals to the curb on each side. This makes sense, and it should be what happens in Sebastopol.
There are other concerns regarding this proposed sewer lateral ordinance, which can be downloaded from the city's website. Concerned citizens are encouraged to attend the City Council meeting on March 5.