<b>Clearing the air</b>
EDITOR: Once again, The Press Democrat prints its liberal slant on the Spare the Air program and the great strides being made by this agency ("Air quality calamity," Dec. 28). Statements that have no factual basis are presented to sway the reader into siding with this agency. I quote, "the emergency department usually sees more patients with acute asthma . . . there's also evidence of increased mortality among patients who are 65 and older."
I think one could safely say that the older you get, the higher the chances are of kicking the bucket, and diet and lifestyle and the grace of God are more relevant factors than wood-burning stoves.
One accurate statement was the admission that the goal is to put an end to all wood burning. The facts are folks would do well to open their windows and let some fresh air circulate into their homes. During winter months, the most unhealthful air is what's inside the house not what's outside.
One might also wonder why an air quality level of 101 in Santa Rosa requires someone in San Jose to not burn wood. The air district's technical explanation is that "air moves." How profound. Perhaps a more reasonable approach would be to have volunteer participation.
<b>No more free passes</b>
EDITOR: We read in Thursday's paper that the U.S. Supreme Court has issued a ruling temporarily allowing Catholic groups to avoid providing birth control in employee health plans. This is based, of course, on the church's objection to birth control.
This religious intrusion into a medical service provided as a matter of law should serve to remind us of other civil matters over which religious groups have attempted to hold sway. Countless pulpits in the South preached the superiority of the white race to justify slavery in the middle of the 19th century. More recently, they have lobbied against interracial marriage.