<b>Vote now on Roseland</b>

EDITOR: On Tuesday, you published an exciting story of utmost interest to almost every resident of Sonoma County, especially western Santa Rosa and Roseland ("Road to annexation"). Why does the City Council have to spend $647,000 of the taxpayer money to study the issue?

What is wrong with making a simple, clear-cut leadership decision? What's to prevent the city of Santa Rosa from annexing Roseland? How much longer does Santa Rosa want to remain a farm town or an adjunct of Napa and the wine industry?

Why won't the dedicated, intelligent members of the Santa Rosa City Council take the bull by the horns and simply vote, yea or nay, to either annex Roseland, giving it its rightful place in Sonoma County, or to keep it as a subservient ghetto?


Santa Rosa

<b>Saving an oak</b>

EDITOR: Many readers may not know that our beloved Jack London oak tree would no longer be with us if not for the efforts of Chris Monroe ("Saved by the ax," Dec. 24).

Monroe contacted UC Berkeley Professor Matteo Garbelotto, an expert on the Sudden Oak Death, when news of the tree's impending removal was announced. He asked him to inspect the tree and report his findings. Monroe was convinced that the alleged fungus was not present as stated by a group of state arborists.

Garbelotto's findings, as well as those of scientists from UC Davis, confirmed Monroe's conviction that the magnificent 350-year-old tree is basically in good health, and it will be allowed to live out its days, subject, of course, to annual inspections.

What a difference one person can make by following their passion and persevering against all odds. Maybe others will take heart from his example and speak out on issues that concern them, or perhaps become volunteers themselves, especially in support of our natural resources. Mother Nature needs all the help we can give her.



<b>Mass spying</b>

EDITOR: If Edward Snowden had not made the secret doings of the National Security Agency public, no one except NSA insiders would know what they are up to. The purpose of the mass spying is not to protect us but to gain totalitarian power over the citizenry, whom they fear. The dream of unlimited power makes Gestapo officers out of public servants. Paranoia destroyed Hitler's Germany. Let's not repeat history.



<b>Unwelcome neighbor</b>

EDITOR: Your paper paints a rosy picture of how the new Graton casino is bringing Rohnert Park back from the brink of disaster. I'd like to share some of the other new realities of being a neighbor of Rohnert Park's saving grace.

While tribal Chairman Greg Sarris resides high above his newly created magnet for questionable activity, the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the casino must now deal with the traffic, sirens, hookers, thugs and thieves who have arrived.

Promises of support and street closures from our elected officials go unfulfilled as the temporary street closure signs lay toppled over in drainage ditches, or people simply drive around them. Imagine watching strangers slowly driving up and down your street peering into every driveway. As usual, we will have to wait until after we have a long list of disastrous events to report before any elected official will actually follow through with any assistance.


Santa Rosa

<b>Stop trade pact</b>

EDITOR: The Trans Pacific Partnership could well be the undoing of any chance we have to exert democratic control over the Internet, patents, tariffs and other issues. We need to make sure our senators and representatives are on board in opposing it. Find out about the Trans Pacific Partnership, and fight it before it gets fast-tracked through Congress.



<b>Overtime expenses</b>

EDITOR: An article in Tuesday's paper declared that Andy Lopez protests have cost law-enforcement agencies $225,000 in overtime costs.

Most of the money -#8212; $207,000 -#8212; was spent by the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, which chose to station deputies in riot gear to monitor protests. What would those deputies have been doing if they were not busy intimidating the dangerous protesters?

Also, saying that Santa Rosa police officers "racked up" about $18,000 in overtime through Dec. 10 is an interesting way to dramatize the issue. Maybe your newspaper could assign these issues to writers who are more sympathetic toward our constitutional rights.


Santa Rosa