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<b>Ag and water</b>

EDITOR: Turn off that tap. I am glad to conserve. Everyone should be conscious of their water use. What is agriculture doing about water conservation?

Statewide, ag uses more than 80 percent of all available water. An opportunity for greater conservation of water lies with agricultural use. This is true for the Russian River as our water source.

Again, what is ag doing in terms of conservation?

ALAN LEVINE

Santa Rosa

<b>Standing with SAY</b>

EDITOR: Many children have the benefit of a home with caring parents and siblings. Some do not. Young adults who have not had the benefit of a secure, caring environment deserve the opportunity to mature, to hone their ability to work collaboratively with others and to gain job skills that will allow them to become productive members of the community. As these young adults mature, they need positive role models and our assistance to make good decisions.

After careful review and discussion by our advocacy committee and board, the League of Women Voters of Sonoma County urges the Santa Rosa Planning Commission to approve the Social Advocates for Youth proposal to develop a center for children, teens, youth and young adults at the former Warrack Hospital.

It is a wonderful facility that can be developed to provide housing for young adults turned out of foster care.

JUANITA ROLAND

and LYNDA HUNGERFORD

Co-presidents, League of Women Voters of Sonoma County

<b>Trail closed</b>

EDITOR: As a Healdsburg resident and long-time regular hiker of the ridge, I would like to thank Staff Writer Clark Mason for his fair and even coverage of the issues ("Scenic trail off limits," Saturday). The hikers whom I meet on the trail have a communal interest in protecting the beauty of this area for the citizens of Healdsburg. Surely a solution can be found that is a win-win for all parties involved.

SUSAN SHAW

Healdsburg

<b>Chasing China</b>

EDITOR: As was rightly pointed out in Saturday's editorial ("A cold-fueled climate debate"), cold weather patterns do not mean lack of climate warming. The study of weather is the study of short-term variations in local weather patterns. The study of climate is the process of collecting short-term weather data from around the globe and charting the long-term trends.

Weather is the small picture focus. Climate is the big picture focus. You have to switch your focus to conceptualize global climate change. Kudos to The Press Democrat for pointing out this critical distinction.

The big picture trend is upward, with rising temperatures and ever more extreme weather events. If this worries you, then you will want to support congressional approval of carbon fee-and-dividend legislation that will return 100 percent of the fees collected to taxpayers and slow the emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

China is winning the race back to sustainability with the construction of new sustainable energy generating plants. Do we really want to let China be the leader in reining in global warming?

JOYANNAH LONNES

Santa Rosa

<b>Assessing blame</b>

EDITOR: There's a lot of blame around the Andy Lopez shooting. But no one seems to want to acknowledge theirs.

The deputy should have stopped shooting after two bullets to reassess the situation. But a 14-year-old had shot up a school two days before, and that was fresh in his mind.

Andy was warned by a driver just before the incident to put down the toy gun. But Andy was 13 years old and thought he bulletproof.

The protesters have cost us resources that could have been spent on needed services. But they have the right and, perhaps, obligation to protest what they consider a shooting unwarranted.

Unfortunately, a situation like this can rise again when children are allowed to have realistic toy guns. How about if manufacturers were required to make any gun that can be sold to someone under 18 in bright colors? Not just a slide-on tip -#8212; the whole gun.

What would that solve? It would be immediately obvious that a bright yellow assault-gun replica wasn't dangerous. And the macho level with a bubblegum pink gun would plummet.

The Lopez family and their attorneys are going to make a lot of money from this incident. It would be appropriate if they used some of that to support legislation to modify toy guns.

CAROL COLLINS

Santa Rosa