<b>Everyone's duty</b>

EDITOR: At the risk of stating the obvious, we are in a severe drought. We don't need the governor to declare it or to read the rainfall totals in the paper. It's obvious. While some of us have been concerned for some time and have taken steps to conserve this precious resource, I still see neighbors watering their lawns and washing their cars.

There are many things each of us can do every day to save water. The Sonoma County Water Agency's website -#8212; scwa.ca.gov -#8212; has some great recommendations on simple ways to conserve. Let's all do our part to lessen the impact of this historic drought.


Santa Rosa

<b>Seeger's gift</b>

EDITOR: To me, Pete Seeger was a bodhisattva -#8212; a kind of living saint akin to Nelson Mandela -#8212; who brought incalculable amounts of light and joy over many decades to so many. Seeger was Mensa-level musically gifted, and his sustained determination to work tirelessly for peace and justice was an exemplar for how to keep on carrying on in our beautiful beleaguered world.

I hope that efforts to nominate Pete Seeger for the Nobel Peace Prize are renewed.


Santa Rosa

<b>Violence against women</b>

EDITOR: The issue of violence against women is serious, and the truth is shocking -#8212; according to the United Nations, one in three women on the planet will be raped, beaten or sexually abused in their lifetime. That is one billion mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, grandmothers or nieces.

The Petaluma Police Department reported 152 domestic violence incidents in 2011. Countless incidents go unreported. It is unacceptable that any act of violence should go unreported or that a victim should be silent.

One Billion Rising for Justice is a global call to survivors of violence to gather safely in community outside places or public gathering places where people deserve to feel safe. It is a call to break the silence through art, dance, song, spoken word, testimonies and whatever feels right.

For the second year, on Feb.?14, V-Day.org is inviting one billion people to rise up for justice, activating people around the world to demonstrate their collective strength and solidarity across borders. One billion people rising is a revolution.

Numerous One Billion Rising events are scheduled in the Bay Area. To participate in the event nearest you, go to www.OneBillionRising.org. Rise, dance and demand an end to this violence.



<b>Laugh line</b>

EDITOR: I wish to express my gratitude to Bruce Codding ("SR fee increase," Letters, Tuesday). Just half a sentence of his, and I quote, "Developers build for the benefit of others," provided me the heartiest laugh I've had in quite a while. Good one, Bruce, good one.


Santa Rosa

<b>Neighborhood support</b>

EDITOR: Contrary to Mike McInerney's assumption ("Bad neighbors," Letters, Wednesday), a good many of the Dream Center supporters do live in Bennett Valley, which became apparent during discussions as we awaited admittance to the Santa Rosa Planning Commission meeting. We hope to have a way to signify our presence at the City Council meeting.

Social Advocates for Youth has worked hard over the past year modifying its plan in response to neighborhood concerns and to the satisfaction of Sonoma County's chief probation officer.

Sue Lewis' Wednesday letter ("Why erect barriers?") eloquently expressed the moral imperative of approving the Dream Center. Surely we have some obligation to meet the needs of young citizens who have not had the advantages most of us have had and who are in no position to worry about property values. All we are being asked, after all, is to allow them to live in our neighborhood.

I believe the best way to help these young people become our good neighbors is to be good neighbors by welcoming and supporting them.


Santa Rosa