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<b>A top-rated hospital</b>

EDITOR: While following the possible demise of Palm Drive Hospital, I found Consumer Reports Health's national health safety survey in its May issue. Near the top of top-scoring hospitals, in addition to Sonoma Valley Hospital, is Palm Drive Hospital. These ratings covered 2,591 hospitals. There must be a lesson here somewhere.

BILL HINES

Santa Rosa

<b>Standing up for victims</b>

EDITOR: At any time, any one of us in Sonoma County can become a victim of crime. Violent crimes, such as sexual assault, child abuse, domestic violence and elder abuse, place victims in likely the most difficult and painful experience of their lives.

The victim services division of the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office serves more than 3,000 crime victims each year. We advocate for and guide victims through the criminal justice system, link them to community resources and assist them with victim compensation and restitution to recover crime-related losses. Many partners join us in serving victims, particularly those located at the Family Justice Center.

This week, Sonoma County is celebrating National Crime Victims' Rights Week. This year, we celebrate three decades of promoting crime victims' rights and honoring victims, survivors, and those who advocate on their behalf.

Please help keep our community safe. If you or anyone you know may be a victim of crime, please call your local law enforcement agency or the District Attorney's Office — we are here to serve you.

GLORIA EUROTAS

Director, victims services division, Sonoma County District Attorney's Office

<b>Full disclosure</b>

EDITOR: David Bynum's letter ("Ulterior motives," Thursday) implying "devious" and "spiteful revenge" behavior by opponents of Measure A and some past board members of the Bodega Bay Fire Protection District is disingenuous at best. Bynum signed his letter as a citizen residing in Petaluma. What he neglected to state is that he is a Bodega Bay firefighter and president of the Bodega Bay firefighter's union. Vote no on Measure A.

KEVIN FREEMAN

Bodega Bay

<b>Russian River recall</b>

EDITOR: I have been asked if I am running a campaign to retain my seat on the Russian River Fire Protection District board, and the answer is that there is no way I could beat the freight train being engineered by firefighters union Local 3051 ("Recall splits Russian River fire district voters," March 31). I can only stand on my record. If I could have run a campaign the boards would have read, "vote fact, not fiction."

I have been told that I am being recalled for being disrespectful. If freedom of speech and standing up for my convictions is disrespectful, then I am guilty.

It is a shame that it will cost our district close to $20,000, if not more, for this special election since my term is up in November.

The thing that concerns me the most is the well-being and solvency of the district. Look at our financials and then those of surrounding districts. This board must be doing something right. One of the reason we are solvent is because we question expenditures (such as a $3,000 refrigerator for crews quarters), and we watchdog the budget.

No matter how this election turns out, it has been my privilege to serve these last 3 1/2 years.

LINDA E. PAYNE

Director, Russian River Fire Protection District

<b>A Palm Drive solution?</b>

EDITOR: My wife and I are long-time west county residents, and we are very familiar with Palm Drive Hospital's long and troubled history.

I wonder if anyone at Palm Drive has even considered or asked Kaiser Permanente if it would be interested in taking over Palm Drive and operating it as a west county Kaiser outpatient facility.

Sorry to say, but it is time to face reality. Palm Drive can't continue to operate as it is, and it's time to stop the bleeding. The fact that Palm Drive has so few patients is evidence that west county residents can survive without it operating as a full-blown hospital.

As far as the great people who work at Palm Drive are concerned, both professional and nonprofessional, there are many opportunities for jobs in the health care industry out there. These folks should stop ignoring the inevitable and send their resumes out, which I'm sure many are already doing.

Anecdotal stories of great compassionate service for past patients and by present doctors and nurses at Palm Drive, which I'm sure are true, won't pay the bills.

RAY CAPONE

Sebastopol