<b>Keep hospital open</b>

EDITOR: The west county needs Palm Drive Hospital — it is a matter of life and death. Instead of a hospital managed by a politically minded and distant district board, a new west county community hospital can be well managed by the professionals who provide the services — doctors, nurses and local business people. A well-written plan, the capital and the creative will of the people served by the hospital are all in place or well on their way.

The district board has failed, but pride stops them from letting others do the job. The individuals who steered the hospital toward the abyss should not be the ones who decide its ultimate fate. Please contact the board members and ask them to rescind the bankruptcy or resign. There are competent professionals ready to step in with talent, time and treasure. The Sonoma County district attorney, the Sebastopol fire chief and the chief of police oppose their action.



<b>Petaluma drive-thru</b>

EDITOR: Just as accommodations may have to be made to general plans to address Americans with Disability Act requirements, an exception for the prohibited drive-thru for the proposed Walgreens in Petaluma should be forthcoming ("Planners reject drive-thru pharmacy," April 23).

Obviously the proximity of the Petaluma Valley Hospital and the central location of the new pharmacy cater to a particular clientele. The only other drive-thru pharmacy I am aware of is located in Rohnert Park

As a resident of Petaluma, and following my hospitalization, I had to drive to Rohnert Park on a regular basis to safely obtain my prescriptions. Rarely did I encounter a waiting period, and my engine was off while I made my purchase. Obviously my travel to and from Rohnert Park created more congestion, pollution and personal discomfort as opposed to a local and accessible outlet for me.

Other considerations might include special needs of immunosuppressed individuals as well as people suffering from communicable diseases or physical challenges.

Hopefully, the City Council will consider the real needs of the population it serves here in Petaluma and reconsider the decision on this matter.



<b>Truck damage</b>

EDITOR: Heavy truck traffic is the main reason our roads are failing. In a recent article, supervisor hopefuls discussed rundown roads ("Supervisor hopefuls discuss rundown roads," Thursday). Why didn't Supervisor Mike McGuire disclose the fact that Sonoma County's poor road conditions were and are created by heavy truck traffic? Perhaps because McGuire promotes heavy truck traffic on rural roads and refuses to listen to those who need to use them every day to reach their homes and workplaces.



<b>Ravitch's job</b>

EDITOR: It's time to set the record straight. The district attorney's role in the Andy Lopez case is to review the independent investigation by the Santa Rosa police, conduct further investigation as warranted and render a decision based on the facts and the law as to whether the deputy committed a crime.

District attorneys generally don't conduct independent investigations because they don't have the resources. In fact, the Sonoma County district attorney has a small division of investigators and doesn't have a unit trained to collect and store critical evidence.

It seems many would like our district attorney to turn over the case to another agency. Jill Ravitch can't walk away from this responsibility and hope the attorney general will step in, particularly after Attorney General Kamala Harris confirmed that no conflict exists.

The FBI's jurisdiction case is only related to civil rights violations. It is my understanding that investigation is underway.

Although a Ravitch supporter, I write as a prosecutor who spent more than 27 years in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. It is easy to sit on the sidelines and tell the district attorney what to do, easier yet to use it as political fodder. It's quite another thing to actually do the job. Let Ravitch do hers.



<b>Sundstrom's record</b>

EDITOR: The Press Democrat's Sunday editorial ("Sonoma County's books In good hands with Sundstrom,") made several key omissions about the man it endorsed over a more electable (read: transparent) Gary Wysocky for auditor-controller treasurer-tax collector in the June 3 election.

In May of last year, Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert Moss ruled against that county in the $73 million property tax lawsuit it had brought against the state — a chunk of change that Sundstrom, as the county's auditor-controller in 2012, misallocated when he ignored state rules on property taxes and helped funnel the cash away from public schools and community colleges into the county coffers.

As a so-called fiscal conservative praised for exercising "caution and prudence," solving county budget cuts by unlawfully withholding tens of millions of dollars from the state Department of Finance is a strange way to go.

Even more strange was Sundstrom's role leading a botched, controversial $50 million property tax software upgrade that cost Orange County outrageous delays and price overruns. Now, Sundstrom is "installing a new computer system, due this year, that will increase public access to county financial data."

Based on his track record, don't count on it.