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<b>Forestville lawsuit</b>

EDITOR: It's discouraging that individuals who have not been part of meetings on traffic flow, line-of-site safety, air quality, congestion, parking downtown, etc. can stop a long-planned intersection improvement with a lawsuit ("Lawsuit puts traffic circle plan on hold," Saturday).

Discussions concerning the Mirabel Road and Highway 116 intersection in Forestville began in earnest 12 years ago. Caltrans, county Public Works and concerned citizens discussed road and intersection improvements options throughout this time. Many public meetings have been held to get public input.

When Ramona Crinella sold eight downtown acres to Orrin Thiessen for his town square development, intersection improvement went into high gear to compensate for increased traffic. The roundabout option was chosen at that time. The Thiessen project will not be built, but that property is now being planned as a public park and trailhead to the west county trail, providing parking for trail users and downtown businesses.

The balance of Crinella's property, currently in vineyards, has been approved for a low-density development. All of this increased land use requires intersection improvements. Stop sign and traffic signals alternatives still require line-of-site road alterations. The only plan that eliminates backed up traffic, lessens air pollution from stopping and starting vehicles, and provides safe crosswalks at that intersection is the roundabout.

VESTA COPESTAKES

Forestville

<b>Creepy peeps</b>

EDITOR: Peeps are cute. Fluffy little sugar chicks to eat at Easter. This season we tried one who wasn't cute at all. His contrition is shallow, his empathy suspect and his motives base. Where I grew up this defined a creep.

ROLAND WIEBE

Graton

<b>Presumed guilty</b>

EDITOR: When I unfolded The Press Democrat on Sunday, I was greeted with the words "Keeping high drivers off the highway," in large type, over a picture of a young man in handcuffs between two police officers. My immediate thought: "Too bad for the young man in cuffs, but if he was endangering people by driving high, he's getting what he deserves."

Only by reading the story could I learn that the young man, after being pulled over for driving 49 mph in a 25 mph zone, was suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana. In addition, the article explained the many questions involved in "driving while high" cases.

In short, the editors put a large picture in the middle of the front page of a suspect who hasn't been found guilty of anything, in a confused area of the law and even of the knowledge of the effects of marijuana on drivers.

I found the content of the story interesting, educational and timely. However, I was astounded and, in fact, horrified, by the choice to put the accused's picture in the paper.

Also, I couldn't help wondering whether the photo of a white, middle-class man, with his lawyer on the way, would have been chosen to illustrate the article.

CHARLES LITTLE

Petaluma

<b>Time to go</b>

EDITOR: Supervisor Efren Carrillo was acquitted on charges of peeking. However, do you think his neighbor would want the man who, half-dressed, made unwelcome drunken innuendoes outside her window at 3 a.m., to represent her as 5th District supervisor? Neither would I. Guilty or not, it is high time for Carrillo to resign.

ANNIE CASSIDY

Sonoma

<b>Yes on G</b>

EDITOR: I've been in love with Cotati since I moved to Sonoma County in 1978. I love this quirky town, where I run into someone I know every time I turn around; where our elected officials are approachable; where citizens feel their voice is heard. It's not always pretty, but it is participatory democracy at work.

Cotati's half-cent sales tax sunsets next year. Since we passed Measure A in 2010, Sacramento has taken more money from cities and retirement and benefit costs have continued to climb. If we don't institute a new sales tax, Cotati's revenues and reserves will decline, and the city could be bankrupt in a couple of years. That's why I support Measure G, which would increase the sales tax to one cent for nine years. The revenue would stay in Cotati. It would go to the general fund, rather than being earmarked for any specific category, giving us the flexibility to adapt to changing situations.

The budget has been cut as far as it can be without significant service reductions. I'd hate to see police services contracted out. The worst-case scenario could include disincorporation. If we became part of the county or were annexed by Rohnert Park, would we enjoy the same level of citizen engagement we do now?

ERIS WEAVER

Cotati