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Thursday's Letters to the Editor

No beach fees

EDITOR: The Press Democrat ran a front-page article on a proposed $8 fee to be charged at 15 designated state beaches in Sonoma County ("County defends opposing state beach fees," Monday). State parks says it needs this revenue for budget purposes. The county opposes these new day-use fees.

Instead of praise for our county planners, the article is a one-sided challenge to the county's position — i.e., how can the county justify opposing these fees.

These beaches are a phenomenal blessing. They are a wonder of nature. Visiting the ocean and being in its presence is a powerfully uplifting experience.

People might argue as to whether the ocean beaches "belong" to the public, but they certainly don't belong to a California government agency.

For a whole variety of reasons our county should be encouraging greater, not restricted, access to our public beaches. In these tough economic times particularly, it is an outrage to limit public access based on a huge $8 fee for every visit to the ocean.

We all pay taxes to support state parks, and that is well and good. But don't tax us again with an outrageous plan like this just because a wiser alternative has not yet been found.

DAVID DILLMAN

Occidental

Don't give up


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