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<b>Another chance</b>

EDITOR: It has seemed to me that Supervisor Efren Carrillo has done a good job representing his constituency as well as serving as a good activist role model to young residents of every ethnicity and political persuasion. He has recently made some mistakes in judgment and behavior and has said that he recognizes that they were mistakes. And he is taking responsibility for them. He is said to be receiving appropriate services designed to prevent future such mistakes.

I have learned that people can change once they recognize that they have a problem. Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.

SHEILA DICKSON

Santa Rosa

<b>Stopping violence</b>

EDITOR: Another shocking headline, another tragic event leads to another community member lost as the result of domestic violence. The headlines paint a disturbing and developing picture: "SR woman strangled, husband arrested," "SR man charged in wife's strangling" and, most recently, "Couple had turbulent marriage."

YWCA Sonoma County defines domestic violence as threatening behavior that seeks to control and exercise power over another. This behavior can include one or all of the following: emotional abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse, financial abuse and/or threats of abuse or violence to a partner's children.

YWCA Sonoma County's 24-hour crisis hotline fields calls every day — on average 3,000 calls annually. We are Sonoma County's leading provider of domestic violence services, and we have been for almost 40 years. Our confidential safe house shelter provides refuge for families, and our therapeutic preschool offers counseling for the most vulnerable victims.

If any of the above listed behaviors describe your situation or a situation you are aware of, we implore you to contact us at 546-1234. This one action may very well save another community member from being lost.

MADELEINE KEEGAN O'CONNELL

CEO, YWCA Sonoma County

<b>No fluoridation</b>

EDITOR: Peer-reviewed studies show fluoride taken internally benefits only children who haven't developed adult teeth yet, and this benefit is quite small. For the remaining population, the benefit is nil.

Also, severe tooth decay is on the rise, especially in low-income areas, of which many already have fluoridated water. This is attributed to an increase in sugar consumption, especially sugar-sweetened beverages. Taking fluoride for tooth decay prevention while there's such widespread consumption of sugar is akin to putting a Band-Aid over a limb that's been cut off; too little, too late.

Fluoridating our water will actually make matters worse because the money will be redirected from funding sources that are used for health and prevention programs. Worse is that sugar does much more damage than tooth decay, such as diabetes and obesity, to name a few.

Your county supervisors must choose between spending valuable money on an expensive forced-medication program with little benefit to a small population and using the money to do real good for the people of this county. Tell your supervisor not to waste our money on useless programs.

Don't fluoridate our water, We don't need it, we don't want it.

HEIDI RHYMES

Petaluma

<b>Sacramento insights</b>

EDITOR: I'd like to thank you for Dan Walters' columns. Without him, I'd know nothing about what is going on in Sacramento. He gives me insight and a logical explanation for the news I seldom hear, and I'm grateful for him.

Tuesday's column ("A harbinger of fiascoes to come?") was stellar because, once again, he pointed out the emperors are not wearing any clothing in Sacramento. I could despair, now that I know, but as long as you've got Walters on the job at least I can prepare.

If only those who govern us would read him, we might be in better fiscal shape.

MICHELLE ULE

Santa Rosa