EDITOR: I wanted to comment on how uncomfortable it is to drive in Sonoma County, especially Santa Rosa. Since when do vehicles that have the green light have to wait for three cars to run the red before proceeding? And why do we have to wait at our green light for pedestrians who cross against the crosswalk red?
It appears these things continue to occur because there is no one to ticket red-light violators. And what about red-light traffic cameras? We were told by the Santa Rosa Police Department that Santa Rosa has no active red-light cameras. It doesn't make sense to me. I feel like a sitting duck, just waiting for my turn in the accident pool.
Science on our side
EDITOR: Children of low-income families may suffer from poor oral health, but to refer to this as a "staggering burden of suffering" and an "alarming crisis" demanding fluoridation of the water supply is hyperbole ("Confronting county crisis of oral health," Editorial, Feb. 10).
It's hard to imagine that other issues, such as the need for jobs, fair pay, better health care, better access to nutrition, decent housing, safe environments, etc. aren't even more important to those suffering from poverty's ills. Ironically, most of the people suffering from dental caries wouldn't even benefit from fluoridation because they obtain water from private wells and wouldn't be affected by this program.
The editorial posits that the solution is fluoridation of the water supply, even though the recommendations of the county's task force on oral health didn't prioritize this remedy. Rather, it focused appropriately on better access to dental care, education and preventive care, expanded nutrition programs, etc.
Your editorial characterizes fluoride opponents as sounding false alarms about the safety of the practice and accuses them of spreading misinformation out of fear. Those of us deeply concerned about ingesting fluoride on a regular basis are not zealots, fear mongerers or prone to hyperbole. In fact, we, too, encourage the public to be wary of hyperbole, since opponents are the ones with science on their side.
EDITOR: There are more lesbian and gay couples in Sonoma County than almost anywhere in the country, and you couldn't find even one for your Feb. 10 feature story on Valentine's Day couples? Next time you write an article on love and commitment and you can't locate any lesbians or gay men, call me and my partner — or any of the 2,255 same-sex couples in Sonoma County — we can help.
JANE ARLENE HERMAN
A supportive town
EDITOR: Three weeks after her first chemo treatment, my partner, Kathy, noticed patches of hair falling out. We went to Al's Sunset Barbershop, and Kathy asked a barber to shave her head.
Another barber said, "You're getting the Kojak. You'll look great!" A waiting customer added, "We used to call that 'high and tight' at Fort Ord, and it only cost two bits." A third patron joined in with, "Oh, hey, you're going to get the chemo curl when your hair grows back."
Four grown men chatted easily. No pity, no judgment, just relaxed, friendly conversation. We had become a momentary community of people who would soon walk out of Al's and into separate lives.