<b>Diabetic children</b>

EDITOR: With students now returning to school, I applaud the state Supreme Court decision to allow school employees other than nurses to administer insulin to children under carefully controlled circumstances.

Because only 5 percent of California schools have a full-time nurse, this makes it much easier to get these students prompt access to the care they need. In the past, the requirement that only school nurses give insulin meant that parents needed to be ready at a moment's notice to go to school to help their kids.

School staff who volunteer to help these kids will receive clear training and instructions under the common-sense approach approved by the court. This approach is already working successfully in many other states.

I serve on the local leadership board of the American Diabetes Association, and I am proud of the role our organization played fighting for more than eight years to reach this outcome. All students have a right to pursue their education in a healthy, safe environment. This decision vastly improves the lives of students with diabetes and their families.



<b>Shake downs</b>

EDITOR: Nice to hear that Petaluma has decided to start early on its Labor Day shakedown of the community ("DUI enforcement steps up in advance of Labor Day," Monday). The city receives at least 50 percent of towing and storage fees so it needs to push up the pressure on citizens to pay up.

The $300,000 mobile command post — aka Starbucks/Krispy Kreme vehicle — makes cops comfortable during these long hours of forcing people to pull over to be searched by drug dogs and interrogated against their will.

After all, the 2,000 people they stopped in one night last weekend yielded four drunks and 25 driving without a license. The towing fees and storage dollars add up against the city's bottom line. Never mind that the cops could be out patrolling the city streets and catching burglars. That wouldn't generate any money.

Here's a thought: Why not just make a permanent stop zone at the north and south entrances into Petaluma and shake down the public 24/7? Or just install those basket things they use on East Coast turnpikes where people just toss in a couple of bucks instead of having to stop and pay the toll.


Santa Rosa

<b>Art critic</b>

EDITOR: I don't think the Coddings should be criticized for the art plaza they created at the corner of Montgomery Drive and Farmers Lane ("SR public art draws fire," Aug. 14). Art is subjective, and only art and wine snobs think that nothing is good unless it is very expensive. I think the plaza is very refreshing to look at, especially after going past the Boudin building.


Santa Rosa

<b>Remembering Wiggins</b>

EDITOR: The painful reality has set in that my trusted and devoted friend and client of 20 years, Pat Wiggins has passed away ("Ex-senator Wiggins dies at 73," Friday). I am reminded of one of my favorite stories about us.

As her hairstylist for 20 years, I recall the time she came in for an appointment and was clearly irritated and frustrated. I asked her in obvious concern, what's going on? Her response: "I am so sick of people being more interested in the 'perception' of an issue, than the actual issue." I laughed at her because of her charming honesty. <i>Just do the right thing, damn it.</i> "The hell with the perception."

Not always politically correct, but she intuitively knew what the right thing to do was, and she did it. Perhaps the lesson for all of us , and politicians in particular, is forget the perception, just do the right thing, damn it. I miss her already.


Santa Rosa