EDITOR: Brenda Adelman ("Science on our side," Letters, Feb. 17) claims science is on the side of fluoride opponents, but nothing could be further from the truth. The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence confirms fluoridation's safety and effectiveness, and hundreds of peer-reviewed studies on fluoride have discredited anti-fluoridation propaganda. For many years, panels of experts from different health and scientific fields have provided strong evidence that water fluoridation is safe and effective. Fear-mongering and the spreading of misinformation will probably continue, but the scientific community is solidly in favor of fluoridation.
EDITOR: I see that adding fluoride to the water is expected to cost "up to $8.5 million in capital upgrades to the county's central water system, plus ongoing upkeep starting at $973,000 a year" ("County moving ahead on fluoride," Friday).
It is outrageous that the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is even considering spending this amount of money on such a project Our water is already extremely expensive, and water use is not optional.
If dental health of low-income children is the issue, imagine how far this money would go in topical fluoride treatments, health education and possible nutritional supplementation.
In addition, the debate about the safety and efficacy of adding fluoride to water continues, and many communities worldwide and in the United States are ending fluoridation of water.
ELLEN VAN ALLEN
EDITOR: We as Republicans have to get out of the moralistic quicksand. We must realize that to be moral is a personal decision not a political statement. No political party or government has the right to regulate the morals of anyone's personal life.
The Republican Party has lost its way and left many young people, single women, African Americans, Asians, Latinos, secularists, atheists and humanists by the wayside. They either drop out or join the progressive Democrats. Republicans should not be voting to force others to comply with individual moral standards. A person should be able to live the life they have chosen if that lifestyle does not encroach on the rights of others.
Morals and ethics are generally perceived as positive words, whereas words such as moralist, moralize and moralism may have threatening or radical interpretations. We should all familiarize ourselves with the definitions of these words so we can be more respectful to our fellow citizens.
Let us concentrate on strengthening the economy, ensuring individual liberties, freedoms and rights. These are the most serious and compelling concerns for all of us. This should become a center- ground where our country can join together during these difficult and confusing times.
ROGER JACK YOUNG
EDITOR: When a small number of decision-makers isolate themselves from their stakeholders and the general public, they're capable of coming up with spectacularly bad decisions. And thus we have the new Harvest Wine and Beer Orgy, excuse me, the new and improved Harvest Fair.
Making such a radical change in this long-time successful family event, an event that celebrates the diversity of Sonoma County agriculture and educates both young and old in the wonders of our natural heritage, is a step that should never have been taken in secret and announced as a fait accompli. This lack of proper process was bad enough, but the resulting decision is a travesty.