<b>Unwanted square</b>

EDITOR: The proposal to reunify Old Courthouse Square ("Unifying vision," Aug. 20) goes on and on even though many, if not the majority, of Santa Rosa citizens are against it.

Every City Council since the mid-2000s has essentially said to us by its actions, "We want the trees removed (91, including five large redwoods), to close Mendocino Avenue between Third and Fourth streets to make downtown travel harder, we don't want to put this proposal on the ballot to see what citizens want, and we will use your tax dollars to fund it."

A site plan has been developed with an amusement park look with a 25-foot-high by 85-foot-long fountain and 16 pylons up to 35 feet high with lights strung across.

Now years later, the only good point is that the council can't find $14 million in public money to pay for it. It will have to solicit private money. As the economy improves and more tax dollars come into the city, citizens should be cautious about public money going into this questionable project.


Santa Rosa

<b>Wolf House fire</b>

EDITOR: I was tickled to read Chris Smith's quotes from Mildred Rogina regarding the Wolf House fire ("Did Jack London's Wolf House burn, or was it burned?" Sunday). As a kid, I had adventures on and around the Folger place as a guest of one Mike Rogina, a relative of Mildred's. At Jonah Raskin's Sonoma Valley Library lecture last week, I indicated that I'd grown up hearing that the fire was set by "Glen Ellen hillbillies," which got a laugh.

Who's laughing now?


Agua Caliente

<b>Apology accepted</b>

EDITOR: Efren Carrillo's statement to the supervisors was an unqualified, no-excuses apology. This is rare from a human being and exhilarating from a politician. I support his efforts to right his mistakes, heal from a challenging illness and continue to serve as an able and intelligent supervisor.

The prospect of recall or other pressure to force him to resign darkens our social interactions. I advocate the option of repair. I care about Carrillo, and I care about our county. Do we want a community where we tear one another down or a community where we give each other a hand up, again and again?

Let's build a community where we recognize our frailty as human beings, acknowledge mistakes and repair damage and trust one another to bring our best skills to problems we face together.

I'm aware of the disappointment of Hispanic youth at his behavior. I hope our young people see not an idol struck down after a breach but an imperfect hero correcting his errors and rising to serve ever better the people who chose him.

I hope we offer our strength toward Carrillo's success in meeting his difficult challenges, to our satisfaction and to his.


Santa Rosa

<b>Housing for vets</b>

EDITOR: A 21-gun salute to Joe Gonsalves for housing vets in Santa Rosa ("Landlord has good experience renting to vets," Sunday). It's so easy to forget what these guys went through in the Middle East, and support such as this is truly admirable. Hopefully, it will inspire more landlords to open their doors to our returning veterans.



<b>No hasty intervention</b>

EDITOR: Watching the horrific images of Syrian civilians dying and dead from a poison gas attack reminds me of how many times in the past 47 years the United States has intervened militarily with no exit plan or clear-cut objective: Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, more recently Egypt and Libya. Why can't we learn from our foreign policy miscues and, worse yet, expensive, ill-conceived military escalations/interventions? Usually, they have led to unforeseen, dangerous consequences.

Some sort of air or sea attack is imminent. It may already be underway as ordered by our best-intentioned leader, President Barack Obama. For once, perhaps, we should carefully consider what Russia is saying: A U.S. attack will be "a serious mistake." Not my words; those of Russia's foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov.

Until we get some concrete evidence to show it was Bashar al-Assad and not one of the al-Qaida-linked rebel forces that performed this act, we should not attack using imprecise means such as cruise missiles or bombers.


Santa Rosa