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Rising water rates

EDITOR: Santa Rosans can't complain about rising water rates, no sir ("Water rates again headed up in Santa Rosa," Monday). Cloverdale wants to raise rates 67 percent starting April 1 and 5 percent annually for the next three years. Cloverdalians should be grateful though that we have had no rate increases since 2005. We should be grateful that our city is so badly managed that no one in the city government foresaw all the problems with our water situation until now.

I've been reading about Cloverdale's water problems in the Reveille for years. It seems strange that city officials didn't pick up on it. We were told at a meeting that it takes three years to do all the work to justify a rate increase. Well, our last one was in 2005 — what happened to 2008 and 2011? Why didn't the city slowly and sensibly raise rates instead of dumping a 67 percent increase on residents?

I don't object to rate increases, but I do object to poor planning resulting in huge increases. Maybe we will have to bite the bullet and accept these increases, but city officials have a lot of answering to do to Cloverdale residents if we do. I hope residents demand an accounting. If we don't, we get what we deserve.

LINDA M. ELLIOTT

Cloverdale

Bishop's pledge

EDITOR: Here is some unsolicited advice for the Catholic school educators of Sonoma County. Bishop Robert Vasa wants you to sign a affirmation of your adherence to church teaching in order to keep your job. Tell him, "Bishop, you go first. Sign a declaration that says that pedophilia, child abuse, sexual abuse of subordinates, extortion, blackmail, money laundering, financial fraud and the covering up of the same are modern errors that will be fully investigated and disclosed in the Santa Rosa Diocese — regardless of the statute of limitations."

I wonder if he'd have a problem with that.

MARY PETERSON

Windsor

Horse slaughter

EDITOR: For more than 50 years, I have been a lover, owner and rider of horses, and I agree with Tippi Hedren ("Stop this horse slaughter," Close to Home, Monday) that there needs to be some oversight or control of the slaughter industry. However, on a recent visit to Safari West, I learned that its horsemeat supply comes from several states away, so I think it's a legitimate question to ask Hedren where she gets the meat she feeds all the big cats at Shambala.

Cats are obligate carnivores; she has to be feeding them meat of some kind.

Perhaps it is time to set up a slaughterhouse in California. Regulate what comes in, avoid the massive amounts of bute, lasix, antibiotics etc. (especially in race horses), and prevent the worst of the inhumane treatment occurring in long-distance shipping and foreign methods of slaughter.

VALERIE BRYCE

Rohnert Park

Stressful schedule

EDITOR: The 2013-2014 school schedule was approved recently by Santa Rosa City Schools ("Next year, school starts Aug. 15 in Santa Rosa," Thursday). Yet again, school will begin earlier in August and let out later in May. The school year continues to lengthen, and the only result is added stress to students.

Spending more days at school does not sound appealing, especially in high school. The school board can sympathize with high schoolers but cannot experience the actual effects of its decisions. It makes no sense for adults to decide what is best for teenagers in this instance, when education has evolved greatly since they graduated high school. They do not consider how the calendar, hours and graduation requirements affect us high schoolers mentally and physically.

You want schools to be safer, right? Make them a healthier environment to be in, not a hostile, stress-filled place with no escape.

SEQUOIA RAHLFS

Santa Rosa

Sensible policy

EDITOR: The Santa Rosa bishop is right to expect Catholic school teachers to believe the Catholic faith and to try their best to follow its teachings. Nobody would expect a job working for the Sierra Club if they are not an environmentalist. They would not expect to work at a health club if they did not believe in the benefits of exercise. Why would someone expect to work as a Catholic schoolteacher, where one of the job duties is to foster the Catholic faith, if they do not believe it themselves?

DAVID BJORNSTROM

Santa Rosa