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<b>A healthy proposal</b>

EDITOR: I want to commend Linda Proulx and Steve Rabinowitsh for their tireless work in moving the southeast greenway campaign forward ("Greenway dreams," Sept. 4). When addressing the dilemma of cost of the land versus the value created by meeting greenhouse-gas reduction goals, building community by providing a sense of place and improving non-motorized transportation, Proulx put it succinctly in that "there are ways to create value that aren't necessarily dollar bills."

Acquiring the 50-acre strip of land is a perfect example of how a local government can act with foresight when opportunity knocks. During the Sept. 16 Sonoma County Food Systems Alliance action plan forum, Supervisor Shirlee Zane quoted Tip O'Neill, "All politics is local." Her statement was followed by Supervisor Susan Gorin, who envisions Sonoma County as the "healthiest community by 2020," and Public Health Officer Lynn Silver illustrating that our obesity problem is rooted in environmental and community factors.

While the city and state consider the highest possible value for the greenway, it's my hope that a sensible approach based on how to meet the goals outlined by the supervisors and health officer will prevail. The greenway is ripe for the picking. Let's keep the ball moving.

JAMES JOHNSON

Windsor

<b>No more delays</b>

EDITOR: I hereby assert my right <i>not</i> to bear arms and my right <i>not</i> to be endangered by those who do. I strongly urge others of like mind to do the same.

After the most recent mass shooting in Chicago, in which, fortunately, 13 people were only wounded, but which occurred just three days after 12 people were killed in the Washington Navy Yard massacre, it's clear that we must have stricter regulation of guns.

Despite the efforts of the Second Amendment crowd to put guns in the hands of everyone, even young children, all in the name of making us safer, we are less safe than ever before.

Since the Newtown, Conn., massacre, just nine months ago, there have been 17 mass shootings in the U.S. They're happening more and more often. Where will this madness lead? Will it ever end?

I'm tired of pseudo-justifications from the National Rifle Association and its supporters. The killing must stop, and we must demand that our legislators take action to bring that about. No more delays.

JIM LOBDELL

Santa Rosa

<b>The best ideas</b>

EDITOR: I enjoyed reading "Brews, bikes and more" in Thursday's paper. I noticed that the popular beer pubs and the handcar races were due to three private parties. I also remembered that Railroad Square, left to decay in the 1970s, was brought back by two parties. Even the lesser-known SOFA area, by Juilliard Park, was revived by maybe three parties.

In contrast, the city planners kept the freeway through town; chopped up Old Court House Square; paved over Santa Rosa creek and built City Hall; tore down downtown; and pushed for the building of the Santa Rosa Plaza. All these events are regarded as regrettable by most people and are probably irreversible.

Please, folks, let private citizens innovate in a natural, organic fashion and ensure that City Hall follows the people.

JACK CABOT

Santa Rosa

<b>Modern education</b>

EDITOR: Morgan Ririe ("A lost art," Letters, Sept. 17) is correct that cursive was the standard for a long time. Her letter said, "Original documents used it." Sure, because it was all they had. It was necessary then as the fastest way to write longer letters, reports, etc. It is not necessary today. It's not used enough to warrant the time spent learning it. The "current lazy generation" crack was a clue.

Joy Pullmann's letter ("Computer playtime," Sept. 18) was more disturbing. Pullmann claims that teaching children to use and learn from computers has no value. One of the biggest changes in our lifetime should be shunned, along with whiteboards, tablets and projectors. Whiteboards and projectors are pretty high-tech.

She suggests more children's literature. I read "Charlottes's Web" in third grade in 1962. It was fun, but I didn't learn much. I wish we'd had computers. Today's kids get to do both. She bases her claims on "research."

She identifies herself as an education research fellow with the Heartland Institute, which, according to Wikipedia, "questions scientific opinion on climate change arguing that global warming is not occurring." That's who wants to influence curriculum.

I believe a well-rounded education includes guidance toward keeping an open mind.

MARK MARELLI

Santa Rosa