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Sharing roads safely

EDITOR: Contrary to a recent article, fast-driven cars have no inherent priority over the use of our roads above slower-moving commuters such as slow-poke cars or bicycles. They must follow behind until it is deemed safe to pass — as sufficient space or lanes and clear vision allows.

When approaching a slower-moving commuter on two-lane roads with minimal or no passing or bicycle lanes, speed must be reduced until traffic conditions warrant safely passing by partially or completely changing lanes.

When driving through blind curves you must always be prepared for encountering slow commuters or other unexpected obstacles so speed should be reduced and passing attempts must be postponed.

Remember, California driving rules state that you must share all roads, and you may never drive faster than it is safe — regardless of the posted speed limit.

BRAD BRYON

Penngrove

Un-American policy

EDITOR: If the Boy Scouts insist on continuing their policy of excluding gay leaders and youth, so be it. However, I believe that they must change their official name and remove the words "of America." Discrimination is un-American.

DORIE LURIE

Healdsburg

Property rights

EDITOR: Let me get this straight: A man buys a old hotel and plans to renovate and restore it to its former self — to the better of the town of Petaluma. He legally evicts the residents according to the law and is giving them their security deposits back, and they are crying foul.

First of all, Terry Andrews may or may not be a "wealthy man" and may or may not "make a killing off the building" ("Activists rally for evicted tenants," Tuesday). He bought the property legally, period. He's abiding by the law in asking the month-to-month residents to leave, period. This happens every day to all kinds of people who are not crying foul, poor or not. How dare the Sonoma County Solidarity Network demand that he "pony up" with financial assistance and accuse him of being responsible for worsening poverty.

If it were me, I'd be angry with their actions and their words. He has no obligation to do anything. Perhaps if he was asked politely, he may be more inclined to help.

So many people are victims. And not everyone who owns property is wealthy. Get over it.

TERESA WILLIAMS

Kenwood

Students' brains

EDITOR: If Bill Carle and the rest of the Santa Rosa School Board happened to be so concerned about students' brains ("Battle plan for head injuries," March 8), they might have hired back one library media teacher to run the district's 22 libraries. Just a thought about protecting all those brains for thinking in the information age.

JOHN KOETZNER

Healdsburg

Wal-Mart and health

EDITOR: I strongly oppose the proposed Wal-Mart supercenter in Rohnert Park because Wal-Mart shifts much of its health care costs to the taxpayers. Always lower prices at Wal-Mart are due to always lower wages and no benefits.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, fewer than 47 percent of Wal-Mart employees receive health benefits. That's well below the national average of 68 percent for employers with more than 200 employees. In comparison, at Safeway, Raley's or Costco in Northern California, 80 percent of employees receive health care benefits.

Wal-Mart workers without health insurance impose a substantial burden on our public health care system. Uninsured Wal-Mart employees will turn to our hospital emergency rooms, public clinics and public programs such as Healthy Families and Medi-Cal for health care — at a cost of $32 million per year, according to the UC Berkeley Labor Center. The state and California counties spend $1.8 billion annually to provide health care for 1.3 million uninsured adults, according to a 2006 report by the New American Foundation.

MATTHEW WEINSTEIN

Rohnert Park

A pledge to take

EDITOR: In your Thursday editorial ("The best pledge: Keep an open mind"), you urged against the use of pledges by members of Congress, calling them a roadblock in negotiating solutions for the national debt. Your comparable pledges from other interest groups did not affect the lives of the sick, the poor and the elderly. If Rep. Jared Huffman believes that Social Security, Medical and Medicaid should not be used in these debt negotiations, then he should state that and sign whatever you want to call it.

As we have witnessed over the past several decades, whenever there is a debt crisis, loan crisis, housing crisis or jobs crisis, it's never the wealthy who have to suffer in these man-made disasters; it's always the rest of us. If Huffman does believe that these crucial programs that support the lives of the most vulnerable in our society should be on the table for cuts, then we have elected the wrong man to represent us in the 2nd District.

KENNY JOWERS

Point Arena