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Voting on fluoride

EDITOR: The supervisors are spending money to study how to implement water fluoridation in Sonoma County. That seems to be putting the cart before the horse. Why don't they find out if residents want fluoridation before taking this step?

There is overwhelming evidence that fluoride is a serious toxin that has deleterious effects ranging from dental fluorosis to brain damage to brittle bones to arthritis. Fluoride taken orally hardly has time to affect teeth, and we ingest the major percentage of it. In addition, 80 percent to 90 percent of the fluoride in the water simply goes down the drain — and into our environment.

Most of Europe and other developed countries have ceased water fluoridation because of the public health risks associated with fluoride. There are apparently no benefits derived from putting fluoride in the drinking water, because studies have now shown that tooth decay is not halted by this practice. The EPA has designated fluoride as a hazardous toxic waste. But it looks the other way when we dump this toxic waste into our water supply. Why are our supervisors pushing fluoride on us, and when are we going to be able to vote on this issue?

CHRISTOPHER WHITE

Santa Rosa

Ignoring the real issue

EDITOR: I thought Ruben Navarrette's Thursday column ("Senator got scolding, not answers") was one of his worst that I have seen in The Press Democrat.

First, Navarrette tells us that Sen. Ted Cruz is a friend of his for a decade. Then he proceeds to tell us how clever and brilliant Cruz is. He talks about how he grilled Chuck Hagel and Eric Holder. Throughout the column, he rarely mentions the substantive issue of addressing gun violence and the law that Cruz and Sen. Dianne Feinstein were discussing.

Hopefully, Navarrette will discuss substantive issues, not personalities, in future columns.

TOM MONPERE

Ukiah

The wrong questions

EDITOR: With the U.S. Supreme Court considering the issue, we are seeing dozens of polls of public opinion regarding gay marriage — as if anyone's marriage is anyone else's business. Here are a few recent examples reported at pollingreport.com:

Fox News Poll, taken March 17-19, asking 1,002 registered voters nationwide, "Do you favor or oppose same-sex marriage?"

Results: 49 percent favor; 46 percent oppose; 5 percent unsure.

CBS News Poll, taken Feb. 6-10, asking adults nationwide, "Do you think it should be legal or not legal for same-sex couples to marry?"

Results: 54 percent legal; 39 percent not legal; 8 percent unsure.

ABC News/Washington Post Poll, taken Nov. 7-11, asking 1,023 adults nationwide, "Do you support or oppose gay marriage?"

Results: 51 percent support; 47 percent oppose; 3 percent unsure.

All these polls are asking the wrong questions. The only proper question on this issue is: "Do you believe the government has the right to tell you who you may or may not marry?"

I predict that the results would be at least 99 percent for "Hell, no!" And that would be that.

So let's see that question asked by all these pollsters.

OBERON ZELL

Cotati

Callous stories

EDITOR: There was so much callousness in your paper on March 17 that it's difficult to know where to begin.

How about "The art of flipping"? What fun! What profit! Even the name is cute! What about the people who lost their homes — victims of toxic subprime mortgages or unemployment they didn't cause? Not a mention. Distressed properties, but nothing about distressed people. That would be inconvenient when this is all so darn great.

And Wal-Mart. Wow. Hope? Is Rob Loughran ("Big-box crossroads of America") joking? A 2004 UC Berkeley Labor Center study found that Wal-Mart costs California taxpayers $86 million in subsidies to support its employees. And that was before the recession. And I guess Loughran doesn't care about the sweatshop workers in other countries who help keep "Wal-Mart shoppers feeling better about themselves because they were shopping and buying and keeping American solvent and free."

Loughran's too busy patting himself on the back to realize that the six owners of Wal-Mart have as much money as the bottom 126 million people in this country. And they've acquired it sending the rest of us, employees and shoppers alike, on a race to the bottom.

America the beautiful. I got mine and don't care who gets trampled in the process. Disgusting!

SUSAN C. LAMONT

Santa Rosa