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<b>Breaking news</b>

EDITOR: Seeing your recent article regarding a report that warned about increase in traffic due to the upcoming casino in Rohnert Park made me wonder why that is such big news that it deserved front-page coverage ("Casino report warns of traffic woes," Tuesday). Was there a study needed to conclude that a casino will drastically increase traffic? I could have told you that for free.

Any time you have a large business or residential facility built, there is a corresponding increase in traffic, and to have a study done after the casino is nearly a fait accomplish is quite backwards.

Traffic studies and environmental impact are to be considered on the front end, not just before inauguration ceremonies.

ZILDA SANTOS MCCAUSLAND

Santa Rosa

<b>Fair falling short</b>

EDITOR: There seems to be something missing in how the fairgrounds is being operated. Instead of cutting back and trimming, which in turn means fewer people coming and spending, the fair board should be exploring how to expand and bring in new things. Having nothing for free is about what it is worth — nothing.

There are so many things that could be added. They could have coordinated with the GranFondo for additional biking events. They could do something similar with the handcar regatta. They could do a real Maker Faire (unlike the sad attempt last year), or even a large Halloween event.

If the money is not there, it is not because we all do not want a fair. It is because those in charge of making decisions for the fair are not doing their jobs. It's time for them all to be replaced.

ANDY and DIANE COHEN

Santa Rosa

<b>America's criminal class</b>

EDITOR: Mark Twain wrote, "It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress."

A cabal of tea party politicians has used economic sabotage to impose its dominance over us by shutting down our legally elected government. They use terrorist threats of forcing our government to default on its good faith and credit to further their cause even if it causes another worldwide economic meltdown.

The tea party guys may be ignorant and proud of it, but their actions are a real threat to this republic. President Barack Obama will fail in his duties as commander in chief if he allow the tea party cabal to carry out its plans.

ROGER HANELT

Santa Rosa

<b>Pot problems</b>

EDITOR: This isn't a call to judgment but a plea for the government to do something about the marijuana situation in California. According to the headlines, 18 people have been murdered this year, and countless others have been hurt in home-invasion robberies.

At this time of the year when growers are harvesting, you can't even breathe because of the stench. And if you have allergies or asthma, you gasp for air. The legal growers who have their card are allowed up to 30 plants. What did these people do for their chronic ailments before this? Advil?

Unsuspecting hikers put their lives in danger walking on federal land. When my PG&E bill doubled one month, the employee I talked to asked me if I had neighbors who grow pot and said to check for extension cords around the back and sides of my house.

The growers make tens of thousands of dollars, maybe more, yet pay no taxes, don't hire anyone and will grab affordable health care while putting the people around them in jeopardy due to the criminal element that lurks around the edges.

Legalize pot, regulate it and tax the death out of it. Give people who need work jobs. Oh yeah, and give them a designated smoking area.

SUSAN BURCH

Santa Rosa

<b>Safe and effective</b>

EDITOR: Regarding the "Fluoride debate," (Letters, Monday), there's no evidence whatsoever that fluoride is a neurotoxin that can cause kidney, brain and endocrine damage.

The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence to a certainty confirms fluoridation's safety and effectiveness, and hundreds of peer-reviewed studies on fluoride have discredited anti-fluoridation propaganda. For many years, panels of experts from different health and scientific fields have provided strong evidence that water fluoridation is safe and effective. Fear-mongering and the spreading of misinformation will probably continue, but the scientific community is solidly in favor of fluoridation.

Those who have an irrational fear of fluoride can drink bottled water without fluoride.

RON HARRIS

Windsor