<b>For Measure B</b>

EDITOR: Registered voters in the city of Sonoma recently received voter pamphlets and sample ballots for the Nov. 19 special election on Measure B. Absentee ballots will soon be mailed.

As nearly everyone knows, Measure B will help preserve Sonoma and the quality of life we all enjoy by limiting new hotels in the city to 25 rooms or fewer, unless and until annual occupancy rates in existing city hotels reaches 80 percent.

In the voter pamphlet, summary arguments for and against Measure B — signed by supporters of each viewpoint — are laid out for voters to read.

Arguments supporting Measure B are honest, factual and easy for voters to understand. The arguments opposing Measure B, however, are riddled with irrelevancies, untruths and silly fear-mongering apparently inspired by Halloween.

Perhaps most striking is that Protect Sonoma, the hotel developer-sponsored group formed to defeat Measure B, was apparently unable to find even a single hotel developer/investor or current hotel owner — not even the spokesperson for Protect Sonoma — willing to attach their signature or reputation to the lame arguments against Measure B.

That should be a clue — voting yes on B is the thing to do.



<b>Politicians and prisons</b>

EDITOR: Assembly members Tom Ammiano and Loni Hancock are pursing legislation to set rules and guidelines for solitary confinement in California prisons — an example of legislators over-stepping their bounds ("Changes sought in state prison isolation policies," Thursday).

Ammiano and Hancock know nothing about prison administration and operations. They know nothing about the plight, situation and circumstance of corrections personnel and the difficulty and complexity of operating prisons. What they do know is that 30,000 inmates went on a hunger strike to object to certain gang members being placed in solitary confinement. They ignored the fact that more than 100,000 inmates didn't go on a hunger strike. Solitary confinement is being used as a means to control gang leaders and to stop them from leading and directing criminal activities from prison.

Ammiano stated at a recent hearing that "there's just so many comparisons to a zoo." It sounds like he was really talking about the Legislature, and in that regard he's right. Hopefully, concerned citizens will contact their Sacramento representatives and ask them to oppose Ammiano and Hancock in their bizarre effort to let politicians administer and manage prisons.



<b>Carlstrom's judgment</b>

EDITOR: Santa Rosa City Councilwoman Erin Carlstrom said, "Now, more than ever, I understand the full meaning of public service . . . but looking at my son, that knowledge is now personal" ("New candidates jolt state Senate race," Wednesday).

Running for state office is not something most new parents think of when they look at their 4-day-old. I wonder if she has any idea of what it takes to be a state senator or a new parent, let alone run a campaign that covers the North Coast. Few know her outside of Santa Rosa. Running for City Council was easy by comparison.

I have seen the exhausting schedules of past state senators, sometimes requiring late-night meetings. New parents also get little sleep. Something is going to fall through the cracks, and it appears it's going to be our City Council and probably her son.

I agree with John Brodey ("Politicians as usual," Letters, Oct. 11): Her brief tenure on the council hardly qualifies her for state senator. She needs to finish her current term. Political consultant Herb Williams said political experience is not the answer, "it's the kind of person you are." It appears that Carlstrom is a person with little experience and questionable judgment.


Santa Rosa

<b>Much-needed protections</b>

EDITOR: I read with interest your Oct. 11 editorial about the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area proposal ("A sound plan for public land"). I wholeheartedly agree with the editorial board's opinion. As a small-business owner and Chamber of Commerce member in the travel industry — I own a Santa Rosa-based bicycle touring business located in Railroad Square — I applaud Rep. Mike Thompson's vision of establishing much-needed protections for the public lands that make up the Snow Mountain and Lake Berryessa complex. We in the travel industry know very well the value of protected public lands — they are good for recreation, good for public health and good for business.


Santa Rosa