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<b>No on RP tax</b>

EDITOR: What the Rohnert Park City Council and Public Safety director Brian Masterson ("For Measure A," Letters, Oct. 16) don't tell you about Measure A is that they have very craftily not included an end date to the tax. This tax can go on indefinitely. It would take a unanimous vote by the council to cancel Measure A, or citizens would have to put it on another ballot to get it canceled. This measure brings in about $1 million a year to be spent mostly on the police and fire department.

The casino has made an agreement to give approximately $14.5 million a year to the city. Some of this money is already earmarked for police and fire. Why is the city asking for additional funding from Measure A?

I cannot in good faith vote for a measure that can go on indefinitely. I'm not sure if I trust the council to know when the city doesn't need the money anymore. Please vote no on Measure A. Tell the City Council to go back to the drawing board and put an end date on the measure and tell us where they are going to spend this money.


Rohnert Park

<b>Healthy living</b>

EDITOR: Obamacare has been limping along for a few weeks now, creating havoc in many of our lives. Whatever happens with Obamacare, it will not improve the overall cost of our illness care system. It will not contribute to our greater health, nor will it save tax dollars.

As a physician who has practiced a blend of Chinese and Western integrative medicine in Sonoma County for 20 years, I've dedicated my life to helping people find what good health means for them. I have never had a patient say he or she feels healthier because of cholesterol medication or high blood pressure or diabetes medications.

My main problem with our illness care system is that it does not pay for people to be healthy. Most things that I do for my own health are not covered by my insurance and never will be.

For 20 years now, I've done everything in my power to practice preventive medicine and to teach my patients how to be in command of their health. Our health care crisis will not end with Obamacare. It will end when each individual has claimed the power of his/her own wellness.


Santa Rosa

<b>Harsh judgments</b>

EDITOR: Perhaps the writer who was "angered" by food-stamp benefit-card users on television would like me better ("Food money," Letters, Oct. 17). I don't smoke, and my nails look like hell.

On second thought, I'm sure she'd find something to dislike about me. People who focus on critiquing those they see as takers are never satisfied, despite the fact that their policing contributes nothing of value to society and leaves those of us working to improve our circumstances feeling even worse about what is already a dire situation.

Get angry at economic disparity, food insecurity and employment that doesn't pay a living wage, none of which should be the status quo in the United States. But keep judgments of those you don't know to yourself.



<b>Rescuing feral cats</b>

EDITOR: I participated in the new Community Cats program ("A shift at the shelter," Monday), taking in two feral cats considered unadoptable.

Willie Lamberson

Age: 69

Occupation: Ceramic tile contractor, former grape grower

Appointment: Sonoma County planning commissioner, representing 4th District

Quote: “I’m working hard to do the very best I can...There’s a lot at stake, and I do worry about ‘Are my kids ever going to be able to buy a house here? What’s the county going to look like when my grandkids grow up?’ We need to think hard about the consequences of our actions.”

Following the protocol, I housed the cats in two large crates provided by the Humane Society. I fed the cats, refreshed their water and litter boxes and spoke gently to them. Their reaction was that of typical trapped feral cats: hissing, running, upsetting everything in their crates.

After four weeks, I let them out, expecting them to make a home in the forested area near me, returning for water and two meals a day. What a delightful surprise to find that they prefer their comfortable beds on my front porch, where they lie in the sun and let me pet them. They come when called, and one wanders inside my house. Such behavior usually indicates a cat that was once domestic but has gone feral. Once feral, such cats are seldom tame enough to be adopted.

Perhaps most Community Cats will be true ferals. But others might be like mine, now considered a part of the family and definitely domestic cats.

Bravo to all the rescue operations in Sonoma County who have created this humane alternative to euthanasia.


Santa Rosa

<b>Streamside zoning</b>

EDITOR: It is deja vu all over again. Get ready for some serious foot-dragging in the process to get a strong riparian ordinance passed in Sonoma County ("Stream protection zoning challenged," Sunday). True to form, the Sonoma County Farm Bureau comes up once again on the wrong side of a conservation issue, i.e. the health of our streams and stream-side vegetation.

President Tito Sasaki is worried about the "speed" in adopting the general plan policy into enforceable code. Excuse me? The general plan was adopted five years ago. There have been ongoing workshops and meetings regarding riparian zoning. It is simply outrageous that in 2013 there is still not an enforceable ordinance to protect our streams.

Are we to assume that riparian vegetation, so necessary to the health of our streams, should give way to Sasaki's grapes? Or to cattle tromping up our stream beds because some rancher doesn't want to fence his pasture?

I urge the new county Permit Resource Management Department director, J.T. Wick, to move this processing forward without delay.



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