EDITOR: Over the past several years, several hundred apartments have been built on the west side of Range Avenue near Jennings Avenue, and there are plans for many more apartments in the same area ("Crossing swap weighed," Thursday).
Currently, there are only three exits from the area, all congested — at Range and Guerneville Road, at Cleveland Avenue and Steele Lane and at Cleveland and College Avenue. If there were a major accident — a large fire or chemical spill on the freeway — that could be catastrophic. The solution is an automobile and pedestrian rail crossing on Jennings, connecting to North Dutton Avenue.
Dutton is a major north-south road, and it would give access to the College Avenue and Guerneville Road, adding two major exits to the area and reducing congestion at the current three exits.
Somebody in Santa Rosa city government should show some concern for the safety of the neighborhood. I do not know why a downtown rail crossing must be eliminated. I am a strong supporter of SMART, and I am sure SMART agrees with the state Public Utilities Commission, but rules can be changed.
<b>What would Teddy do?</b>
EDITOR: I was happy to see Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visit California to see a beautiful area along the coast called the Stornetta Public Lands ("A coastal roadshow," Nov. 2). More than 200 community members attended her town hall meeting to support adding the land to the California Coastal National Monument. Unfortunately, over the past three years, Congress has failed to protect a single additional acre of public land. The bill to protect Stornetta, along with a dozen other bills to increase protections on our public lands, is stuck in Congress.
More than 100 years ago, Theodore Roosevelt, similarly stifled by an inability to get Congress to act, was the first president to use his authority to protect public landscapes. I have to wonder, if he were president today, what would Teddy do?
I look to President Barack Obama to follow in Roosevelt's footsteps and use his authority to permanently protect California's last pristine public landscapes, including the Stornetta Public Lands.
<b>Was Carrillo set up?</b>
EDITOR: My fellow voters need to ask these questions: In what constituents' activities was Supervisor Efren Carrillo involved on the day in question? What was his last activity? Who offered him a drink? Who is the accuser? Was it a set-up? Who would benefit from damaging his reputation? Why haven't those with information stepped forward?
Ladies don't need to fear. Carrillo is not the monster we portray him to be. Instead of ganging up against him, we should let those investigating do their job. What if we throw the first rock at the wrong sinner? We are all interested in solving this case so that Carrillo can continue to carry out projects in benefit of the community.
Where is the fairness in this, our country, with justice for all?
YOLANDA V. MART?EZ
<b>A better bypass</b>
EDITOR: Whether it was a good idea or not, Caltrans has moved ahead building a six-mile, two-lane first-phase Highway 101 bypass of Willits. However, there are problems.
Caltrans' permit required mitigating the loss of about 70 acres of wetlands (the largest wetland fill in Northern California in a half-century). The recent bid for constructing the mitigation lands was $39 million — three times Caltrans' estimate.