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Willits bypass

EDITOR: I am one of the protestors of the Willits bypass. I have been reading the comments following your online coverage and see that your readers need to be educated about the facts. The protestors are informed, motivated and concerned citizens standing up to a corrupt agency that has manipulated data, misused funds and violated permits and regulations, but has gone forward with building an outdated and inappropriate bypass.

It will not significantly reduce traffic on Highway 101 through downtown Willits. Maybe 20 percent to 30 percent of vehicles would use the bypass. The destruction to the valley is irreparable; what was a beautiful valley and pasture is now a wasteland.

An alternative bypass/truck route has been designed by qualified engineers and would serve the needs of everyone while costing a fraction of the current bypass plan, but Caltrans has refused to dialogue with residents about this option. Consider the Bay Bridge, which was supposed to cost $1 billion and is now at $6.4 billion and counting. We are not the criminals. We are a caring, intelligent, committed and brave people striving to have a voice in a corporate culture that has too much power and lack of accountability.

U.J. SANDHU

Willits

Sensible column

EDITOR: Three cheers for columnist Paul Gullixson and the Scouts ("Scouts caught in the middle," Sunday). The Boy Scouts of America teach some basic stuff about the world — handicraft, woodcraft and so forth. Also leadership. Keep the PC garbage out of it. I once read of a recruiter for important leadership positions looking at a resume to see if the man had been an Eagle Scout. Thanks for the sensible column in Sunday's paper.

PAUL GEIGER

Sebastopol

Medicating water

EDITOR: Here is my main problem with adding fluoride to our water supply, besides the fact that it is a carcinogen and actually damages dental health.

It is simply wrong to medicate the public water supply. Somehow the aluminum industry has created a public acceptance of this bizarre policy to sell its toxic wastes.

What is next? The addition of anti-psychotics to our water supply to help prevent people going bonkers?

This is truly "1984" Big Brother stuff.

If people want fluoride, they can have it, but it should not be forced upon them. In fact, one has to search diligently to find a toothpaste without fluoride.

I urge you to put a stop to this absurd notion that citizens of Sonoma County should be subjected to a medication in their drinking water.

DR. RON KENNEDY

Santa Rosa

PG&E testimony

EDITOR: Please consider this a response to Katie Mason's letter suggesting that PG&E "bought" support from the Council on Aging and other local nonprofit's for its proposed rate hike ("Buying friends," Sunday). I did attend the California Public Utilities Commission public hearing and did, in fact, testify to the value of two programs that PG&E offers low-income residents and the benefit of those programs to low-income seniors who are struggling on fixed incomes.

First is the CARE program, offering reduced rates to low-income individuals and families, and the second is REACH, an energy assistance program for people confronted by an unforeseen or uncontrollable hardship, providing up to $200 credit on a past due bill.

Additionally, PG&E reached out to the Council on Aging to learn who to call and what services may be available to seniors that they may encounter during routine repair calls who are clearly struggling.

Yes, PG&E sponsored two Meals on Wheels routes for a total of $2,000, helping to subsidize an underfunded entitlement program.

At no time did I testify in favor of a pay hike. But we do appreciate businesses that demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility and the welfare of our most vulnerable populations.

MARRIANNE McBRIDE

President and CEO, the Council on Aging