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<b>State special funds</b>

EDITOR: Now we learn that there are 500-plus special funds in various state agencies. Not only that, but they are "off" by a few million dollars here and there. Some have less than they are supposed to, and some have more.

This is stunning. I wonder if our public servants understand where that money comes from. Perhaps they think there is huge tree somewhere in Sacramento that a public servant simply shakes vigorously and the money magically appears. You and I as taxpayers are the money tree. And the public servants are the ones who get to use, abuse and squander that money.

First, let's get rid of the special funds. Obviously, they are subject to loads of cynical chicanery. How can we know how our money is being used if our public servants are able to maintain these huge deposits of money under the public radar? The state is in the hole several billion dollars and pleading for us to cough up more. It's time we say to them, "Show us how much you have in your special funds, and we might consider bailing you out, even though you don't deserve it."


Santa Rosa

<b>Monte Rio pride</b>

EDITOR: Staff Writer Dan Taylor didn't pause long enough in Monte Rio to see that we have wonderful gathering spots too ("City's Heart is Where You Gather," Aug. 5). To mention a few: the Rio Theater and Don's Dogs Cafe, which is one of the most identifiable and iconic landmarks in Sonoma County. The cafe's huge deck and great breakfast and lunch fare are unmatched in the region.

The Village Inn and Restaurant is a Victorian with charming guest rooms and stunning grounds and is where the 1942 movie "Holiday Inn" was filmed. The restaurant is the ideal gathering place with fine food and outdoor seating boasting wide views of the river; a rarity in the area.

Monte Rio Beach is the only fully ADA accessible beach in the area, with a ramp all the way down to the water and kayaks and canoes to rent as well as food on the site.

Northwood Golf Course is ranked as the third-best nine-hole course in the nation by Golf Digest.

There is much more to Monte Rio than meets the eye when merely driving through.


Monte Rio

<b>London vs. Beijing</b>

EDITOR: Compared to the precise order of Beijing, the London closing ceremonies were a visual mess, a bunch of individuals all walking around. Isn't that the way with democracy? I won't forget it for a long while.



<b>Messages for the champs</b>

EDITOR: On Thursday, our hometown Little League champs play their first game of the Little League World Series against the Fairfield, Conn. team. If anyone would like to send a message of support to our kids and coaches, go to www.littleleague.org. Click Players, then the send-a-message link. At the message-for box, click on West (our team) and let them know how proud we are of them.

Can you imagine how excited they are to be there, let alone how great it would be for them to get messages of support from as many us as possible before their first game in South Williamsport, Pa., a mere 2,700 plus miles from home? Wow.



<b>Monotone sound</b>

EDITOR: There was some very nice rock and Americana-oriented music at the summer concerts sponsored by the Santa Recreation and Parks Department at Juilliard Park.

While I appreciate these styles, I find it monotone to use them for the entire season. Neighboring communities that host music in the park (Sebastopol, Windsor, Healdsburg, Cloverdale, Ukiah, Sonoma, Napa) feature exciting styles such as Latin and African jazz, Asian music and conscious reggae-/hip hop — cultures and flavors under-represented in Santa Rosa. We should utilize the multitude of musicians traveling through the area to and from the many large summer festivals, as other cities do.

In communications with someone in the Parks and Recreation Department regarding music last year, I was told that there was a decision made that it was "safest" to feature this genre because others may attract violence or gang problems. This is wrong, and it's stereotyping.

Several friends around the county are not interested in visiting our music series. They prefer gigs elsewhere; a shame, especially for those of us in walking distance of the park who would prefer to lighten our carbon footprint.


Santa Rosa

<b>A clear view</b>

EDITOR: Henry Angeli ("Price of fuel," Letters, Sunday) suggested that we look in the rear-view mirror to see who is responsible for the high price of gas. I would remind him that it is nice to look at the rear-view mirror though clean air.