<b>Money well spent</b>

EDITOR: In response to Tuesday's editorial ("The tricks and gimmicks that pad pensions"): Former Supervisor Mike Kerns and former Auditor-Controller Rod Dole were mentioned as being instrumental in guiding the policy of the current county retirement system. The amounts of their pensions were mentioned, which are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. But, as a Sonoma County taxpayer, I think this is money well spent in order to keep them out of office — where they cost the taxpayers millions.


Santa Rosa

<b>Akin and the GOP</b>

EDITOR: Todd Akin, the representative from Missouri, is not an outlier within the GOP. Paul Ryan, the GOP pick for vice president, co-sponsored Akin's bill on abortion that gives any fertilized egg the same rights as any person. This is what GOP leadership stands for these days.

Please give us an in-depth look at the relationship between Akin and the GOP leadership. We need to have a clear idea of what is on the table.



<b>Fixing parks</b>

EDITOR: Dan Drummond says the Petaluma Friends of Recreation efforts and Measure X are flawed ("Too many unknowns about tax measure," Close to Home, Aug. 17). His argument has us continuing to sit in the dark. We understand that the government, particularly pensions, is a mess. Saying cities shouldn't be given any more money, even as facilities fall apart, isn't tenable for our community. I'm tired of raising a family in a city with poor recreation facilities that are continuing to get worse. Our pool is only open part of the year because the equipment is so old. Our community center has buckets out because the roof leaks. Ball parks and playgrounds are in terrible shape. It is time we start fixing things.

For $52 a year, we can remedy recreation. Measure X funds can't go anywhere but to the eight projects listed. The money can't go into some black hole. A citizens oversight committee will make sure the work gets done.

Measure X challenges the recreation community. Some improvements are fully funded but others require users to help. The Yearsley River Center, the Polly Klaas Performing Arts Center and East Washington Fields will use Measure X funds to bring matching grants and private funds to complete these improvements.

At last, we can invest in badly needed facilities. This will benefit all Petalumans — young and old.



<b>Medicare costs</b>

EDITOR: A close family member, 89 years old, recently had heart bypass surgery with an aortic valve replacement. He was also recently diagnosed with cancer. The family has asked me to thank all of you for paying for this.

In last Saturday's paper, there were two opinion pieces on MediCare reform. One, by Eugene Robinson ("The facts on Obama, Ryan and Medicare"), expressed the usual blather from the left, similar to another the day before by Charles Krauthammer ("Romney's present, Ryan's future,") with blather from the right. Fortunately, there was another on Saturday by Bryan R. Lawrence ("Whose future is this anyway?"), which should be required reading for every American who can actually read.

The problem, my friends, is you and I, who expect something for nothing, and our generally worthless politicians, who refuse to speak the truth. Medicare and Social Security are Ponzi schemes that depend on ever-increasing wages and numbers of taxpayers, which at one time existed, but do not now.

President Barack Obama proposes to reform Medicare by cutting already ridiculously low payments to health care providers without cutting benefits. Many doctors are already refusing to take new Medicare patients. Many hospitals are going out of business. Guess what will happen when payments are cut further.

When they finally come, I want to be on the death squads.