<b>Memorial Hospital strike</b>

EDITOR: I remember the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital strike of 1986. I had been hired just six weeks earlier as a new graduate and was asked if I would support a strike. I replied that my father was president of an independent union at a factory in New Jersey for 25 years, and, of course, I would strike. The union took my dad away from us every Friday night after he worked his full week as a machinist. But he brought incredible changes to his fellow employees, including mental health coverage and rehab for alcoholics, to name just a few.

I hit the picket line in 1986 with my 2-year-old twin daughters in a double-stroller, and I traveled to San Francisco with my coworkers for night shifts. The unfortunate part is that strikes do leave a scar on your heart. But they also bond you with the nurses you work with in an indelible way.

My youngest daughter is a nurse in Southern California where there is a nursing shortage. That lack of qualified registered nurses will soon be a reality in Sonoma County. The basic issue is that unless Memorial nurses are compensated fairly, commensurate with their colleagues in the area, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital cannot continue its mission.



<b>Diluting votes</b>

EDITOR: Measure Q would split Santa Rosa into seven as yet undefined areas, each having about 25,000 people. These are not neighborhoods. They are about the size of Windsor. Each area would have just one City Council seat. We could not vote for the other six. We would go from having seven votes in four years to one vote in four years. Why in the world would we give up our right to choose and hold accountable those other six council members? Their actions affect us so much.

Council members now are accountable to the whole city. Under a district system, each representative would be concerned with just a fraction of the city. Who would look out for the whole city?

All interested people should be encouraged to run for City Council. I would hope they are now. If proponents of Measure Q think not, then the answer is simple. They should work within the present system and put their considerable talents to work providing campaign help to those they feel are under-represented. Instead they gamble that districting will do this, and they ask all of us to give up 86 percent of our voting power.

Show them we care about the whole city. No on Q.


Santa Rosa

<b>Over his head</b>

EDITOR: The real Barack Obama was there, and the Mitt Romney picture painted by liberals wasn't, and if liberals think the next debates will be better they have been watching too much of "The View." Obama is a charismatic engaging man with a great smile, and he should have his own talk show, but when contrasted with a professional who has experience as a governor and in big business, you get what we had at the first debate: a president who is clearly over his head.


San Francisco

<b>For transparency</b>

EDITOR: I support food labeling transparency — Proposition 37.

California voters have good instincts about what is good for us. Will passage of Proposition 37 cost California money to implement and enforce? Of course it will. Everything costs money.

Proposition 37's website provides this information: The top donors for no on Proposition 37 are Monsanto, DuPont, DOW Agrisciences, Bayer Cropscience and BASF Plant Science, Coca Cola, Pepsico, Conagra, Nestle and Syngenta. Together they have dedicated $24 million. This information is public because of California's right-to-know legislation that lets voters know who pays for what in elections. It's worth the cost of implementation.

Are these companies threatened by the idea of transparency in labeling? Why is that? Do their products contain things that aren't good for humans to eat? I want to know what's in the food I buy. I know that many packaged and processed foods contain genetically modified organisms, and I usually avoid buying them. But raw foods? What GMOs are in them? The donors to no on Proposition 37 don't want us to know what they do to food before it ends up in our grocery stores. I want to know. I will vote yes on Proposition 37.



<b>Mother ocean</b>

EDITOR: Waves flow in off the Pacific unhampered, alive. Whales dance, dolphins leap and twirl, pelicans soar into the deep spirit of our hearts. Our coast and all its vibrant beauty brings thousands of people to our county, to heal, to release stress, to stroll pristine beaches and sing with the sounds of the tides. To charge an $8 fee to absorb this beauty and join as one with our mother ocean is an insult and an absolute crime. A suggestion for the state parks administers: Park the big new trucks, purchase small electric vehicles for your rounds, and leave the ocean free for all to visit.