<b>Protecting schools</b>

EDITOR: Bravo to The Press Democrat for endorsing Proposition 30 ("Don't punish schools more: Yes on 30," Friday). It's the only measure that will prevent more deep cuts to education. We need to stop the cuts. Yes on Proposition 30.


Santa Rosa

</b>Union busting</b>

EDITOR: I have been a critical care nurse at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital for more than 27 years. In that time I have seen countless administrations come and go, each with its own agenda. Never have I felt so threatened as I do now. This strike is not about double-digit raises as Terry Salnas ("A balancing act," Close to Home, Thursday) would have you, the public, believe. It is not just about financial take-aways either.

The truly salient issue is that the hospital would like us to relinquish our rights to bargain over wages, hours and working conditions by removing these provisions from the contract. I've been out pounding the pavement not because I want a wage increase. I'm out here because many of these provisions provide safe staffing and do not allow the hospital to impose cuts that jeopardize your care.

I love my profession and my patients, and I can remember a time when nursing had minimal safeguards and working conditions were abysmal. Because of my contract and the Staff Nurses Association, we have held the hospital to a higher standard and have been able to provide the best of care to our patients and the community.



<b>Sebastopol's council</b>

EDITOR: My wife and I have resided in Sebastopol for more than 15 years. Our children benefited from Sebastopol's schools, parks and community facilities. We appreciate this town for its diverse and eclectic nature, unique shops, fine restaurants and active artist community.

For the past two years we have taken a more active interest our City Council, and our experienced has been mixed. We have witnessed that some members of our council are zealously devoted to narrow and specific agendas and concerns voiced by a minority of the residents. In several instances, transparency and a balanced approach to the issue at hand has suffered.

As my wife and I pursue our careers and meet the demands of family, we need to know that we are represented by council members who will consistently exercise balance and common sense while addressing the many issues brought before them. For this reason, we will confidently cast our votes for Kathy Austin and Kathleen Shaffer. We know that they both bring to the table a great deal of experience and a real willingness to look at all facets of any given issue brought before our council.



<b>SR pot raid</b>

EDITOR: When did it become a huge crime to grow marijuana in a neighborhood where many individual people are doing the same ("150 officers in SR pot raid," Sept. 27)? Taken as separate cases, they wouldn't be noteworthy, but because they're all in one area, they're more guilty? What is the reasoning behind this simplistic idea? I believe these drug agency "professionals" will be in deep trouble over the civil rights of the citizens rounded up like cattle because — as a group — they grew too much pot. Unbelievable.



<b>Deer Creek settlement</b>

EDITOR: Add my voice to those who are disgusted with the Petaluma Neighborhood Association's tactics and the fact that any dollars at all were extorted from those trying to build a new retail space in town. A $30,000 payment to the association's legal fund? So it can file more lawsuits?

The people behind the Petaluma Neighborhood Association are not elected officials. They are former representatives and their lawsuit-loving allies who have found a way to suck funds from the community. All I can say is that come November, every real city representative who opposed Deer Creek and encouraged the association will not get my vote.