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<b>Mixed messages</b>

EDITOR: On the front of Wednesday's Empire section, there was an interesting article, "County emissions fall for third year." It talked about the most important issue being transportation. Trying to get people out of their cars and into public transportation is always difficult. Then, on Page A1, there was a featured article called "Double hit for bus riders," which discussed fare increases and service cuts. It certainly looks like they are sending the wrong message here.


Point Arena

<b>Climate facts</b>

EDITOR: After reading John Jackson's letter ("No evidence," Friday), I went to the computer and checked his references. I started with the United Kingdom Meteorological Office website. I clicked on the climate link and read that "the Earth's climate has changed many times in response to natural causes. However, since the early 1900s, climate has changed rapidly due to persistent manmade changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use." This statement is followed by a video that links change directly to manmade causes.

I then went to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration website. "Record to near-record warmth over land from April to September and above-average global ocean temperatures resulted in the first ten months of 2012 ranking as the eighth warmest such period on record." And, "The globally averaged temperature for October 2012 was the fifth warmest October since record keeping began in 1880. October 2012 also ranks as the 36th consecutive October and 332nd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average."

I appreciate Jackson making me aware of these web sites. It just goes to show you can't always believe what you read in the letters. I wonder where he did his research.



<b>Wear a helmet</b>

EDITOR: In the past several weeks I've seen parents riding bikes with toddlers in the bike seat. The children are wearing bike helmets, but the parents aren't. What are they thinking? If there's an accident, the baby will be fine but the parent might be unconscious and unable to tell rescuers who they are, who to contact to care for the child, etc.

Seven years ago my son almost died in a bike accident. No, a car didn't hit him. He was on a bike path, and we don't know what happened. Maybe he hit a rock or lost his balance. He wasn't wearing a helmet, and when I got to the hospital he was sedated and intubated, and he had a "bolt" drilled into his brain to measure pressure so they would know if he was brain dead. He had a fractured orbit and severed a tendon in his thumb. I think he had five surgeries. His diagnosis was diffuse axonal injury to the brain. As many as 90 percent of people with this diagnosis remain in a permanent vegetative state.

He is fine, but you might not be so lucky. Wear your helmet for your child's sake.



<b>Cohen must be jesting</b>

EDITOR: Does he jest? Richard Cohen ("Petraeus is still the best man for the job," Tuesday) suggests that we separate a person's moral behavior (or lack thereof) from his/her professional qualifications. Cohen said Petraeus' extramarital affair is between him and his wife; that Petraeus betrayed his wife, not his country. Excuse me, but if one betrays one's family, how can we have faith in and trust that person? For the position of CIA director? Betrayal is betrayal; lack of honesty is lack of honesty and integrity.

Cohen's citation of others' infidelities does not make this latest scandal acceptable.

Also, the money this country is spending to investigate Petraeus and others hasn't been mentioned. Where else might these dollars be spent? One idea may be helping our eastern states get the assistance they need after superstorm Sandy.



<b>Fieri fan</b>

EDITOR: It just happened that my sister and I went to Guy Fieri's new place in New York ("N.Y. critic skewers Fieri," Thursday) the weekend after it opened. I had no idea he had a place there, but it was on the same street as the flat we rented, and since we follow his career, I was only too happy to check out "flavor town." The service was a little slow, but we have no complaints about the food. I would recommend it, and if I get a chance to return to New York, I would try it again.