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Wednesday's Letters to the Editor

<b>Treasure lost</b>

EDITOR: I was deeply saddened (yet not surprised) that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar refused to extend the permit for Drakes Bay Oyster Co., yielding to pressure from environmental groups, the powerful Sierra Club, area politicians except for Sen. Dianne Feinstein and, quite wittingly, The Press Democrat with its Oct. 15 front-page headline, photo and story ("Goo invades estuary"), which probably put the nail in the coffin.

Claimed as a win for the people, it really is not. Taxpayer money was expended by the National Park Service for studies to justify the decision. It is a win for special interest advocates. Lost are long-standing jobs and a local business. Lost is a wonderful place for us to visit and procure fresh oysters at the source.

If restoring wilderness is truly the objective, the roads to Point Reyes should be terminated beyond Inverness and Olema, and the dairy ranch permits also terminated. Believe me, we the people would awaken and not abide that decision. Interesting isn't it that Salazar simultaneously extended all 15 ranch leases citing their long and important history on the Point Reyes peninsula?

We lost a treasure.

JIM BATCHELDER

Santa Rosa

<b>Paying the piper</b>

EDITOR: Since the Reagan years the federal government has been borrowing money from the Social Security trust fund to pay for its general expenses. Why? Because politicians didn't want to raise taxes or cut programs unrelated to Social Security. It was convenient politics to borrow from the trust fund and make it look like the deficit was lower. Now that the debt to the trust fund has to be paid off in order to pay promised Social Security benefits, shameless hucksters such as columnist Charles Krauthammer are crying that these benefits must be cut ("Is Obama ready to jump off the fiscal cliff?" Saturday). It's time to pay the piper. We who have paid into Social Security our entire lives already have.

NEAL FISHMAN


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