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Choosing who to trust

EDITOR: Perhaps more information on why adding fluoride to our water supply is a good idea would be helpful to everyone.

When a tooth is developing in a growing child, if fluoride is present in the bloodstream, the enamel that is formed is stronger and more resistant to decay. It's that simple. Basically, no cavities develop in the teeth. The dental cost for fillings is eliminated. Fluoride is most effective in children as they are the ones with growing teeth, but there is benefit to adults, too. Pit and fissure cavities still need to have small fillings or a sealant placed in them.

The Centers for Disease Control has proclaimed community water fluoridation as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. The American Dental Association, which represents more than 157,000 dentists, has endorsed fluoridation since 1950. Seventy-two percent of the U.S. population is served by optimally fluoridated water. It's one of the safest and most thoroughly investigated public health measures.

There are always going to be people or small groups who object to fluoridation or anything, for that matter, that is proposed. The public and their elected representatives need to decide whose information is reliable and trustworthy.

DR. JULIAN M. LIFSCHIZ

Former principal investigator, National Institute of Dental Research

A felonious act?

EDITOR: What public officers are ever held accountable to California Penal Code Section 149? It says: "Every public officer who, under color of authority, without lawful necessity, assaults or beats any person, is punishable by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by imprisonment in the state prison, or in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment."

Can each shot fired at Andy Lopez be considered a separate individual assault? And can each assault be shown to have been done without lawful necessity?

We, as a community, have a right to know how a lethal assault on the child is made "lawfully necessary." Personally, I don't know how the shooting of Andy Lopez can be shown to have been "lawfully necessary."

TONY AVILA SAMPSON

Petaluma

CVS lawsuit

EDITOR: The city of Sebastopol and CVS have a legal agreement that indemnifies the city against any damages or settlement related to the suit by the Committee for Small Town Sebastopol.

The Small Town suit alleges that City Council approval of CVS didn't take into account the increased traffic the Barlow project would bring to our town core, and perhaps neighborhood streets as well, as drivers try to avoid the crush at the intersection of Sebastopol and Petaluma avenues.

Caltrans also is concerned about the application by CVS because of turns into and out of the project from state Highways 12 and 116. CVS has not responded to requests for more information asked for a year ago by Caltrans and, so far, the permits have not been issued.

New development is good for Sebastopol's economy; it must also be good for the health and welfare of the community. Barlow is a good citizen. CVS has proven not to be.

HELEN SHANE

Co-founder, Committee for Small Town Sebastopol

Yes on B

EDITOR: Sonoma's No on B yard signs are very misleading: "Protect your Voice," "Protect our Neighborhoods," "Protect the Plaza." Yes on Measure B is simply a vote for small hotels in Sonoma.

Every Sonoma voter has the opportunity to voice an opinion on hotel size with Measure B. Does every voter have their voice counted in other planning processes?

Measure B limits construction of large hotels. Does such a limit mean more crime in our neighborhoods?

Doesn't such a limit actually protect the plaza from hotels that attract conferences, large group meetings and more events?

What are the hidden costs of more business at our historic plaza? Approving Measure B would preserve and protect the plaza and our small town. As Bill Kortum, a board member and president emeritus of Sonoma County Conservation Action, said in endorsing Measure B, "Not all growth is appropriate for every town. We ultimately felt that preserving the small town experience for both residents and visitors strikes the right balance for the city of Sonoma."

Be wary of misleading slogans. Preserve Sonoma as a Wine Country town of small hotels. Vote yes on Measure B to stop large hotels in the city of Sonoma.

CLAUDIA ROBBINS

Sonoma