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<b>Risking accidents</b>

EDITOR: Yet again I witnessed a near collision at the corner of Fulton and Guerneville roads. The island by the traffic light is frequently occupied by a panhandler. The signal turned green and two cars proceeded through while the third one stopped to give money to the panhandler, nearly causing a chain-reaction of collisions behind her. Those of us who travel this road have seen this many times. Another place this often occurs is the Highway 101 ramp at Guerneville Road.

First, handing money to panhandlers just makes it certain that they will be there again. Better to give the money to one of the agencies that provide services for our citizens who are on the street. Second, if you feel strongly that you must help this person, park your car, buy them some food and give it to them. Don't stop your car in moving traffic to hand a dollar out the window.

Many of the intersections in San Francisco that used to have panhandlers now have posted signs prohibiting this behavior for reasons of safety and traffic flow. There are a number of intersections in Santa Rosa that are similarly affected. It is nothing but an accident waiting to happen.

SHERRILL DUNNING-RILEY

Santa Rosa

<b>RP's inequitable plan</b>

EDITOR: There is a plan by the city of Rohnert Park to transfer five houses, all located in the B section, to the Sonoma County Community Development Department for use as homeless shelters. Nobody on the Rohnert Park City Council lives in the B section. Nobody on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors or the Sonoma County Community Development Commission lives in Rohnert Park.

Homeless shelters are never located near the politicians and bureaucrats who decide where to put them, or anyone who matters to them.

The B section already is host to the only homeless shelter in Rohnert Park. If this plan is actualized there will be six homeless shelters in the B section and none anywhere else in Rohnert Park. This says all that needs to be said about what the politicians and bureaucrats think of B section homeowners.

Even if there is no criminal activity, this is a devastating financial blow to the neighbors. Home values are determined by what real people are willing to pay real money for, not what is politically correct. People rely on their homes for retirement nest eggs. This unjust and inequitable plan must be stopped.

JOHN F. HUDSON

Rohnert Park

<b>A career of service</b>

EDITOR: My long-time aide and great friend Cheryl Diehm is retiring after 26 years of public service to our district.

She has been with me since my first campaign for the state Senate. She has been an indispensable part of who I am and the service our office provides to constituents. When people have problems, she solves them.

She has helped countless constituents navigate everything from Medicare benefits to mortgage problems and VA payments. She has been a trusted adviser, a loyal employee and a great friend.

She is compassionate and committed to our district and the institution of representative government. She knows that government has a responsibility to make sure things are fair, and she's always working for what is best for the American people.

In 26 years, she has made our district a better place to live, work and raise a family. Her impact on our district will endure long past her days in our office.

Cheryl, on behalf of our community, thank you for your many years of service. You will be missed.

REP. MIKE THOMPSON

St. Helena

<b>Coastal funding</b>

EDITOR: For 31 years, Coastwalk California has been introducing thousands of people to the natural and human history of the coast of California and helping to promote its conservation.

This effort is supported in part by the California Coastal Commission's whale tail grants, which over the years have contributed $27,000 to our programs. Whale Tail grants are funded by sales of the whale tail license plate, and provide critical support for marine education and coastal protection projects throughout the state.

This year there is a new source of funding for these grants, and it's right on your state tax form. By making a donation to the Protect Our Coast and Oceans Fund near the end of your tax return, you will be supporting programs like Coastwalk's adopt-a-beach program in Sonoma County. Every dollar you contribute will have a lasting impact on our coast and will help us create the next generation of coastal stewards. You can learn more about the fund at checkthecoast.org.

UNA J. M. GLASS

Sebastopol