<b>Open or closed?</b>

EDITOR: South Salmon Creek Beach was closed during the state's big budget crunch. There is a sign indicating this at the turn off from Highway 1 where an iron bar stretches across the entrance to the parking lot. Yet on any sunny weekend the beach is full of people and dogs and remnants of campfires. Campfires and dogs are prohibited when the beach is "open." Families set up picnic tables and volleyball nets. Surfers frolic with seals. An endless parade of cars park along the narrow road leading to the beach. The only difference between when the beach is officially open and when it now is officially closed is the overflowing garbage cans and the unattended latrines.

I fail to see any logic here. What is the point of symbolically closing the beach if, in reality, it is more open than ever?


Santa Rosa

<b>No, no, no to SAY</b>

EDITOR: Juanita Roland and Lynda Hungerford, the co-presidents of the League of Women Voters of Sonoma County, are hypocrites as are all the other supporters of Social Advocate's for Youth's proposal to convert the former Warrack Hospital into rental housing ("Standing with SAY," Letters, Tuesday). They propose to bring these troubled children into my neighborhood, but are they willing to bring them into theirs? Live in their homes? Work in their businesses?

I have never read anything in The Press Democrat where any one of the supporters have made an offer to personally help, but they are more than happy to turn our beautiful Bennett Valley into the new Oakland.


Santa Rosa

<b>No fast track for TPP</b>

EDITOR: The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is a Pacific Rim trade policy yet its content and formation are better described as NAFTA on steroids. The TPP is the work of 600 industrial representatives who have successfully locked everyone out of negotiations except President Barack Obama.

It is meant to expand NAFTA's special rights for corporations to take precedence over the laws of the nations involved in any projected lost profits. A new study by Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch revealed that corporations including GE, GM, Chrysler and Caterpillar that promised during the NAFTA process to create a specific number of U.S. jobs actually sent those jobs to Mexico. The report demonstrated that this trade initiative outsourced almost a million U.S. jobs and created a $200 billion trade deficit. The TPP could prohibit GMO labeling laws or buy American laws -#8212; basically any laws that prevent Big Phrama, Big Oil, etc. from making profits.

Rep. Jared Huffman joined with 150 other legislators in a letter opposing fast-track authority and the total blackout of information and non-corporate inclusion in TPP. Obama needs to be pressured into keeping the promises he made about reforming, not expanding, NAFTA in his pre-presidential words.



<b>Union labor</b>

EDITOR: In this time of constant warfare on unions, I find it appalling that your Tuesday editorial ("Bringing blunt force to public works contracts") went against union labor. Isn't it a long-held tenet that unions provide workers with a better life due to higher pay, health care and retirement benefits? Employers have to abide by signed contracts that provide better wages, benefits and working conditions.

The "compromise proposal" on project labor agreements puts union shops at a disadvantage. What is wrong with leveling the playing field when it comes to government contracts of more than $25 million? This would discourage out-of-state companies, most of which are non-union, from bidding on contracts.

We constantly hear from the pundits that we must try and lift the lower and middle class. Supporting union labor is a way of doing this. If labor agreements cause higher wages and better working conditions, so be it.