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Save Sloan House

EDITOR: Creating homes for the homeless is difficult to accomplish with the limited resources available. With the astronomical rent levels prevailing in Sonoma County, we need to expand facilities, not destroy them.

So it is incomprehensible that the Sloan House women’s shelter in Santa Rosa is to be demolished to make way for an upscale housing development (“Keeping ‘restorative’ setting,” Wednesday). Built only 11 years ago, with predominantly state funding, in response to a lawsuit charging Sonoma County with shirking its housing and homeless obligations, Sloan House provides a calm and healing environment for women and young children. It has had minimal impact on the area.

Closing it will feed criticism that homeless programs are over-concentrated in central city neighborhoods such as Railroad Square.

The site off Chanate Road by Paulin Creek is unsuitable for residential or retail development. Why tear this down just to create a dog park for the well-to-do? It is a classic waste of tax dollars.

County supervisors and Santa Rosa planners should condition approval of the developer’s plan for this large site on preservation of this tiny corner of the proposed 82-acre development.

DAVID BRIGODE

Sonoma

Venues for dialogue

EDITOR: I’m grateful for a free media and government support of information sharing venues such as NPR. Al Gore, promoting his book “The Assault on Reason” on NPR recently, said that we need a renewed national dialogue in a venue where we can listen to opposing views. Letters to the editor in local papers serve that purpose well.

Dennis Tobin’s letter (“Discombobulated Dems,” Tuesday) made several good points. Out-of-power Democrats, get your act together. Neal Fishman (“Alternative universe,” Tuesday) pointed out how fast, under pressure, the Obama administration got its act together when it was in power for the first two months of 2009, before losing its filibuster-proof Senate.

Fellow citizens, support your local newspapers and give a little money to support your Public Broadcasting System.

SANDRA ROSEN

Sebastopol

‘Repugnicare’ plan

EDITOR: When our prior president was pushing for health care coverage for all Americans, those who fought against him labeled his efforts “Obamacare.” This name was not reverential but was intended as a derogatory label for the Affordable Care Act.

Americans who despised Barack Obama weren’t likely to warm up to something with his name on it, no matter how worthy. Though Obamacare is indeed seriously flawed, the fact is that more than 20 million now have coverage when they once had none.

Now as we stare down the Affordable Care Act’s repeal and replacement, the American Health Care Act deserves its own moniker. Democrats might consider calling it “Repugnicare.”

DAVID JASPER

Santa Rosa

Environment at risk

EDITOR: The environment was front and center in Wednesday’s paper.

In Staff Writer Guy Kovner’s front-page story (“Hearing to tackle marine preserves”), Republicans are saying that local coastal economies are suffering due to Barack Obama’s use of the Antiquities Act. However, local residents say tourism revenues are up significantly.

An Associated Press story about coral dying around the world says a reef that was beautiful and alive a year ago is gray and dead due to rising ocean temperatures and acidity (“Scientists race to save reefs”).

On the editorial page: “A dangerous change of climate in Washington.” The new administration is in flat-out denial of scientific facts that humans are causing the very real degradation in the habitability of our planet.

One little spark of good news: a brief story about petroleum distributors losing the suspension of $3 million in settlement to a hazardous materials claim because they violated the original injunction. Whew.

But wait. There is hope. The bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus is growing with equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats working to create solutions to our climate crises. Let’s urge our congressmen, Mike Thompson and Jared Huffman, to join it, and bring along two of their Republican colleagues.

JOYANNAH LONNES

Santa Rosa

Planned Parenthood

EDITOR: As a longtime supporter of Planned Parenthood, I would like to comment on Jean Grant’s letter (“Women’s health,” Wednesday). We are extremely fortunate to have a number of excellent clinics in our area, but this isn’t always the case in the rest of the country where services provided by Planned Parenthood are very lacking.

For more than a century, Planned Parenthood has stood for reproductive freedom by empowering millions of people to make informed, independent decisions about their health and lives. Planned Parenthood believes all people should have access to health care, including safe and legal abortion. The 11-year-old girl who becomes pregnant or the woman trying to flee an abusive relationship but finds out she is pregnant should be offered options.

One in five women in the U.S. have visited Planned Parenthood clinics to obtain services, so it is difficult to believe shutting down these clinics wouldn’t have a profound effect.

CONNIE CODDING

Cotati