The other bidder
EDITOR: Regarding the Chanate land sale, what happened to the bid by Curt Johansen, the developer of an eco-friendly community in the Central Valley, a town that also has a community college and a progressive downtown?
Johansen provided the community with modern low-income housing with solar power and drought-resistant yards, as this builder is interested in providing environmentally responsible places for people to live. Well, isn’t that what we want in Santa Rosa?
If the Chanate land is sold (still a questionable choice), Johansen’s smaller plan must be revisited. The supervisors who received campaign money from Bill Gallaher should be excused from the vote due to conflict of interest. The past difficult working relationship between the developer and the city of Santa Rosa should be enough for the Board of Supervisors to reject the Gallaher proposal.
EDITOR: As a pediatric dentist, I battle the dental decay epidemic that Rita Scardaci outlined (“Dental disease: ‘A silent epidemic,’ ” Close to Home, June 7).
Daily, I see well-intentioned parents who feed their kids “healthy” snacks, believing that the phrases “organic,” “gluten-free” and “all-natural” can negate the effects of the carbohydrates in those snacks — carbs that immediately turn to sugar in saliva and decay teeth as effectively as candy.
Daily, parents say they can’t schedule morning appointments because the schools disallow the absences (even though they are excused by the state education code), nor in the afternoon because, by missing sports practice, they can’t start in the upcoming game.
Daily, I’m told that parents choose not to brush/floss their kids’ teeth because “they won’t cooperate.”
I have told a mother that her critically ill daughter couldn’t be put on the heart transplant list because she had dental abscesses that could kill her unless they were fixed immediately. I have had to send a child directly to the ER to be admitted for sepsis from her dental infections.
We must stop looking at dentistry as a luxurious inconvenience. It is health care. Fluoridation is crucial in helping those who can’t help themselves. Without it, this epidemic is going to continue to rage — even with all the education and access to care we can muster.
SHANA BERGER VAN CLEAVE
EDITOR: Why is it I have no sympathy for people who have traffic fines they have a hard time paying (“Burdened by traffic fines,” June 10)? If you don’t run red lights, drive over the speed limit, drive with a suspended license or drive drunk, you won’t get a ticket. It’s a terrible idea to reward bad behavior by dismissing these fines.
Delay SRJC buildings
EDITOR: I read Tuesday’s editorial (“SRJC promised to spend ‘H’ funds on students, not labor”) with incredulity. Sonoma County voters generously passed a $410 million bond for Santa Rosa Junior College infrastructure while enrollment is falling like a rock, and the board rewards labor unions with carte blanche to charge what they may because non-union contractors cannot compete.
I have a better idea. Let’s put the whole construction project on hold. The reason that students aren’t enrolling is because they can’t afford to live here. The jobs they’re being trained for don’t pay enough to support the working class. And to add insult to injury, we force these students to live in communities that have more affordable housing but don’t have safe roads (e.g. Highway 37) or sufficient public transportation to get them here.