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Quake concerns

EDITOR: I’ve been following the articles about the proposed Chanate Road area housing development, and as a state-registered geotechnical engineer, I have some questions about the proposed 800 residential units planned for this site.

The California state fault map shows that the active Rogers Creek fault passes right through this site where a local developer wants to build extensive housing. The two magnitude 6-plus earthquakes that greatly damaged Santa Rosa in 1969 had epicenters right in this area. Because this old county hospital site is in an active fault zone, the housing will likely be subjected to more strong shaking and major damage in the next seismic event.

My questions are, how will the development be designed to keep the housing safe from ground fault ruptures, and will the developer fully warn folks who buy or rent there about the risk of damaging earthquakes?

If this risk is not addressed, the losses to the public could be serious.

ED MARGASON

Santa Rosa

A lack of prevention

EDITOR: Twelve years ago, my consulting firm worked with county staff and the Board of Supervisors to write a strategic plan that included a major shift toward upstream program investments, focusing on prevention and the root problems in health, criminal justice, housing and economic well-being. Thirty-five years ago, I developed housing programs for the chronically mentally ill in Richmond.

So I found Wednesday’s article describing the county’s $17 million investment in services for mentally ill people who are homeless laudable. However, I have a significant problem with an approach that doesn’t primarily focus on prevention and addressing the fundamental problem: homeless people need homes.

I can’t help but wonder if by spending this amount of money to help these very needy people, we are letting ourselves off the hook. While they also need supportive services, I would much rather see limited mental/public health funds focused more on programs that prevent problems: prenatal, early childhood and healthy family support; programs that are currently facing cuts.

These are tough choices, and I appreciate the dedication of county leaders to face up to the painful issues facing our community. I just wish we all had the courage to address the housing/homeless problems more directly.

RICK BROWN

Petaluma

Congress’ care

EDITOR: Please consider an informational story outlining the health care plan for members of Congress and their families. Our representatives need to face up to the hypocrisy of their plan vs. our plan. Many people know our representatives have extensive coverage but not in detail. As they say, the devil is in the details.

JUDITH JENSEN

Santa Rosa

A permissible use

EDITOR: The June 26 article regarding property adjacent to Cloverleaf Ranch leaves the impression that the proposed use threatens the public’s interest in maintaining open space per Measure K (“Rustic camp’s return as event center stirs alarm”). No public interest is compromised by redevelopment of this site.

I’m involved in the proposed sale of the property, so I have a personal stake. However, the facts clearly support the proposed use.

This property is identified in the county general plan as a youth camp and has been operated as such for generations. The frequency and size of events under consideration is a decrease from what is currently permissible per the general plan. None of the planned event improvements can be seen from Old Redwood Highway. There is no encroachment into current unimproved areas. The proposed improvements merely replace existing buildings.

This site is adjacent to multi-level office buildings, an assisted-living facility, Cloverleaf Ranch, nearby Kaiser offices and retailers across the freeway. Further, the proposed event center is the solution to concerns about wineries and others hosting events on remote country roads and creating traffic problems in rural areas.

This property is bordered on three sides by Santa Rosa, fronts on a major traffic artery and will only impact traffic at non-peak times.

This project, proposed before Measure K was on the ballot, is in no way a test case for Measure K.

KEN BIZZELL

Santa Rosa

Connect the dots

EDITOR: Recent coverage regarding Sheriff Steve Freitas might lead readers to believe that his recent resignation materialized virtually out of thin air for health reasons. The facts indicate otherwise.

On March 24 at 10 a.m., the Community Action Coalition served its notice of intention to recall Freitas from office. By 4 p.m., he announced that he wouldn’t seek re-election in November 2018.

Just five days later, the Press Democrat called for a contested election to break a 27-year stranglehold on candidates for sheriff: once the anointed one was endorsed by the Sheriff’s Office, nobody else dared run. Clearly, the timing seemed to be directly related to events on March 24.

That the sheriff has health issues is a personal matter that needn’t be discussed here. We wish him good health. At the same time we’re very happy that county taxpayers won’t have to foot the bill for a special recall election.

The grassroots volunteer Community Action Coalition was undisputedly the catalyst for this entire chain of events. We have worked tirelessly on this recall as well as a full range of other social and political issues of concern.

Nobody seems to be connecting the dots. We think it’s time to give a little credit where credit is due.

KATHLEEN FINIGAN

Santa Rosa

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