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Thursday's Letters to the Editor


Reconfigured highway

EDITOR: I’m frustrated with the decision by Caltrans to eliminate the off- and on-ramps between Highway 101 and Fulton Road. Isn’t Caltrans supposed to be trying to ease our traffic woes?

Many people use the exits on Airport Boulevard to get to work. Eventually, more flights will be coming into the airport, which will create more traffic, and the SMART train will be stopping nearby, so people will be coming and going to the station. It is now, and will be, a very busy intersection.

To get on Fulton Road from Highway 101, cars heading south now must take the Airport exit, go through two stop lights and make two turns, instead of driving a half-mile south and taking the Fulton exit, as they did before. The new configuration adds to the congestion on Airport Boulevard and takes quite a bit of extra time.

So, why not reopen the Fulton off- and on-ramps to ease the congestion? Maybe Caltrans doesn’t understand how many people use these ramps.

The number of redwood trees taken down to create the new Airport Boulevard interchange already frustrated me, but eliminating off- and on-ramps compounds the frustration.

CLAIRE CONNORS

Healdsburg

Domestic violence

EDITOR: This past week the NFL released a game-changing new policy to prevent domestic violence and to hold players accountable for their violent or abusive behavior. In a letter announcing the new policy, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said: “Much of the criticism stemmed from a fundamental recognition that the NFL is a leader, that we do stand for important values, and that we can project those values in ways that have a positive impact beyond professional football.”

The NFL’s new policy will apply to all personnel — players, coaches and staff and invests in education, training. It also develops programs to teach young men playing in youth leagues, high school and college to respect women as “Coaching Boys Into Men” does, facilitated locally by YWCA Sonoma County and Verity.

The NFL listened to advocates against domestic violence, such as YWCA Sonoma County, in offering confidential services to families affected by domestic violence. This new policy is an important step toward a culture shift that will help reduce violence against women.

YWCA Sonoma County operates the county’s only 24/7 domestic violence hotline at 546-1234. We’re here to help. Log on to ywcasc.org to learn more.

MISHEL KAUFMAN

Board president, YWCA Sonoma County

Roundabout debate

EDITOR: Any reasonably intelligent driver who can read, count to 10 and beyond and has a valid license to operate a vehicle should be able to figure out the deep, mysterious complexities of a roundabout. One would hope an adult driver wouldn’t be dumber than a simple traffic circle. But apparently there is one exception right here in Petaluma. It appears that perhaps it is time for him to stop endangering the general public and start taking public transportation. And for the record, I neither like nor dislike roundabouts, but I certainly cannot tolerate such irrational fear and incompetence behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.

BOB CANNING

Petaluma

Fudge’s record

EDITOR: I am glad The Press Democrat looked into Deb Fudge possibly being influenced in a recent vote (“Fudge’s vote stirs conflict questions,” Sunday). Accountability by public servants is essential and, given Fudge’s long history of service, this may not be the last vote to be reviewed. That’s part of being active in local politics.

Since her opponent in the 4th District supervisor race, James Gore, hasn’t lived here for much of the past decade and has never held public office anywhere, there is no opportunity to review his extensive campaign donations for transparency.

It surprises me that, given his recent return to Sonoma County, Gore would seek a high-level decision-making role for an area about which he admits he has a lot to learn.

With the urgent needs facing us, do we have time to train our representatives about the needs of their own district while in office?

I’d rather support someone who is a candidate because they live here rather than someone who moved here conveniently in time to become a candidate.

Having watched Deb Fudge work to support this region for years, she gets my vote.

JON LEHRE

Santa Rosa

Fearing a circle

EDITOR: The Japanese have a saying: “Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.” But what is this bizarre fear and loathing of roundabouts that some people have? Fear of the unknown, most likely. If you know how to drive, you should be able to easily negotiate the half-circle it takes. What’s the big deal?

If it’s so intimidating, maybe you shouldn’t be driving; the potholes of Petaluma are more worrisome.

Sometimes the letters to the editor are just so silly. When we lived in the U.K. for a year, traffic circles were a little off-putting at first, but we didn’t allow fear to overtake reason, and now we love ’em.

PILAR, VICTORIA and EUGENE GAINSA

Petaluma

Hail to the spuds

EDITOR: My wife, Karen, says that Washington should keep the name Redskins. They just need to change their mascot to some little round potatoes.

JIM MARTIN

Santa Rosa