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Wednesday’s Letters to the Editor

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<b>Pay debts first</b>

EDITOR: In regards to the Santa Rosa Junior College bond issue, I will be voting no, and I will tell you why. On my property tax bill I have one for the junior college, two for the Bennett Valley school district, two for the Santa Rosa high school district. Also I have the Bennett Valley Fire Department, which we need, and Warm Springs Dam and Sonoma mosquito control. All this totals $624.42, which is attached to my bill. That would buy a great deal of fence supplies for the farm. I have always been taught when the bills are paid then we can move forward. Until then, the junior college, from which I graduated from in 1968, will have to make do with what it has. You cannot treat property owners like a credit card with an unlimited balance.

BILL PISENTI JR.

<i>Santa Rosa</i>

<b>Rainier won’t happen</b>

EDITOR: I negotiated a lower purchase price for my house because the Rainier interchange was expected to negatively impact my northeastern Petaluma neighborhood. That was 23 years ago. If Rainier hasn’t been built by now, it isn’t going to be. Regardless of whether the “forever tax” passes, Rainier will never become a reality.

Republican Mike Harris has been part of a City Council majority for most of his 12 years in office and, yet, Rainier is no closer to being built. According to The Press Democrat, which has endorsed Mayor David Glass for another term, Harris “has done little to distinguish himself as a leader on the council.” So why expect anything different from him now?

The biggest myth in Petaluma is that there is a traffic problem. Thanks to Janice Cader-Thompson’s leadership when she was on the council, the new northbound lane onto Highway 101 is keeping traffic in check despite the new shopping malls.

I am voting for David Glass for mayor and Teresa Barrett and Janet Cader-Thompson for council. They ask the hard questions and seek solutions that don’t cause more problems. That is leadership. That is what we all deserve.

SHERI CARDO

<i>Petaluma</i>

<b>Children’s health</b>

EDITOR: More than 8 million children nationwide are covered by the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which is up for renewal this year. If Congress fails to renew this program, these low-income kids will be left uninsured.

Our children need access to the high quality affordable health care that CHIP provides. Children who are insured are more likely to receive regular check-ups from their pediatrician and do better in school.

With the election just around the corner, Congress needs to hear that this issue is very important to voters. I urge everyone reading this letter to call your members of Congress and tell them that renewing CHIP should be their top priority when they meet in January.

Our kids deserve the best quality health insurance available. We need to raise our voices to make sure Congress hears this message loud and clear.

JOE SALAZAR

<i>Santa Rosa</i>

<b>Homes as hotels</b>

EDITOR: While issues surrounding Airbnb in San Francisco grab headlines, smaller communities are wrestling with these same issues. In fact, if the city of Petaluma has its way, zoning ordinances may soon allow nightly/vacation rentals.

Petaluma’s Planning Commission will take public comment Tuesday on recommended modifications to the zoning laws. City staffers believe that Internet-based rental apps are here to stay and that we may as well regulate them and collect the transient occupancy taxes they generate.

It sounds harmless enough: Why shouldn’t homeowners rent extra rooms, backyard units and even tree houses to tourists to make an extra buck? On the other hand, maybe it isn’t so harmless when the neighborhood becomes a home-hotel corridor with tourists/strangers coming and going throughout the week.

Nightly/vacation rentals have the potential to redefine our communities. If home-hotels are allowed to operate in residential neighborhoods, then they aren’t truly residential anymore. Do we want to create conditions whereby every home on the block could potentially house a tourist or two?

I urge Petaluma residents to weigh in on this important matter and for Sonoma County residents to pay attention.

SUSAN THOMPSON

<i>Petaluma</i>

<b>Wood for Assembly</b>

EDITOR: I was an Assembly candidate in the June primary, and I am supporting Jim Wood in the general election. I got to know Wood during the campaign and realized that we share views on important issues. We also share a commitment to education, health care, affordable housing and community infrastructure. He has experience in government. He is well-informed and pragmatic. While we differed on the specifics of regulatory and pension reform, he understands the importance of these questions and will conscientiously pursue solutions in these areas.

In a conversation with Wood, I complimented him and other Healdsburg leaders on the vitality and prosperity of their town. He thanked me and said that the prosperity needs to be more inclusive. My thought was, “Yeah, he gets it.” I urge the voters of the 2nd Assembly District to be sure to vote, and to join me in supporting Jim Wood for Assembly.

JOHN LOWRY

<i>Sebastopol</i>

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