A vote on the square
EDITOR: Spending $17 million to re-unify Old Courthouse Square will be the death of Santa Rosa’s downtown. Not only will the inconvenience during the construction of this folly hurt business, but the nightmare of navigating around the square once it is done will be the demise of downtown, not the vitalization hoped for.
Furthermore, to consider spending this kind of money on an experiment doomed to failure is unconscionable when we have far more serious problems facing us. Just think of the good that $17 million invested in affordable housing and dealing with homelessness could do for this area.
I recommend shutting off that block between Fourth and Fifth streets, re-routing traffic for a while and putting the issue to a vote of the citizens. Let the people who live and shop here and travel this route decide what they want. This is a democracy, isn’t it? Or is this the dictatorship run by a microcosm of the populace?
A question of consent
EDITOR: As a cofounder of the Sonoma County Water Coalition and as a member of the Sonoma County Health Services’ fluoridation advisory committee, I was distressed to read the polarizing editorial on water fluoridation (“Defending Healdsburg’s dental health,” Oct 8).
There is no evidence that children’s teeth in fluoridated Healdsburg are any better than children’s teeth elsewhere in non-fluoridated Sonoma County. All the solid peer-reviewed science now indicates that dental health correlates more closely to family income and access to dental care than to drinking fluoridated water. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control say that fluoride works when applied topically to tooth surfaces, not internally.
By voting no on Measure P, Healdsburg citizens will give themselves clean water again. They can then decide whether they and their children should use fluoridated toothpaste or any of the many other sources of fluoride that were not available 62 years ago when Healdsburg began fluoridating its drinking water. They will have that choice.
Medical treatment is for physicians to give with our consent. It’s not the job of our elected representatives or for our public health officials to medicate anyone without his or her own individual informed consent.
EDITOR: The latest document to come out of the Catholic bishops synod meeting at the Vatican makes a significant change possible. It talks about welcoming gays and lesbians and remarried people in the church. Santa Rosa Bishop Robert Vasa’s response is to stick to his guns and go against the basic tenet of Christianity: to love one another (“SR bishop: Doctrine not being changed,” Wednesday). Does anyone get the irony in his comments? The bishop doesn’t sound as if he believes this commandment and would rather stick to his guns continuing to be out of touch and disrespectful of the longings of many to return to the church.
EDITOR: It’s baffling that Ron Kristof wasn’t endorsed for the Santa Rosa school board because of one vote out of hundreds (“Carle, Pugh and Medina for SR schools,” Editorial, Oct. 3). After initially praising him, you decided he should be sent packing.