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NANCY HAIR

Sebastopol

SSU asbestos case

EDITOR: I have followed The Press Democrat’s coverage of the Sonoma State University asbestos trial with interest and was happy to see that this long dispute has been brought to some closure by the findings of Judge Nancy Shaffer and the jury (“SSU to pay $2.9 million penalty,” Wednesday).

As an employee of SSU’s facilities department from 1998 to 2012, I was involved in remodeling efforts all over the campus and had ample experience working with Thomas Sargent, the claimant in the case. He has always been zealous and uncompromising in enforcing workplace safety, and I’m happy this portion of his ordeal is behind him.

I also know and respect individuals on the other side of the dispute, whom I am certain were doing their jobs according to the wishes of their superiors. From my perspective, this case was largely about the priorities of SSU’s administration and the California State University system during the years these mistakes were made. I see indications that those priorities are changing, and I sincerely hope that’s the case. The safety of students, faculty and staff in a public learning institution should never be an object of spin or compromise.

JEFF FALCONER

Agua Caliente

A tax protest

EDITOR: My suggestion to all taxpayers who feel they are paying too much and are sick of tax cuts for the rich is to go exempt. File a new W-4 and either claim 10 exemptions or mark exempt. Save your tax payments in your savings account so that in April you can pay your taxes as required. This will withhold current taxes from, and hopefully get the attention of, a government that wants to tax the poor to death to give tax breaks to the rich.

CRAIG WARREN

Napa

The bar exam

EDITOR: The state of California is considering lowering the passing score on the test for new lawyers. The bar exam now requires a score of 1,440 out of 2,000 to pass. This is equal to 72 percent. In my high school and college days, this would be a C-minus. What?

The proposed new passing score would be 1,390. This is the equivalent of a D-plus. What the heck?

There are more than 100,000 lawyers in California now. We don’t need even dumber ones.

WM. APPLEBY

Sebastopol

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