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Remaining ash, containing an eviscerated combination of toxic products, may be washed into the water or settle on gardens and farms to do irreparable damage. This stuff is so toxic that men in white suits with masks, gloves and boots have to remove it to a special place where they allow toxic wastes.

It is time-consuming, dirty, expensive and hazardous. And it needs to be done immediately before the heavy rains begin.

Those holding off may find it hard to find qualified people to do the job properly and affordably so they can obtain permits to rebuild. Time is of the essence to get it done. Please sign your right-of-entry form, and let others arrange to do the work free of charge.

It’s a hard choice. We feel sympathy for people having to make it, but the effects could be so dire, it might greatly compound the suffering and loss.

BRENDA ADELMAN

Russian River Watershed Protection Committee

The quiet close by

EDITOR: “Chasing the Quiet” in Thursday’s Outdoor section was a wonderful reminder about the importance of quiet spaces to our health — both physical and mental health. The places referenced are indeed beautiful and quiet, though most are a bit distant.

For those who search for quiet space closer to home, I have a few suggestions. At North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park, begin your walk through ferns and redwoods, then climb through forests of oaks and bay for the views of the peaks surrounding Santa Rosa and the Sonoma Valley.

At Helen Putnam Regional Park at the western edge of Petaluma, you can find the perfect bench on the loop trail to overlook the rolling hills of Chileno Valley and watch turkey vultures soar above.

Or head to the coast to descend Pinnacle Gulch Trail to a small, quiet beach on Bodega Bay. Whichever park you choose to visit, you can enjoy the peacefulness of being outdoors in natural settings close to home.

CAROL EBER

Petaluma

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