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The Iran deal

EDITOR: Columnist Roger Cohen wrote that the Iran nuclear deal “was a painful compromise where each side got less than it wanted: Iran a cash windfall” and, with respect to the U.S. withdrawal, “only Trump can believe that makes sense” (“A reckless act of petulance toward Iran”).

I beg to differ. Apparently a whole lot of Americans have a hard time with providing a “cash windfall” to a group of people who run around shouting, “Death to America.” What sense does that make?

Two further points: The withdrawal of the United States doesn’t kill the deal. It’s still in place minus us (the results of this are arguable). And it’s just possible that one of those results just might be a better deal for the United States. I believe we deserve one.



Teen pregnancy

EDITOR: In the midst of so much upsetting and worrisome news, I found great pleasure and hope in reading Staff Writer Martin Espinoza’s article on the decline in teen birth rates in Sonoma County (“Fewer teens having kids,” Thursday). Hard work on the part of educators, social workers and motivated teens has really made a positive difference in so many lives. The chances for a happier future for our youth and young children is a real plus for everyone.


Santa Rosa

Roseland development

EDITOR: Do the math. Admit the elitism.

Housing proposed: Chanate Road, 82 acres, 867 homes, equals 10 houses per acre. West College Avenue, 7.5 acres, 144 apartments, equals 19 units per acre. Roseland, 7 acres, 175 apartments, equals 25 units per acre.

The Chanate site will never see even 10 homes per acre built because money talks.

Roseland’s road access is limited to Sebastopol Road, a narrow two-lane road that is constantly backed up. Stony Point Road, a mile west, is already impassable during rush hour. There is only one two-lane north-south traffic light controlling all traffic out of West Street in Roseland.

At the only recent community meeting (March 14), residents were unanimous that adding 175 apartments (350-450 cars between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.) is simply unacceptable without first improving traffic circulation.

Why did you not report this?


Santa Rosa

Fire hazard

EDITOR: Please, Sonoma County, pick up the massive amounts of brush on the roadside from Enterprise Drive to Bennett Valley Ridge Road in Santa Rosa. It is disturbing that this amount of brush is still sitting there, waiting for someone to toss a cigarette along this stretch of road and cause a fire that could have been prevented. I drive this road a couple times a week, and I am stunned after the October fires that this brush still remains.


Glen Ellen

Essick’s the one

EDITOR: When peering into larger-scale politics, many feel discouraged upon seeing the foul words thrown between candidates, but what happens when political battles arise among those who can control the uniformed masses? Easy, a more mature and locally involved election.

Due to cases of police brutality, a wedge was driven between the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office and its surrounding communities. People were in an uproar — how could they abide by the laws enforced by those they knew to be violent, the agencies that refused to hear their voices? Enter Capt. Mark Essick, a candidate for sheriff in the June 5 election.

Essick promotes transparency, accountability, community policing and diversity in hiring. He refuses to have a biased and unconstitutional view of deputies. If a deputy acts improperly, Essick swears to hold them accountable, as proven in the past.

Regarding community policing, Essick hopes to work with the surrounding communities. Further, open to the employment of those from diverse backgrounds, Essick will then continue with the promotion of the qualified.

When the ballot is released, recall that Mark Essick was endorsed by Sheriff Rob Giordano, your county supervisors and those who hold an understanding of the department and its needs.



Albion bridge dispute

EDITOR: In her ill-informed hatchet job on the Albion River Bridge, Staff Writer Mary Callahan parroted the latest Caltrans’ propaganda against this historic landmark (“Residents, state at odds over timber trestle’s fate,” Monday).

Caltrans’ latest claim — the agency’s attempts to demonize the bridge have taken different and shifting approaches over the years — is that the bridge timbers are experiencing “exponential decay.” That phrase has a specific scientific definition, and despite repeated public records requests, Caltrans has been unable to supply data that supports the claim. The Press Democrat missed the opportunity to find the truth.

What’s more, the photograph of the “deteriorating metal support” actually depicts a rusted and probably unused utility conduit that runs alongside the bridge — basically, an abandoned pipe that has nothing to do with the bridge’s structural integrity.

Yes, the Albion River Bridge requires the kind of maintenance that a new $45 million bridge would not. But there’s no engineering or economical reason this maintenance can’t be performed — and at far less than the cost of a new bridge.

The Mendocino Coast’s tourism economy is built on a foundation of preservation: of the environment, of historic towns, of historic lighthouses and of historic bridges. Replacing this iconic structure with a twice-as-wide, freeway-style bridge would be a tragedy, a devastating economic and environmental blow and a profound waste of tax dollars.



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