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Devastating cuts

EDITOR: Mental health services for the most vulnerable people in Sonoma County are likely to be cut drastically. As I understand the situation, this financial crisis is the result of multiple years of overprojecting revenue and underestimating the expenses of mental health services. Multiple years? Where does the buck stop?

Buckelew Programs, the Access Team, the 24-hour crisis hotline, just to name a few, all provide vital mental health services. Drastic cuts are unthinkable. The Board of Supervisors will be voting on these cuts this month. The supervisors should consider what a devastating impact these cuts will have on all of Sonoma County.

This is truly the trickle-down effect. Cut mental health programs and costs at the emergency room increase, jail costs increase, downtown merchants lose revenue when folks go elsewhere to shop and dine because of the increase in the homeless population. Perhaps the Board of Supervisors should be discussing salary cuts, not mental health cuts.

VERONICA MADRID

Santa Rosa

Acting above the law

EDITOR: After practicing law for 40 years in a nation that prided itself on its devotion to the principle that no one is above the law, I am saddened and sickened by a president who contends that it’s impossible for him to obstruct justice when he carries out his official responsibilities.

Does anyone believe the president could legally stop an FBI investigation of an illegal drug organization that the president headed in order to shield himself from prosecution? Is there any realistic possibility that any independent court would agree that he could?

In taking the position that he can legally stop the investigation of any federal crime he might have committed, that is precisely what the president is doing right now. Has our constitutional system be so eroded by the most unfit person ever to be elected president that there’s even a discussion that he might be above the law and not bound by his oath to faithfully execute the laws of this country?

FRANK N. PANZA

Santa Rosa

Selfless courage

EDITOR: Many thanks for the uplifting, redemptive May 24 article headlined “Meeting their ‘true hero.’ ” Even louder thanks to Alison Reynolds and David Trezie for their tenacity in searching for the young man who rescued them on that flaming dawn morning.

However, the loudest thanks are reserved for and directed to Miles Blakesley for his selfless impulse to help others, his bravery and his courage.

Equal Justice Initiative Director Bryan Stevenson reminds us, “We are all more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.” Blakesley proved that 100 times over in the early morning hours of Oct. 9. May his future be bright, and thanks again!

ANNE FITZGERALD

Santa Rosa

Women’s health care

EDITOR: Granted, the editorial page isn’t expected to be impartial, but I must protest that your May 30 editorial read like a press release from Planned Parenthood (“Women’s health care at risk in Planned Parenthood fight”). You presented several facts that simply can’t be supported.

You said abortion is only a small part of Planned Parenthood’s practice. Its own annual report states that it served about 2.4 million individual women in 2017 and performed 320,834 abortions. That means that one in seven clients had an abortion — hardly an insignificant number. (Planned Parenthood reports that there were about 4 million visits, or one abortion per 12 visits.) Planned Parenthood performed 320,834 abortions and provided prenatal care for a whopping 1,346 individual women.

You said depriving Planned Parenthood of Title X funds will mean that many women will lose health care. Federally qualified health centers, to which these funds will be diverted, outnumber abortion facilities by more than 20 to 1, nationally. What’s more, these clinics provide a full range of services: cancer screening and treatment, prenatal care, birth control — everything Planned Parenthood does and more, except for abortions.

Space forbids me passing on quite a few more facts, but may I suggest that our Pulitzer Prize winning (and deservedly so) newspaper might consider some impartial investigative reporting on this issue?

JEAN GRANT

Santa Rosa

An advantaged life

EDITOR: The young lady whose poignant photo graced Sunday’s front page went through a terrible experience, but I can’t shed a tear for her (“‘Fires changed our lives,’ ”).

She has had every advantage in life. Success is assured because she did a great job of choosing her parents. She drives her “roomy black SUV” to her expensive private school and will soon drive it to her expensive private college where her horse will join her.

When I read that she had to suffer the indignity of sleeping on a futon, I thought of the girl in my continuation high school class who slept with her baby in a motel room shared by seven of both genders. She considered herself lucky because she was nursing a child and, therefore, was allowed to sleep in the bed (with three others). In contrast to purchasing an expensive dress for graduation, she got her clothes at Goodwill, and the possibility of graduation was never in the picture.

Try as I may, not one tear.

ROY MASON

Ukiah

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