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Letters to the Editor, March 31 - April 3


The hospital ‘around the corner’

EDITOR: Not long after we moved to Sonoma six years ago from Los Angeles where, among other things I served as Chancellor of UCLA for nearly 30 years, we drove by the Sonoma Valley Hospital. We wanted to make sure we knew the route in case our grandchildren had an emergency “on our watch.” Fortunately, we never had to make such a visit for them… but both my wife and I have been there for emergency care. Two of these visits were for my heart problems. I was accessed, made aware of my condition and put in an ambulance headed for Marin General and the appropriate procedures. My wife’s visit was due to a golfing incident in the sand trap when she apparently hit more than the golf ball and debris landed in her eye causing her severe pain. Again the emergency room staff provided expert care and she went home assured that within 48 hours her “gouged cornea” would be healed. It was. Last fall she went back to the hospital for a planned “procedure”… the one we all dread… where things went smoothly and she again praised the care she was given. I should also mention that we have both been, sent by our doctors, to the Imaging Room and the lab many times for routine workups. How good it is to be able to drive around the corner for such procedures.

I am relaying these personal stories because this March a parcel tax proposal failed to achieve the two-thirds “yes” required for passage, by the narrowest of margins. This tax is critical for our hospital. It will be on the ballot again on June 6 and must pass. When we last voted on this five years ago, our Emergency Room was nothing to brag about. Now we have a new state-of-the-art facility, new surgical suites and other improvements that are seeing a high volume of traffic. It is helping members of our community weather some pretty significant storms. Under Kelly Mather’s management our hospital is performing well in all areas, yet is continually striving for improvement. The SVH is a safe and caring place where we can all receive quality care in our own back yard. This is special and something most communities our size do not enjoy.

I urge you to join us in voting “yes” on this important tax and keep our “gem” of a hospital up and running and serving the needs of the Sonoma Valley and beyond.

Chuck Young

Sonoma

‘I am for smart development’

EDITOR: I attended the City Council meeting last night, regarding the First Street East Project. I was very interested in what the gentleman had to say about our sewer system. Seems to me that this is a serious concern and should be addressed before anything else gets built. Our infrastructure needs to be in place.

According to the study put out by the developers, traffic will actually decrease with this project. I am sorry, but I do not understand how that is possible. I also do not understand how they are going to move mature oak trees.

Maybe people want the town to grow in this fashion. In which case we will be needing stop lights around the Plaza and possibly widen the roads.

I believe that we do not have to have rooms for every single tourist, or even accommodate everyone for housing. Maybe people with second, third and fourth houses can let people live in those. More and more I am surrounded by homes with no one in them but a few times a year.

I believe we need to cherish and consider our Valley, not just for humans, but for all the beauty it holds. This is the real reason people come to visit.

As always, it is not development I am against. I am for smart development. Change is the only constant. Let’s just put a lot of thought into it. Seems to me that if we are not careful, Sonoma will be bought and sold to the highest bidder.

It is scary to me that there are just a small number of people on the planning board. I think they need a lot more help when it comes to something this huge.

Leslie Murphy

Sonoma

Roads not paved with good intentions

EDITOR: After the rainiest winter in memory, many Sonoma County roads are in deplorable condition. The $65 million that the county Board of Supervisors has invested in pavement preservation during recent years has enabled 300 miles of well-traveled county roads to largely escape the storms’ ravages. We thank the supervisors for addressing the decades of neglect that transformed the county’s road system into one of the worst in California. But we still desperately need funds to repair the 60 percent of the county road system that remains in poor or failing condition. Properly repaired roads will stand a better chance of surviving future rainy seasons.

The Legistlature and governor are addressing this problem by adjusting gas taxes and registration fees for inflation. Legislation designated as SB1 will eventually provide over $18 million annually to fix Sonoma County roads. Our cities face similar challenges and will benefit greatly. For example, Santa Rosa and Sonoma will eventually receive annually $6 million and $375,000, respectively. Of Sonoma County’s five legislators only Assemblyman Marc Levine has not endorsed this proposed legislation.

Save Our Sonoma Roads urges voters to contact Levine at 576-2631 or Marc.Levine@asm.ca.gov and insist that he support this vital legislation.

Craig S. Harrison,

Michael Troy

SOSroads