Letters to the Editor, Oct. 10 - 12

Many physicians recommend women begin receiving regular mammographies as young as age 40.


Long may it wave

EDITOR: As a third generation SVHS alumni I was outraged last week when my son (a member of the FFA) came home from school and told me that school administrators denied a shirt design because it had an American flag on it! I was even more outraged from the comments I read in the paper from Principal Hawing who put a “pause on it to be sensitive on how classmates might perceive the new shirts.” A pause on an FFA shirt displaying the American flag, really? Does she not know what FFA (Future Farmers of America) stands for? The American flag should be proudly displayed by all who live or go to school in our country. The American flag symbolizes the freedom that we enjoy in this country and anyone who may be offended by that is “free” to move to the country of their choice. Thanks to all who have supported this issue and forced school administrators to reverse this decision as they realized what a huge mistake they made.

Bob Norrbom Jr.


Love it or leave it

EDITOR: I was flabbergasted when I read the front page article about the Kathleen Hawing’s concern that the American flag on an FAA T-shirt might offend some students who may be uncomfortable with the possible interpretations of the flag. Possible interpretations of the flag? The flag has one interpretation; it represents America and American values as much as the soil under our feet.

Kathleen Hawing is a public servant whose salary and benefits are paid for by American taxes. She has been entrusted with overseeing our children’s education, part of which should be love and respect of Country. I resent it when teachers or other people of influence try to use their influence to promote their own political views.

The feelings of anyone offended by the American flag should not have been considered in the decision to halt the selection of T-shirt made by the FAA students. This is America; those here should love it, or leave it.

Linda Barr


In-depth look at 3D mammography

EDITOR: I would like to respond to Carolyn Stone’s recent letter about the decision to move mammography into the hospital in January with the installation of the new 3D mammography unit. Mrs. Stone’s commitment to women’s health in Sonoma is well known and we all recognize and honor her previous work to the women’s services area at Sonoma Valley Hospital. However, there are good reasons for locating mammography in the hospital. The first, understandably, is cost. The community expects us to be good financial stewards and it is much more cost effective to provide this service in the hospital than in a separate facility.

Secondly, having the service in the hospital provides women with easy access to other imaging tests and related services. For example, many of the women who receive a second, diagnostic mammogram will also need an ultrasound, and having them in the same location saves time. Reducing waiting time is important for a woman awaiting diagnosis.

The hospital is committed to provide the women of Sonoma with the finest care and we are taking steps to do just that, starting with state-of-the-art technology such as 3D mammography, and by recruiting specialists such as our new female OB/GYN and breast surgeon. We also want to thank the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation and many generous donors for the funds needed to purchase the new 3D unit.

Jane Hirsch

Chair, Sonoma Valley Health Care District

Dangerous crossing

EDITOR: The City of Sonoma needs to take immediate action to remedy the situation at the intersection of Fifth Street West and West MacArthur before someone is killed.

At 9:45 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26 a sober, young, out-of-town driver in a Chevy pickup did not “see” the sign and rammed with great force into our Ford Escape halfway through the intersection where I was a passenger. We were traveling west on West MacArthur. We stopped and were proceeding slowly through the intersection. If we were 15 seconds further into the intersection, I would be dead. I was transported to Sonoma ER with a cut/bruised arm and a concussion.

At this four-way stop intersection, the stop sign, is partially obscured by the Crape Myrtle trees (for drivers traveling south from West Napa to West MacArthur.) Further, the reflective surface of the sign is badly worn making it difficult to see at night. There is no warning sign: “Stop Ahead” as there is on the previous block, but there should be one!

The police were called. The young man was cited for not stopping at a stop sign. Both vehicles were towed away. The Escape was so badly damaged it was deemed totaled. Lives were changed. The woman who lives on the corner came out and told me cars run that stop sign all the time.

To be done as soon as possible.

1.Trim the trees obscuring the stop sign.

2. Put in a new reflective stop sign.

3. Add further up Fifth Street West a: “Stop Ahead” sign.

4. Consider more police surveillance of the intersection

Judy Lehner