Letters to the Editor, Feb. 8

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Tree of faith unshaken

EDITOR: A recent letter to the editor (“Ignorance Ain’t Bliss for the Rest of Us!” Jan. 29) signed by Ned Dillon comments on the ignorance of evangelicals. Author implies that the value system of such persona is determined by our current president. Before barking at that squirrel, he should define his view of evangelical. Such believers do not place political leaders above God as they know if that squirrel remains on the tree of faith and reason he will not be caught by your illogical dog. Only by running on the senseless ground of your charge of willful ignorance will our squirrel be caught by your barking dog-like charges.

Ned, the university and scientific inquiry of Western culture (was) provided by the early Christian Church. You might consider a study of our history before riding on the current cliches of identity politics.

May God bless you, Ned.

Ron Gillis


Mental health services are critical

EDITOR: I’m writing in response to your story on mobile mental health teams now responding in the Valley (“County Approves Mental Health Service to Valley,” Jan. 22).

As a volunteer in various free clinics throughout the Bay Area, one thing we see far too commonly are patients whose health and well-being have been severely compromised due to a lack of mental health care. These people are cycled in and out of hospitals and jails, without ever receiving proper treatment.

The Mobile Support Team seems like an encouraging step in the right direction. Although the program is still evolving and expanding, I have no doubt this will improve the status of interactions between law enforcement and those having a mental health crisis.

By connecting with mental health services earlier in the process, there is an opportunity to improve outcomes and de-escalate a potentially volatile situation. It is important to realize that mental health services are just as critical as those treating physical ailments, and should be held with the same gravity. I hope to see this program and others continue to gain popularity, and more importantly, funding to keep them operating.

Loreen Atallah

Student pharmacist, UCSF School of Pharmacy

Scorched road policy

EDITOR: In response to the recent Valley Forum op-ed on road safety (“County Needs Fire Safe Roads,” Feb. 1). In this regard, an extreme example of a very dangerous situation exists on Grove Street west of Arnold in the Diamond A Ranch community of Sonoma.

Grove is uneven, narrow and steep. It is a dead end street: one way in for all and one way out. Dense brush and trees, significant erosion on hillsides and persistent water flow further characterize this roadway. It extends approximately five miles through the community. Grove collects traffic from a large number of side streets and driveways and provides the occupants of over 200 properties a single escape route in the face of wildfires, earthquakes or other disasters.

The road was constructed long before the current fire safety standards were established by the state legislature (1991) to mitigate traffic safety and fire-related road issues. Ironically, Grove is still classified by the county as a local street which was appropriate when it served 25 homes; it now serves 200. A recent traffic survey indicated that over 500 round trips by resident and service vehicles occur during a 24-hour period.

Under pressure from community activists with the support of 1st District Supervisor Susan Gorin, Sonoma County Public Works, Cal Fire and PG&E have taken some steps to improve fire and traffic safety along Grove. However, recent actions (brush cutting and removal of trees in the easements) are temporary and leave much work to be done. Significantly, the actions performed so far indicate limited coordination between the agencies performing the work.

What is needed is an immediate upgrade of older roads to the state fire-safe regulations along with the development of a comprehensive inter-agency plan to deliver a coordinated response to address dangerous conditions such as those described herein.

Bob Kraynak


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