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Thursday's Letters to the Editor

Track problem

EDITOR: I have watched with interest and curiosity for months while SMART has been needlessly replacing perfectly good rail tracks. My curiosity has now turned to frustration.

An excellent example of this at Piner Road. In laying the new tracks, SMART has built the ballast too high, leaving Piner unsafe at any speed. This section is posted for 40 mph, but it is impossible to drive over the new tracks in the westbound direction at more than 25 mph without bottoming out.

Yes, after the fact they have posted a speed limit sign and a bump sign. Too little and too late for low-riding cars. Unfortunately, the ballast would have to be removed for approximately a half mile to bring this crossing back to level, and the huge bumps would need to be removed in both directions.

Who is responsible for this? When will this be fixed? How is this good for SMART or the citizens of Santa Rosa?

Becky Smith

Santa Rosa

Listening or dictating?

EDITOR: I’ve recently attended two “community listening” meetings by the Palm Drive Hospital District board of directors. Many people expressed dismay that the agenda used predetermined goals to promote anything but reopening the hospital. While concerns for teenage smoking and nutrition are important, the parcel tax initiatives specifically direct hospital funds be spent on acute care and local emergency services.

Many people said they wanted the hospital reopened, and some wondered how much money was spent by the board on attorneys and public relations.

More than 15 people left the meetings because reopening Palm Drive was off the table. One person, who asked how long the board was going to block the foundation’s plan to reopen the hospital, was ruled “out of order.” Comments by community leaders indicate that public safety officers need the hospital to be reopened.

The board maintains that the hospital had to be closed, but financial statements indicate excessive administrative salaries and expenditures, elimination of a citizen financial review committee and a fortune spent to close the hospital could have kept it open.

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