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Thursday's Letters to the Editor

Weekend in the streets

EDITOR: What about a new volunteer project for anyone who feels they're doing well and wants to give back and wants to experience something outside their comfort zone, for anyone who may not have time right now to travel to Costa Rica or Africa, who instead could give a weekend of their lives this autumn or winter to being on the streets with the homeless?

It could be organized in each community by churches, businesses or nonprofits that would loan bedrolls and tarps and even backpacks.

Imagine the new volunteers taking their “weekend on the streets” experiences back into their daily lives and coming up with insights and problem solving ideas in their communities after what they went through.

Imagine the possibilities if anyone from city councils or county boards of supervisors or state legislators happened to do a weekend on the streets.

What is worrisome now to Petaluma as homelessness grows is only the tip of the iceberg.

LESLIE WARREN

Guerneville

Making road less safe

EDITOR: I totally disagree with your statements about the roads being safer as a result of the passage of AB 60 (“Making the roads safer for everyone,” Editorial, Sept. 20), and here is why. It is a fact that the majority of illegal immigrants don't speak, read or write English to the extent that driver's license tests are provided in Spanish and other non-English languages. We put people on the roads who are unable to read traffic signs that don't have symbols showing what they mean; and there are a lot of them. I, for one, do not want to be sharing the road with someone who is an accident looking for a place to happen. This bill now puts more of these drivers on the road, increasing the chance for accidents to happen.

TOM MERCURIO

Salinas

Hospice risks

EDITOR: There is no guarantee that dying at home under the “care” of hospice will be peaceful (“Why few of us get to die peacefully at home,” Saturday). While it is true that hospice does good for some people some of the time, there are too many cases where hospice overmedicates or medicates inappropriately, and the result is not only a hastened death but a terrible death. The one-size-fits-all drugs that are now part of the arsenal of hospice — methadone, Haldol, oxycodone and Risperdal — can wreak havoc with a sick patient, making his or her last days horrific while the caregiver looks on.

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