Your Letters

Neighborhood Nitpick

Thanks for the November snapshot of my community (Neighborhoods), Marinwood. I beg to differ about the low walkability score of 20, however. Within walking or biking distance of most residents are the wonderful Marinwood Market, Saturday farmers’ market, Mary E. Silveira, Dixie and Miller Creek schools, the Marinwood Community Center and pool, and the YMCA. My dentist, Bob Hoffman, is only two blocks from my house. We have a multitude of well-used creekside and other walking paths and miles of open space trails. I look forward to redevelopment of Marinwood Village, with possible new tenants that include a coffee shop, postal annex, salon and housing for residents who work nearby or who are priced out of Marinwood’s escalating real estate market. Perhaps we’ll gather with our neighbors at a spiffy new brewpub in 2016 when the Giants go to the World Series again. Marinwood is a great place to live and raise a family. KATHLEEN GAINES, MARINWOOD

Civic Struggle

Thank you for that nicely written article in the November issue of your magazine on the iconic Civic Center in Marin (“New Details, Old Controversy”). We moved to Marin in September 1957 after buying our first house in Terra Linda. Before all the boxes were unpacked, we were involved in the controversies of the establishment of the recreational district in Terra Linda and the building of the Civic Center. This article brought back to me many memories of the struggle and of the accomplishments of all the visionary civic leaders who worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality. In addition to Vera Schultz and other supervisors, civic leaders like Catherine Munson, whom we recently lost, also played critical roles. She worked countless hours trying to convince the naysayers about this project. In fact, she was the one who converted me, as I thought our county at that time seemed too small to consider such a grandiose project. I am so glad that I was proven wrong and we can now have such an edifice that defines the forward-thinking spirit of our county. SY YUAN, SAN RAFAEL

Vaccine Questions

You can’t selectively believe in science (“Calling the Shots,” September 2014). If scientific, peer-reviewed study after study disproves any link between vaccinations and autism, yet nonscientific Internet blogs continue to claim a link, why would you choose to believe the Internet blogs over the peer reviewed science? All anti-vaccine arguments have been scientifically debunked: there is no link to autism; there is no harmful exposure to mercury; the risks of serious side effects are so minimal they are statistically insignificant; there is no validity to the argument that “too many vaccinations are given too soon” and should be spaced out (delaying immunization is far more dangerous). So why do people still choose to believe that vaccinations are more harmful to children than risking the diseases themselves? The Internet makes it very easy to find arguments to support what we want to believe. This “confirmation bias” is not easy to overcome. And with childhood vaccinations, the stakes are high. We all know that in order for a community to be considered “safe” from vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles or whooping cough, a minimum of 85 percent to 95 percent of children need to be immunized. When parents choose not to immunize their children they put the rest of the community at risk. ABBY YOUNG, VIA EMAIL


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