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Sebastopol newsletter urges opposition to county fluoride plan

By GUY KOVNER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Some Sebastopol residents, including a former city councilman, are objecting to a city-sponsored newsletter that urged people to oppose Sonoma County’s consideration of a water fluoridation plan.

“Another embarrassment for Sebastopol,” said Larry Robinson, a former three-term councilman who called the newsletter’s article “totally inappropriate.”

waterRobinson, who helped start the newsletter in 2000, said the article, headlined “Oppose Sonoma County Water Fluoridation,” crossed a line between informing the public and engaging in advocacy.

“This does not represent city policy,” Robinson said, noting that the newsletter, distributed six times a year in city water bills, “appears to represent the voice of the city.”

Mayor Michael Kyes said he personally agreed with the article, but that the newsletter, “The Next Step” should not adopt “an advocacy position” until the council has done so first.

Asked about the ongoing practice under which no city official vets the newsletter’s content, Kyes said: “I think that probably will change.”

City Manager Larry McLaughlin said there is “no official city oversight” of the newsletter, which is “not intended to state city policy.”

Sebastopol pays $490 a year to cover the cost of paper and copying the newsletter, produced “rather independently” by the editor, McLaughlin said.

Volunteers stuff the newsletter into city water bills, which incur no added postal costs by carrying it, the manager said.

Sebastopol operates its own water system, which filters and chlorinates water, and would not be directly affected by the county’s proposal to fluoridate water delivered to 350,000 residents served by the Sonoma County Water Agency.

Kyes said there has been worry in the community about the prospect that water fluoridated by the county would get into Sebastopol’s system. The county and city water systems are geographically separate, and the county’s fluoridation report said that “no significant negative environmental impact of water fluoridation has been established.”

The council, Kyes said, may discuss the idea of sending a letter to county supervisors opposing fluoridation.

Public sentiment in Sebastopol is “strongly against” fluoridation, Kyes said.

Patricia Dines, a Graton freelance writer who has edited the newsletter since its inception in 2001, said complaints about the fluoridation article were “a tempest in a teapot.”

Dines, who donates her work on the newsletter, said it gets an approval rating of about 90 percent in annual surveys and is fulfilling its mission to “reduce the use of toxics in our community.”

The newsletter is “action-oriented,” often telling readers how they can avoid toxics, Dines said, asserting that recommending government action “to me is not advocacy.”

Complaints about the newsletter article likely come from fluoridation advocates who “refuse to allow the other side to be heard,” Dines said.

County supervisors, she said, aren’t getting the whole story from health officials who support fluoridation largely to reduce dental disease among children.

More than 200 million Americans are now receiving fluoridated water, a practice introduced in the nation nearly 70 years ago and supported by national and international health agencies.

In February, county supervisors authorized further studies of a fluoridation program that could cost up to $8.5 million to implement, plus annual upkeep of about $1 million.

Barbara Graves of Sebastopol, a former director of the county Department of Health Services Prevention and Planning Division, called the newsletter article “one-sided propaganda.”

“I would have hoped for a more balanced dialogue,” Graves said. “Communities have to think carefully and rationally about fluoridation.”

Robinson, who served on the council from 1998 to 2010, said that Dines has “done a wonderful job of educating people” and called the fluoridation article “an error in judgment.”

Dines said the article was “simply a statement of the facts.” She said that Dave Brennan, the former city manager who retired in 2009, told her he did not want to review the newsletter’s content.

In 2009, the council discussed but took no action on Robinson’s complaint that the newsletter was taking an “advocacy direction.”

Graves and Robinson said the city should make a public statement that the newsletter article does not reflect official policy.

You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 521-5457 or guy.kovner@pressdemocrat.com.





39 Responses to “Sebastopol newsletter urges opposition to county fluoride plan”

  1. Phaedra Glidden says:

    @ Anthony Angry~

    Forgive me for saying this, but your statement in response to the anti-flouridation position is proof-positive that flouridation can cause up to a seven point drop in IQ! (No offense meant to Healsburgians, it was just too perfect to pass up!)

    Seriously, Anthony, won’t you please put your critical thinking skills to use and at least try to understand the opposing view? It is not true to say that we don’t have scientific data on our side. I included links to two videos on a previous post. Watch them and I guarantee you will learn more about our position. If nothing else, you will be able to better articulate your pro-flouridation stance. Your post was pretty incoherent. Thank you in advance for keeping an open mind and for responding more respectfully in the future.

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  2. Anthony Angry says:

    This is hilarious! Post after post of the same nonsense. What about Healdsburg! They’ve been fluoridating since the fifties! So why isn’t the whole town made up of a bunch of brittle boned, toothless, low IQ mutants?! Seriously, Healdsburg, for generations, has been drinking fluoridated water. If all these horrible medical conditions that anti-fluoridation minority claim were real, wouldn’t we have been seeing it in Healdsburg by now?! These tin foil hat Luddites continue asking the same questions, ignoring the rational answers because they don’t paint a dooms-day scenario. They keep posting the same debunked conspiracy BS and posting links to the same poorly produced and thoroughly debunked little movie that’s so easily seen for the silly paranoid garbage that it is that it’s only on youtube. They accuse the Supes of taking bribes from some mysterious cabal of industrial super villains; yeah, they’re really going to poison their own water supply for a sum of money that is evidently too small to even make a noticeable difference in their lifestyle! Ha! I’ll say this, they make an otherwise boring council or supervisors meeting a hilarious circus for a few minutes each while they waste everyone’s time by insisting that they are smarter than doctors, chemists and other medical professionals. Not that they need to be since the whole medical community is in on it, anyway! Super-villainy I tell you! HAHA!!

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  3. Phaedra Glidden says:

    Another letter I sent to SR City Council and the Sonoma County Supervisors setting the record straight on the anti-flouridation position.

    Good Evening, Mayor, Vice Mayor, City Council Members, and County Supervisors,

    I also wanted to respond to the completely lop-sided press coverage of the anti-flouridation position. I recently attended two town hall meetings held in Santa Rosa regarding this subject. It was an eye opening experience for me, I really had no idea about the negative effects of water flouridation.

    Anyway, I just thought I’d post a couple of videos that will give you the gist
    of what was covered during these meetings.

    This is the Dr. Connett, the doctor who came to Santa Rosa to speak at these town halls. Please note: This is not the actual video of the Santa Rosa presentation, but you’ll get a good idea of the content presented. He will be back in Santa Rosa in a few weeks and would be happy to discuss any of this with elected professionals or debate anyone on this subject. Let me know if you are interested in a meeting with Dr. Connett, and I will try to arrange one.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkuHo2xFJr0&feature=player_embedded

    This is the video, called “Flouridegate” that Dr. Connett showed as part of his
    presentation. Please, please watch this as it has a lot of important facts on this subject!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChRTCWk-Y4g&feature=share

    I know it’s a lot of video time, but it’s well worth it. There are a lot of adverse side effects and health risks you should be aware of before you make this important decision. Again, this is a topic that unites people of all walks of life…I’ve met people on the left and on the right politically who do not want our water to be flouridated.

    Thank you for your time and serious consideration of what I present to you.

    Sincerely,

    Phaedra Glidden

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  4. I’m astonished that the Press Democrat is trying to fluff up a mini-scandal out of thin air against our little community toxics education newsletter. To me, their assertions don’t match the facts at the most foundational level, which is pretty easy to see if just a few additional facts are added to the picture.

    Note: I’ve put my full response, with links to added information, at this webpage http://www.healthyworld.org/SCFluoridation-APD.html. But I’ve given some of the highlights here.

    1) The first and most important point I think is that the defined mission of The Next STEP newsletter is to educate people about toxics and help them avoid exposure by taking action at both the personal and community levels. Why wasn’t that stated on the first page, at the start of the story?

    So this is not, as the PD article suggests, a generic official City newsletter or special “bulletin.” It’s also not “perspectives on dental health” or “official City policies digest.”

    This is a City-community project that educates people on avoiding toxics, to help fulfill the City’s stated goal of helping its residents avoid the use and exposure of toxics. The acronym “STEP” stands for “Sebastopol Toxics Education Program.” It’s funny that the PD article didn’t mention that illuminating fact. We have a clearly-stated point of view, to avoid toxics.

    Community Water Fluoridation (CWF) would add toxics to our water.

    >> Hence, it was entirely within the scope of our newsletter for us to talk about the reasons for concern and what folks can do about that. This is about our relationship with our readers, and our service to them.

    3) This project clearly states that it’s implemented by volunteers, i.e. we do all the work to create the content and layout the letter. Thus the City gets positive results towards its goals with almost no work on its part. It’s also clear that the content is written by me as one of those volunteers. This article was signed by me, for goodness sake.

    >> Thus this is not about the City “sponsoring” this newsletter. This is about the citizens stepping forward and doing the work needed to help the City reach its goals, in a periodical clearly written for this project and its goals. This is about a cool innovative project to help create a healthier world.

    3) In creating our newsletter, it’s normal for us to digest lots of information from a range of sources on a variety of topics, then summarize the key points and actions for our readers, as we did with our article CWF. That’s what we’ve been doing for over 12 years, in a style that’s been developed collaboratively between community volunteers, City staff, the City Council, and readers. We distill the key points and suggested actions for our readers. We don’t tell people to “lobby” anyone. We tell them ways they can protect themselves, including participating in our democratic process. This is so standard for newsletters to do that I can’t believe the PD is trying to make an issue of it.

    >> So to me there’s simply no news story there.

    4) The PD article only quoted two people complaining about our article. Neither of them were concerned enough to even send us a letter. Since this edition of the newsletter came out on March 1, we had only received one letter disagreeing with this article. On the other hand, I’ve heard lots of folks say they appreciate this article for being (as usual) well-written, factual, and useful.

    >> So, contrary to the PD article’s frame, I don’t see any roiled waters in the community here.

    5) One of the two people complaining to the PD (Barbara Graves) was previously employed by the Sonoma County Department of Health Services (DHS), the agency that is 100% cheerleading for CWF in its advice to the Board of Supervisors.

    >> So Ms. Graves is hardly a neutral observer making a neutral comment about the newsletter and its mission.

    6) Both of the City officials quoted in the story told me personally that they had zero issue with the newsletter article and thought is was totally appropriate for the newsletter. It’s hard to tell that from the way their quotes got distorted by the PD! The City Manager knows the history and mission of the newsletter and explained that to the reporter in great detail. Mayor Kyes is less familiar with the newsletter, and thus merely stated openness to the reporter’s question about “what should be done.”

    • • • 
    >> Thus I feel that the PD has attempted to create a story out of thin air that just isn’t the truth of the the situation out here in reality.

    >> Instead, the actual story here is: “Toxics newsletter publishes toxics article. Two people complain.” Why is that news? Especially in Sebastopol!

    >> Or maybe the real story is, “CWF proponent tries to deflect attention away from fact-based concerns by inaccurately attacking the messenger.” Because I suspect that, if the newsletter article had been pro-CWF, there would’ve been no PD article and Ms. Graves would’ve been fine that we stated a recommendation.

    >> Or perhaps the real story is, “Slow news day at the Press Democrat. They see an opportunity to promote their pro-CWF agenda.” Oh yes, did we mention that the PD editorial policy is pro-CWF, with no openness in their editorial viewpoint to the scientific reasons that people are objecting to it? Talk about a lack of balance! And a general newspaper actually does have an obligation to present the various views in a community fairly. That’s a key part of its role in our society. It however is not its mandate to pick on, and try to bully, a little newsletter that dares to have a different viewpoint than theirs’.

    >> Instead of this non-story, I think there are much more important questions that the PD needs to be asking. Such as: “Why isn’t the DHS taking seriously and helping to bring forward the concrete scientific evidence that CWF is harmful not helpful to our shared health? Wouldn’t that be consistent with their mandate to serve public health? And their job of providing full information to the Board of Supervisors and thus support smart decision-making?”

    Or another question we might all ask: “Why isn’t the Press Democrat writing to critique DHS for presenting totally pro-CWF information as imbalanced one-sided propaganda when its job is to protect our health?” Or, ” And why doesn’t the PD use its investigative efforts to bring forward the key facts that DHS is ignoring?”

    There are plenty of places to hear the pro-CWF case stated as if it were fact — including the PD’s pages. We just sought to bring some balance to the conversation, from the viewpoint of our periodical’s mission.

    So if the PD is so concerned about balance, I’d suggest they first look at their own actions. I’d suggest that they think critically about the pro-fluoridation PR. Even in this particular article, they assert as facts assertions that have been disproven (for instance the claims that CWF helps children’s dental health and doesn’t harm the environment).

    Then I encourage the PD to include in their new stories the important opposition facts, stated in ways that respects their scientific foundation. This would be a much more useful use of their energy than trying to smear a little toxics newsletter for writing an article that is entirely within its mission.

    >> The overall bottom line here is that we ALL will have to live with the results of the Supervisors’ decision here, and thus have a right to hear the problems with CWF. It’s entirely appropriate for a toxics newsletter to alert people to them. It’d be great if we also heard them from our general newspaper and our Department of Health Services.

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  5. George Noble says:

    Drinking water fluoridation is the lead and asbestos issue of our day. It is ineffective and a very expensive bad idea which only benifits the fertilizer industry which has a class I toxic waste problem. Dilution is the solution to polution.
    There is no question fluoride is a nasty poison still used in rat poison and insecticides which can do serious harm when ingested..as well as harming other animals and plant in our environment.
    Individual self responsibility is the way to go, not forced low-level systemic poisoning.

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  6. The newsletter in question is called: The Next STEP Towards a Healthier Future (STEP meaning: Sebastopol Toxics Education Program). Why wouldn’t an article about the dangers of fluoridation be appropriate for this newsletter?

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  7. Edgar says:

    The people who want to add fluoride to your water are in it for MONEY. There is millions of dollars to be spent each year and these people get a cut . $100,000 A year would make an advocate out of the already corrupted people who are trying with all their might to get you to swallow their agenda . Thank goodness I am on a well

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  8. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    I find irony here that many people drink cup of tea after cup of tea everyday, live a good long life believing every cup is healthful yet that tea contains fluoride.

    With a county full of children with rotting teeth and unable to find dentists who will provide low cost services or join Denti-Cal and take their share of poor children, I find it appalling that people are screaming about fluoride. There are lots of dentists in this county and most of them say yes to fluoride. Maybe some of you could say yes to taking a few poor children too.

    Thanks goodness we have a wonderful dental surgery clinic in Sonoma County to fix all those Medi-Cal eligible children’s rotting teeth. They can’t find a dentist for prevention and care but they can get the surgery.

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  9. On Point says:

    All of these comments and arguments, and only 2 have any connection to the content of the article? It seems that the article heading, “Sebastopol newsletter urges opposition to county fluoride plan,” and the fact that it’s about Sebastopol not actually being affected by the County’s proposition, but coming out against it in a newsletter paid for by the city gets ignored as all those jump on their soapboxes and begin pontificating. Any forum in a storm, right?

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  10. Kirstin says:

    @Mike Reiner:

    Apparently you didn’t read the content of the links I posted or your would know that the ADA has revised its position on fluoridation and has published studies that indicate swallowing fluoride is not effective for preventing teeth decay (use a fluoride toothpaste if you want that). Here are another two links:

    http://www.thenhf.com/article.php?id=1292

    http://www.hotpress.com/Water-Fluoridation-in-Ireland/news/Harvard-Professor-speaks-strongly-against-fluoride/9696932.html?new_layout=1

    You are the one who needs to look at the facts.

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  11. Anne Durham says:

    The main reason for opposing fluoridation of our water supply in Sonoma County is that it is MEDICATING CITIZENS WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT with an industrial waste product (not the same fluoride as in pills and toothpaste) in a “one size fits all dosage.” Studies have shown the physical harm that can result, especially to the very young and the very old. No safety studies have been done to show safety or effectiveness. Say NO to Fluoridation ! Time and money would be much better spent on educating the young about better dental hygiene and better nuitrition.

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  12. Larry Hanson says:

    I am glad to see a discourse here on adding fluoride to our drinking water. Up to now there has not been one. The County is intending to fluoridate drinking water as a policy rather than bringing it to its citizens like a referendum allowing a true debate on the pros and cons of fluoride.

    Worldwide this is a controversial issue and for good reason. What may be (or may not be) safe for an average healthy person can be unsafe for a smaller person (including babies) and people with health issues. The dosage cannot be controlled so the labeling will be invisible like it is with GMOs. There are plenty of mainstream studies that both show impacts of fluoride to babies and to those with compromised health.

    There is no good reason to risk impacting the health of a significant portions our citizenry when there are good alternatives with promoting flossing and brushing that don’t hurt anybody.

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  13. @ Mike Reiner says:

    Please stop cherry picking the data and pretend you are responding to the CDC’s points in support of water fluoridation. You keep citing sources that if you actually read in full in fact support the case for community water fluoridation.

    Your tactic is amusing, but not in anyway scientific. The data needs to be considered in full…some of what you state is highly misleading as the fluorosis you are talking about hasn’t occurred in areas with community water fluoridation, but rather areas serves by water supplies with excessive levels of naturally occurring fluoride. Please forget that you are dogmatically opposed to something you don’t full understand and try actually reading the reports in full.

    The ADA, CDC, WHO, EU, AMA, NSA, NIH and other major organizations all support community fluoridation either by adding it to table salt as is done in Europe, or in drinking water.

    @ Kristen – As for the claim that the ADA data is old, not true, they also reference recent studies. The point remains that those opposing water fluoridation continue to reference only some of the data from these organizations selectively in order to push their point….but the examples (such as cases of fluorosis) are out of context.

    Can you pretend at least for a moment that you actually care about facts?

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  14. Please cite these "facts" says:

    “Nearly all of Europe has stopped fluoridation due to health problems. There are many independent studies showing harm to humans and the environment from water fluoridation.”

    You must have missed the previous post…Europe adds fluoride to table salt, which their population consumes. They still get fluoride, just not from water so much (other than what already naturally occurs).

    So much of what opponents claims is easily refuted – here’s a great link:

    http://www.ilikemyteeth.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Fluoride-Myths-Facts.pdf

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  15. Tori C says:

    I appreciate Patricia Dines’ article in the latest STEP newsletter. Her articles are normally about toxics so what’s the hoopla about this one?
    Personally, I am appalled at the behavior of the supervisors in refusing to even look at any information other than what they have been spoon fed by the local “health officer.” They are making decisions that will affect literally hundreds of thousands of people and they aren’t willing to do complete research? What’s wrong with this picture? This is the height of irresponsibility and arrogance.
    Nearly all of Europe has stopped fluoridation due to health problems. There are many independent studies showing harm to humans and the environment from water fluoridation.
    Sonoma County doesn’t need this!

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  16. Caller says:

    You have to be pretty paranoid to accuse respected health professionals and health organizations of a conspiracy against drinkers of water.

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  17. jeff hawley says:

    If a community really wants to spend a ton of money fighting cavities, how about spending it not on adding fluoride to our precious water, but on educating people about the real poison that’s causing all the cavities (and a whole lot of other nasty problems). I refer, of course, to sugar!

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  18. paul says:

    This video shows you the truth behind the CDC numbers, as well as other truths you seem to think are legitimate. This has people from the EPA, including the retired Senior Science Adviser.

    Paul Connett also showed how the rebuttal to the Harvard study was incorrect. You asked for info, well looks like we have plenty for you.

    I find it unfortunate that the proponents will just ignore this though, as though being wrong and having to change your opinion would hurt you too badly or something.

    Its Called Fluoridegate and is very good.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmGLpuLX9vI

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  19. Mike Reiner says:

    In response to “ADA Facts” above who says he/she dares anyone to respond to the links. First off, any endorsments from the ADA is very suspect as they have a serious Conflict of Interest with anything related to the fluoride industry, so what they have in the link above is not credible and fraught with significant errors. But I will challenge your info.

    Well here it is, the response to your links and it’s all governmental primary links about the hazards of fluoridation.

    Any lobbyist who truly believes that municipal water should be used as a medium to medically treat individuals without taking into consideration their health history is basically has an evil intent, period, and it is in their best interests finacially to keep the lie alive.

    First Do No Harm:

    http://www.ahrq.gov/news/test050511.htm

    http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/legal-topics/patient-physician-relationship-topics/informed-consent.page

    • Did you know that over 40% of American children have dental fluorosis from cumulative doses of fluoride, a permanent disfigurement that will never go away unless expensive dental surgery is done typically costing tens of thousands of dollars? CDC website http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/safety/dental_fluorosis.htm

    • Did you know that practically every beverage (soda, beer, fruit juices, etc.) and myriad of other processed foods contain high levels of fluoride because they are processed in major cities where the public water supply is fluoridated? There is substantial evidence that Americans greatly exceed the recommended daily intake of fluoride because it already contained in much of our food. According to a U.S. Health and Human Services report even in non-fluoridated communities people are already receiving six to seven times the recommended daily amount of fluoride of 1 mg. CDC website http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/fact_sheets/cwf_qa.htm#17

    • that the EPA lowered the optimal dose from 1.2 parts per million (ppm) to .7 ppm due to significant evidence of dental and skeletal fluorosis (brittle bones, deformed bones, aches in bones and muscles) http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/fact_sheets/cwf_qa.htm

    • that FDA states in their 2000 response to Congressional investigation on fluoride: “Fluoride, when used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man or animal, is a drug that is subject to FDA regulation,” and that no fluorine-containing product intended for ingestion for the purpose of reducing tooth decay has ever been approved for safety and effectiveness.

    • that fluoridation disproportionately targets minorities due their inability to purchase bottled water or expensive Reverse Osmosis systems for their homes? They are found to be those who have the highest incidents of dental fluorosis.

    • there are no dose controls for fluoride? The CDC’s website states that the optimal ranges are lower in warmer climates than colder climates due to people needing more water because they sweat more and may consume more. Is this an appropriate use of dose control? http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/fact_sheets/sg04.htm

    • that fluoride is a cumulative toxin that accumulates in the bones, ligaments and teeth among other places? According to the CDC, adults exposed to excessive consumption over a lifetime may have increased likelihood of bone fractures, and may result in effects on bone leading to pain and tenderness. http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/fact_sheets/cwf_qa.htm#17

    • that Newburgh, New York has been fluoridated for 50 years and has higher rates of dental caries than non-fluoridated Kingston, NY according to a New York State Department of Health study published in the New York State Dental Journal?

    • there are no studies identifying a population or income group that does not have sufficient and economic access to fluoride-containing products. A significant percentage of children in non-fluoridated communities already suffer from over-exposure to fluorides from other-than-water sources.
    • that fluoride is intended for topical use only and not to be ingested for any nutrient or any other necessary benefit? New Jersey Administrative Code 10:56-3.3; D1000-D1999 PREVENTIVE NJ ADC 10:56-3.3D

    • that many U.S. cities are disconnecting fluoride from their water amid concerns of health, ethical, legal, liability, insurance, expense, pipe erosion, high maintenance, and other issues related to fluoride? Cities to recently disconnect or vote to not allow it in the public water supply include: Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Fairbanks, Wichita, many Washington State cities, many cities in Florida, many cities in New York to name a few and many cities studying disconnecting such as New York City, Denver, San Antonio, Austin and other major cities due to all the concerns outlined above. (Primary cites available upon request)

    • that fluoride etches and erodes pipes, lead, solder, plumbing fixtures, glass, and other delivery mechanisms resulting in higher levels of lead and other contaminants in the water?

    Lastly, this poison/pollution has never been effective or safe by being ingested and does not belong in our water. All citizens have a right to pure unadulterated water and no matter what the dose, it does not belong in water.

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  20. Deb says:

    Wow…I can’t believe Larry Robinson didn’t back Patricia Dines on this one. She has a great history with the city and has been dedicated for over a decade to helping people live less toxic lives with her newsletter. Maybe her wording was a bit strong. But seriously, if we want a less toxic world we DO need to oppose the fluoridation of our water supply.

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  21. ADA facts says:

    http://www.ada.org/sections/newsAndEvents/pdfs/fluoridation_facts.pdf

    I would love to see opponents actually challenge each one of the points made in this document….there’s a big difference between science and pseudoscience.

    We have the National Academy of Science, The World Health Organization, the American Dental Association, the Center for Disease Control, all citing numerous studies that back their claims. What have you got on the “other side” to refute their evidence in favor of community water fluoridation?

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  22. Sebastepol says:

    Yet again, Sebastepol is proving itself to be less interested in facts and science and more interested in encouraging fanaticism and stoking irrational fear.

    No, Smart Meters aren’t going to hurt you. The evidence is clear and I suspect many who oppose them have no problem using an iPhone right next to their head, microwave ovens, wifi, and a whole host of other things that are far more concerning with high exposure. As well, many of these people have no problem using wood burning stoves which are far more toxic.

    Same with fluoride. You guys are all big on peddling pot – which I’m not against but has far fewer proven benefits than fluoride.

    Now it’s chemtrails? You guys are crazy…..sad. If you don’t trust the scientific method and reject its findings, you shouldn’t be using technologies derived from the same underpinnings. The reality is that it seems the majority of residents in Sebastepol actually believe this crap and now we have elected officials who, rather than trying to educate, are simply cow towing to the fanatics who elected them. Weird is cool and ok, but crazy ignorance isn’t.

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  23. @ Bennett says:

    “Look, 98% of Europe, China and Japan have banned and/or rejected sodium fluoride industrial waste neuro-toxin in their water supply.”

    Um….they add fluoride…for the same reason…to table salt instead….you must have missed that….

    http://www.eusalt.com/pages/press-corner/file.handler?f=111109%20-%20German%20Journal%20'Kali%20und%20Steinsalz'%20-%20Salt%20Fluoridation%20in%20Europe%20and%20Latin%20America%20(Print%20Version).pdf

    Facts please…less hysterics.

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  24. GAJ says:

    This is an expensive “nice to do” thing we don’t have the money to be contemplating right now.

    Focus on basic priorities and shelve this idea for when we are in better fiscal order.

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  25. Letter bias says:

    It’s fine to get information out, but when it completely ignores scientific consensus and/or conveniently leaves out their findings, it goes from information to political posturing. Dines knows this. She has an objective. This was about framing the discussion without objectivity and without acknowledging facts that contradict opponents of community water fluoridation. That is fine for op ed pieces, but has no place in a city delivered newsletter. Dines means well, but she is peddling misinformation and should be called out on it.

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  26. Conspiracy freaks says:

    Talk about paranoia….some of these posts are simply crazy. Seriously? It’s a conspiracy? Yes, a conspiracy to improve dental health. Yeah, how horrible. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t quote the CDC when it’s convenient, then ignore their position in favor of community water fluoridation. C’mon people. Can’t you read?

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130404-american-conspiracy-theories-polls-debunk/

    “5. Some 9 percent believe the government adds fluoride to drinking water for “sinister” purposes.

    Reality Check: The latest evidence that fluoridated water has dental health benefits comes from a 2013 study published in the Journal of Dental Research. The study found that fluoride in drinking water prevents tooth decay in adults regardless of age, whether or not they drank fluoridated water as children.

    Other recent evidence of the dental benefits of fluoride came from an unlikely source: A survey of more than 23,000 skeletons from medieval archaeological sites in Britain showed that people who lived near the coast—and presumably consumed a lot of fluoride-rich fish—had fewer cavities.”

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  27. John Claeys says:

    “Don’t confuse me with the facts,
    my minds’ already made up”, that’s the
    reality here. Follow the money????

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  28. Lynn says:

    Mike is 100% correct. Also used in foreign countries at war with to dumb down population. If this not ageeded to, they will then put in particulate chemtrails overhead. Then we will be breathing in more nanoparticles directly to blood cells/oxygen. I like clean air and water, practically addicted, fresh/natural.

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  29. Jen says:

    Put money where it is sorely needed not into half baked questionable pet projects such as flouride in water.
    Roads… jobs… fighting a casino which most of Sonoma County abhors… reducing health care costs to those who are actually contributing to society… Where is the leadership in our county?

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  30. James Bennett says:

    The powers that be in our globalist directed community are absolute masters in propaganda and “advocacy” groups synthesizing consensus. But when some citizens get together and share some actual truth…that’s different when framed by our local “news” paper.

    Look, 98% of Europe, China and Japan have banned and/or rejected sodium fluoride industrial waste neuro-toxin in their water supply.

    The list of proven health effects from this poison could fill a page.

    You may wonder the REAL reason motivating the poisoning of the populous.

    Well, aside from reducing us to impoverished serfs, void of civil, property and unalienable rights guaranteed to us by our Constitution. These global elitists want to reduce the population by 85-95%!

    We could have a much better shot of surviving everything these UN globalists will throw at us this year if we could wake up, stand together. DISASSOCIATE with our allegiance to an alphabet of UN sponsored NGOs.

    Namely ICLEI.

    These folks are standing up for their very ongoing, and this piece does it’s best to marginalize citizens speaking truth to their community.

    A practice that many who are awake need to get used to.

    Quickly.

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  31. CDC says:

    http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/fact_sheets/cwf_qa.htm

    http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/benefits/background.htm

    Fluoridation Basics

    Overview

    Nearly all naturally occurring water sources contain fluoride—a mineral that has been proven to prevent, and even reverse, tooth decay.

    Tooth decay is caused by certain bacteria in the mouth. When a person eats sugar and other refined carbohydrates, these bacteria produce acid that removes minerals from the surface of the tooth. Fluoride helps to remineralize tooth surfaces and prevents cavities from continuing to form.

    Fluoridation Beginnings

    In the 1930s, dental scientists documented that the occurrence and severity of tooth decay was lower among people whose water supplies contained higher levels of natural fluoride. Extensive studies followed and discovered that fluoride, when present in the mouth, can become concentrated in plaque and saliva, helping to prevent the breakdown of enamel minerals. In 1945, the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, added fluoride to its municipal water system. Community water fluoridation—adjusting the amount of fluoride in an area’s water supply to a level that helps to prevent tooth decay and promote oral health—had begun. Since then, numerous scientific studies and comprehensive reviews have continually recognized fluoridation as an effective way to prevent tooth decay.

    Benefits of Fluoridation

    Water fluoridation prevents tooth decay mainly by providing teeth with frequent contact with low levels of fluoride throughout each day and throughout life. Even today, with other available sources of fluoride, studies show that water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by about 25 percent over a person’s lifetime.

    Community water fluoridation is not only safe and effective, but it is also cost-saving and the least expensive way to deliver the benefits of fluoride to all residents of a community. For larger communities of more than 20,000 people, it costs about 50 cents per person to fluoridate the water. It is also cost-effective because every $1 invested in this preventive measure yields approximately $38 savings in dental treatment costs.

    This method of fluoride delivery benefits all people―regardless of age, income, education, or socioeconomic status. A person’s income and ability to get routine dental care are not barriers since all residents of a community can enjoy fluoride’s protective benefits just by drinking tap water and consuming foods and beverages prepared with it.

    Fluoride from other sources prevents tooth decay as well, whether from toothpaste, mouth rinses, professionally applied fluoride treatments, or prescription fluoride supplements. These methods of delivering fluoride, however, are more costly than water fluoridation and require a conscious decision to use them.

    Fluoridation Today

    Currently, more than 204 million people in the United States are served by community water supplies containing enough fluoride to protect teeth. Even so, approximately 100 million Americans do not have access to fluoridated water. Healthy People is the plan that sets health goals for the nation. This plan calls for 79.6 percent of the population to be served by optimally fluoridated community water systems by 2020. The current population with access to fluoridated water is 73.9 percent.

    The widespread availability of fluoride through water fluoridation, toothpaste, mouth rinses, and other sources, however, has resulted in the steady decline of dental caries throughout the U.S.

    - CDC

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  32. Mike Reiner says:

    Fluoridation is not a vital public health practice. It is ineffective and not safe, violates informed consent, no formal clinical studies, one size fits all. It a scam forced on the american public. It violates First do no harm, violates choice, and pollutes the environment.

    Kentucky is 100 % fluoridated and has the highest cavity rate in the country. Get the poison/pollution out of our water. Even the CDC says it can cause harm.

    The CDC says that 40% of children have dental fluorosis from drinking added fluoride in the water (the first sign of acute fluoride poisoning), not from natural occuring fluoride (calcium fluoride). Most of these children are inner city minority or poor children. It is time we end this experiment of poisoning our children.

    There is no safe dose because even a low low levels it disrupts thyroid function. That is why there is an epidemic of hypothyroidism. The entire food chain is contaminated with fluoride because food is processed in fluoridated cities. The CDC says we exceed our daily dose 6 times over because of this. Please stop the poison and pollution. Since Sacramento started fluoriation in 2007 the entire salmon fishery in the Sacramento river collapsed just like they did in other northwestern states rivers.

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  33. Evidence says:

    Why is it that those opposing this purport to reference “scientific studies” that support them, while they completely dismiss the overwhelming number of studies from reputable scientific organizations?

    What is your response Ms. Dines to the following? What evidence do you offer that contradicts these studies? I haven’t seen your newsletter, but if you included nothing from the CDC, NAS, and a number of independent studies from major Universities, it was indeed slanted and should not be sent as if your position is the only reasonable one. The fact is, your points are far outside the mainstream of science and you do a discourtesy to your cause by not including the other side….which I certainly can understand because it substantially weakens your case.

    Being environmentally conscious and progressive is great. But some of the stuff coming from Sebastepol lately is simply absurd and makes you all look quite silly. Where are the rational progressives in Sebastepol? Please speak up.

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  34. Let's be rational here says:

    Here is some info on Fluoride that some seem to ignore:

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/fluoridated-water

    http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/safety/nas.htm

    http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/65_years.htm

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130311151255.htm

    http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/3474.asp

    http://www.skepdic.com/fluoridation

    http://www.ilikemyteeth.org/fluoridation/myths-facts/

    http://www.health.qld.gov.au/fluoride/articles.asp

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Water_fluoridation

    Can you find scientists who disagree? Sure. Just like finding a few scientists here and there that deny climate change is influenced by human behavior. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a strong scientific consensus. There most certainly is and 75 years of evidence is pretty compelling when it comes to water fluoridation. Is too much fluoride bad? Certainly. But no municipality is suggesting using amounts that would be cause harm, simply amounts that have a proven benefit.

    What is even more funny is I suspect many of those fighting this use Homeopathic remedies…which often have far more harmful chemicals in small amounts.

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  35. Unsure says:

    “Sebastopol operates its own water system, which filters and chlorinates water, and would not be directly affected by the county’s proposal to fluoridate water delivered to 350,000 residents served by the Sonoma County Water Agency.”

    Yet again Sebastopol inserts itself into an issue that doesn’t involve them. If they used the time for their own residents instead of voting on impeaching the President, being nuclear free, or any other number of issues that they have no actual control over, or standing to vote on, maybe, just maybe, their citizens might receive a benefit, but I’m not putting MY money on it!

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  36. Kirstin says:

    There is no need to put fluoride in our water. Period.

    Tell the Board of Supervisors NO!

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  37. "Shall" or "May"? says:

    People who ignore science when it conflicts with their beliefs, but then complain about climate change deniers who do exactly the same thing, are doing a disservice to their cause.

    Like many substances, fluoride can be quite beneficial or quite dangerous, depending on the dosage.

    There are standards for water fluoridation which is backed by the World Health Organization, The National Academy of Sciences, and numerous independent scientists and organizations. There is evidence for the benefits and no evidence for risk – when used in the correctly.

    Those citing issues of “fluorosis” are sadly confused. The issues of fluorosis are well cited as occurring in regions where naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water significantly exceeds what is actually done with municipal water supplies.

    As well countries cited as not adding fluoride to drinking water yet still having better dental statistics typically add fluoride to salt, precisely for the same reason we add it to water. In measured amounts, the benefits outweigh the risks.

    If a debate is going to happen, let’s be honest about the data here and not misconstrue cases of exceedingly high amounts of naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water with what is being considered here. It’s Apples and Oranges. You could make the same argument about sun exposure. Not enough, and you don’t get the benefits (vitamin D, etc.), too much and you get burned.

    Rational discourse is great, but let’s not be like the “climate change deniers” and ignore science when it doesn’t serve our objectives, while selectively relying on it when its conclusions mirror our own.

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