Anthony Skeens, The Triplicate

How does fluoride affect our health?

I'm so glad to hear the fluoride issue is going to be back on the ballot.

A couple of year ago I received a post card from the pro-fluoride group that said fluoride was safe and didn't harm anyone. I don't believe it and hope that someone will publish a list of side-effects so we can see for ourselves how safe it is.

I meet off and on with my City Council representative, Donna Westfall. I was glad to hear that the fluoride levels were reduced last year, but heard they keep having trouble with the dose staying at 0.7 milligrams per liter. I know it doesn't sound like much, but drinking this over a lifetime is not good for the body.

If I have a problem taking medication, I go to my doctor and he takes tests and adjusts the dosage. I don't understand how I'm supposed to adjust the dose of fluoride when I never know how much is in the water, or how much is being absorbed by bathing or what the side-effects are. Even my doctor doesn't know about fluoride's side-effects.

My water always feels oily. I wonder why. My husband had a heart attack and his recuperation is going very, very slowly. I wonder if drinking fluoride affected him. Does our city have a higher than normal rate of heart attacks here?

Patricia Holcombe

Crescent City

New harbor should be very well-built

My son and I were perusing the Dudra material yard down at the harbor a few days back; I noticed the large-diameter piling material was properly stamped as to its material constituents; A-265. This is a double-clad steel pipe with highly corrosion-resistant material used for the metal fused in its center, hence it is perfect material for use as the pilings keeping the new docks in place.

As our base rock here is a good solid mudstone, beneath the sediment, I can easily see why Dudra recommended a less expensive alternative to the traditional pole and concrete method, which is far more prone to improper techniques/bad luck in placing a piling.

For if the concrete is not consistently placed without incorporation of sea water, it easily can be the weakest point in the construction. Hence, failure (regardless of insurance) is still failure, causing the damage if not total loss of/to local peoples' livelihoods; their boats.

Long ago I had the foundation of a home re-leveled using the same pipe and general method, that of pushing it (pilings) far down into the underlying basement, "country rock" - using various techniques such as hydraulic pressure and "buzz" setting. I thus can easily and strongly back the change in the piling placement plan.

Frequently it is the construction team that, over time, has seen what works best; in spite of textbook examples engineers might be tempted to specify, as they are tried-and-true techniques, most of the time. Why spend more on concrete work and additional oversize hole borings, when the work will be just as good, if not better, without concrete?

Kudos for the construction people who stopped and thought it through, rather than just blindly following the engineering plans as presented to them! I foresee a well-built harbor as evidenced even before the first piling is placed, with the good, wait-a-minute back-and-forth talks teamwork going on between the engineering, construction and management folks.

Hilary Herman

Crescent City

Obama's birthplace, roots questionable

It is so funny to hear about the Obama supporters whine and snivel about the birth certificate issue.

How dare those evil Republicans bring up such a trashy issue! It is a fact that it was a Hillary Clinton supporter who first brought up the issue in 2008. I know this for a fact because I have even heard the guy be interviewed on the Michael Savage show.

It is also a fact that Obama's former literary agent said that Obama was born in Kenya (she now says that was a mistake). Look it up if you don't believe me.

The rumor that Obama's American ancestry goes back to the very first slave here in the United States is just that, just a rumor. Just watch though as the Obama supporters will try and act like that inaccurate and incomplete information is the absolute truth. If you didn't know, now you know.

Joe Thomas