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Friday's Letters to the Editor

An independent inquiry

EDITOR: Your Tuesday editorial (“The power of light and transparency”) is good as far as it goes, but you failed to point out the inconsistency of having police departments (Santa Rosa and Petaluma) as the investigators of the shooting of Andy Lopez.

Why isn't there an independent investigating body that doesn't only involve other police departments? Of course these investigators will be biased in favor of the police. Would it be fair to have a group of Latino community leaders investigating this shooting without police representatives? Of course not.

What we need is an investigating committee with members from many sectors of the community: school administrators, social workers, elected officials, business owners, civil rights lawyers and, of course, police chiefs. They all could review evidence, hear the testimony of the citizens involved and of all witnesses.

As your editorial suggests, the conclusions of the committee on any wrongdoing and advice on how to reduce the possibilities of such tragic incidents should be made public. Then, hopefully, the public wouldl feel some sense of fairness and resolution.

JULIAN BLAIR

Santa Rosa

Bodega fire election

EDITOR: Had you sent a reporter to our forum Monday, put on by the League of Women Voters, you would have some sense of the determination of the Bodega Bay community to remedy the financial shortfall (“Fire district incumbents challenged,” Wednesday). Instead you quoted the only candidate who did not attend and called it a “contentious” race.

The forum was 1 hours of serious attention; quiet and respectful. As the moderator said, this was democracy at its finest. More than 100 people sat quietly, listening and trying to find a remedy.

We are a fire protection district, but 80 percent of the calls are medical. Of that number, approximately two-thirds are for non-residents. The county has been very stingy in returning the transient occupancy tax (of which more than $1 million is earned in Bodega Bay). This has to change.

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