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Friday's Letters to the Editor


<b>Carrillo's return</b>

EDITOR: I was reading how the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors criticized Efren Carrillo's return Tuesday, saying he gave short notice and it was disruptive. No matter when Carrillo returned, it was going to be a media circus and major disruption of the board meeting. What better day than Tuesday? The agenda was small, and only three of the supervisors were present. Susan Gorin has stated that the next meeting, on Sept. 10, has a very full agenda and much work needs to be done. Carrillo's attendance at that meeting will have less fanfare and be more productive. I make no judgment of Carrillo's activities; that is for the courts to decide. I do wish him luck on his recovery.

KATHLEEN TURNER

Santa Rosa

<b>A sad ploy</b>

EDITOR: What looked like a couple good ol' boys having fun at the range was really a sad ploy ("Shooting for gun bill," Saturday). Rep. Mike Thompson and Mark Kelly, who claim that they are supporters of the Second Amendment, are not what they seem. The last words of the Second Amendment are explicitly clear: "shall not be infringed."

This bill is a clear act of infringement. The purpose of the Second Amendment was not hunting, not recreational shooting, not even home defense. It was designed as a way for citizens to remove a tyrannical government from power. If the government regulates who can own a gun, it controls the people who keep it accountable.

There is no way to have a background check system without also having registration. Kelly and Thompson are trying to convince the population that they are average people who enjoy shooting and support these background checks. If they do, why shouldn't you? Background checks have been proven to be ineffective at reducing crime. The vast majority of crimes involving guns have been committed with a gun that was acquired through illegal means.

I urge everyone to contact Thompson and let him know that you do not support his background-check proposition.

BEN GIBSON

Santa Rosa

<b>Adult literacy</b>

EDITOR: What happens when a small nonprofit runs out of the volunteer energy that sustained it for 44 years? The Adult Literacy League of Sonoma County, founded in 1969 to provide free help with reading, writing and speaking English, has reluctantly closed its doors.

The league trained more than 4,000 tutors who helped more than 8,000 students. The recession has been tough on its finances, but the administrative volunteers contributed an increasing load of support hours so the league could continue operations. The one part-time paid employee did his best to keep up. Nonetheless, that finally became unsustainable. Efforts to recruit new board members didn't succeed.

It's time now to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of all those volunteers who gave their time to the cause of literacy and to commend all those students who struggled with learning and perfecting their use of English. This 44-year effort has strengthened and enriched our county immeasurably.

The remaining resources of the Adult Literacy League will be turned over to the adult literacy program of the Sonoma County Library Foundation. If you would like to volunteer in that program, call 544-2622 or visit http://www.sonomalibrary.org/literacy/

KAREN FLEMING

Santa Rosa

<b>Free no more</b>

EDITOR: Recent revelations about the extent of National Security Agency spying activities ensures that nobody in the world will ever again hate us for our freedom.

DIANE HARRIS

Santa Rosa

<b>Reform pensions</b>

EDITOR: Why aren't we hearing more from the Sonoma County taxpayers regarding pension reform? Does the average taxpayer choose to pay higher and higher taxes to fund police and fire services and road repairs while all their tax dollars are spent to fund generous pensions and medical benefits to local government retirees?

Marin County taxpayers can now see where their tax dollars are being spent and see where they are not being spent, i.e., road maintenance and repairs, fire and police services, open space and parks, etc. Why should the taxpayers be asked to pay higher sales and property taxes to fund these services? Isn't this why we pay taxes in the first place?

When are taxpayers going to say that no additional tax dollars will be approved until there is a major pension overhaul? I can't believe folks aren't outraged by this. Should we all live on less money when we retire so county government employees can comfortably retire? And shouldn't an independent committee be involved in making these types of reforms? It's the very pensions of the Board of Supervisors that need reforming, which is basically the wolves guarding the sheep.

LYNNE MORIN

Santa Rosa