<b>Courage to quit</b>

EDITOR: Watching Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, it's clear to me that Efren Carrillo deserves compassion — from us, and for himself. Addictions, whether to alcohol, sex or drugs, present a huge personal challenge for anyone as one wrestles with long buried personal demons. But if it's successful, recovery can be extremely redeeming, as one realizes deeper strengths of character.

A huge challenge is to build the inner strength to resist the visceral call of one's compulsive desires. Unfortunately for Carrillo, the political world is filled with these kinds of addictive temptations (i.e. alcohol, women, etc.) and relapses — an expected thing for those in recovery — aren't going to be allowed.

But as much as Carrillo deserves our compassion, the 5th District deserves unencumbered representation. I appeal to him: Don't marginalize your affliction. Give yourself the time and space to heal. Your personal life and political life cannot be as easily separated as you might think. Be compassionate to yourself and your constituents by finding the courage to leave the obviously unhealthy arena you are now in. Your accomplishments will be enhanced by the true courage you will be showcasing.



<b>Supporting local art</b>

EDITOR: As a local sculptor, I would like to weigh in on the critical comments about the Montgomery Village sculptures ("SR public art draws fire," Aug. 14). and questions about why David Codding didn't buy his sculpture from a local artist.

I have shown my original metal sculptures in six Montgomery Village art festivals over the past four years. I have enjoyed the ability to share my work with this community and reap the financial rewards of selling my work.

The entry fees for the festival are token, and David Codding and Melissa Williams provide artists lavish advertising for their works through extensive marketing in large print ads and radio. They support more independent artists than anyone else in the area, and the thought of them being ridiculed for their decision to hire who they want for a commissioned artwork on their property is outrageous.

Codding talked to me about doing a sculpture for the property, but I wasn't available to do a large-scale production at that time.

We should thank Codding and not cut off our nose to spite our face.



<b>Solitary confinement</b>

EDITOR: I work as a psychiatric technician, and I have always cared about how incarcerated people are treated. I have been following the newspaper stories about prison mental health care for many years. Thank you for all the articles you've done on Sonoma County's jail and for printing recent opinion pieces and letters.

I am hoping you will do an article on the mobile psych crew that has been working cooperatively with law enforcement to create non violent resolutions to volatile encounters. I remember it started many months ago, and Supervisor Shirlee Zane had figures for the number of interventions they had assisted with when I saw her at an event.

I recently attended another event — a large group of activists, clergy, family members and others asked Gov. Jerry Brown to spend time in a security housing unit unit that was installed on the Capitol steps. The prisoner's hunger strike is in its eighth week. Contrary to what state prisons chief James Beard says, they are sacrificing themselves for basic human rights. It's time to stop extended solitary confinement in this state.

The security housing unit exhibit will be at the Petaluma Progressive Festival on Sept. 15.


Santa Rosa

<b>Street lights vs. parks</b>

EDITOR: I was surprised and disappointed when I took the dogs out for a late walk recently that the city of Santa Rosa had turned the street lights in our neighborhood back on.

I will greatly miss the serene views of the night sky that the lack of street lights allowed. Here's an idea: If the city has enough money to turn all the lights back on, why not instead leave them off, give the money to the parks department, which can give it to the water department to buy more water to bring our parks back to life. If that can't be done, please leave the lights off near parks so that we don't have to see how sad they look with all that dead vegetation.


Santa Rosa