Not welcome

EDITOR: Roger Hill, a convicted thief and murderer, is to be given parole ("SR killer wins parole; wife of victim 'sad,' " Friday). The article says he has a marketable skill — making optical lenses — and will live with relatives. I wonder how long the relatives will keep him after his incarceration of more than 25 years. He would not be welcomed in my neighborhood.

I wonder how many employers would be willing to hire him with the huge amount of qualified, law-abiding people out of work and looking for jobs.

I realize the prisons are crowded and some prisoners must be released, but I would think the parole board would release prisoners with lesser past offenses and not someone with such past crimes.



Bridging Petaluma

EDITOR: Petaluma's new Copeland Creek Bridge is wonderful, but it needs a classier name. It should be named for someone who made walking around town his life's work; a lifelong Petaluma booster, beloved by all; someone who lived right in between east and west Petaluma his whole life and never drove an automobile across the Petaluma River but who made walking across the river fashionable.

How about the Bill Soberanes Memorial Bridge?



Misleading statistic

EDITOR: Lately our county has been bombarded with a United Nations claim that one in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. The U.N. fails to cite any sources for this claim, and the latest U.N. report on violence against women provided by a U.N. media officer when asked for such does not make the one-in-three claim.

By extrapolation of this lifetime figure, Eve Ensler, author of "The Vagina Monologues," assumes that, worldwide, one billion women have been raped or beaten. Consequently, this year's V-Day theme was "one billion rising." Technically, this number is correct, but only if you equate being beaten with having ever experienced any form of physical violence, such as being pushed or slapped.

Perhaps the V-Day activists believe these inflated numbers would draw needed attention to the genuine problem of sexual violence against women. Unfortunately, stretching the definition of sexual violence does a disservice to legitimate victims.

To state that one billion women — one in three worldwide — will be beaten or raped in their lifetime is statistically incorrect. Why then make such an outlandish claim, if not to smear the name of men and boys as inherently violent and abusive?



Breast-feeding is best

EDITOR: As a hospital lactation consultant, I was interested to see the Feb. 19 article on breast feeding ("To breast-feed or not?"). The assessment that the "benefits tend to be small" is incorrect. More benefits of breast-feeding are being discovered yearly as more studies compare formula-fed babies with breast-fed babies.

We can look back and see the conditions we develop. Breast-fed babies are protected from a host of health problems. Just to name a few: obesity, diabetes, asthma, allergies, childhood cancers and malocclusion of teeth. SIDS rates also are reduced.

Formula is more irritating to the digestive system than breast milk. To keep it simple in this complex world, milk is species specific. Cows do best with cow milk; humans do best with human milk.

Sometimes mothers feel guilty and ashamed if they cannot breast feed, or they decide to quit. Support services for these mothers are needed. Any amount of breast-feeding or breast milk feeding is a blessing to a baby. Feeding breast milk, there is nothing to mix, nothing to heat up, no concern about the ingredients (organic?) in formula, so from this lactation consultant's view point breast is definitely best. Check out 101 Reasons to Breastfeed at notmilk.com/101.html.


Santa Rosa