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Saturday's Letters to the Editor

Dangerous lapses

EDITOR: I recently read the Close to Home column by Matthew Wilson ("Why I'm no longer a cyclist," Sunday), as well as the editorial that followed ("Drivers must share the road with bicyclists," Tuesday).

Just two weeks ago, while driving home from school, I made an abrupt right turn and caused a bicyclist riding next to me to crash. The biker, who happened to be a friend of mine, went over the handlebars after I unknowingly cut him off. Along with a few others, I cleaned him up and gave him a ride home. I found out the next day that the fall had broken his arm.

Reading those items brought me back to the incident and how careless I had been. My father used to be an avid cyclist, and I had always held a concern for the safety of bicyclists and an appreciation of their uphill battle against automobiles. However many ordinances and laws are passed to protect bikers against road rage and unsafe drivers, a bigger problem is lapses in concentration and simple things like failing to check over a shoulder.

TIM ANTAREE

Santa Rosa

Addressing tragedy

EDITOR: It seems, after a horrible tragedy we must find someone to blame. In the case of my beloved cousin Mark Herczog, I can't tolerate that kind of thinking, nor a prosecution with a political agenda. Houston Herczog suffers from schizophrenia, which was undiagnosed in 2011 when he killed his father ("mother urges judge to commit her son," March 1). This was a random act, no different than a lightning strike that results in death.

Convicting Houston and sending him to jail won't bring his father back, and it doesn't serve the people of California. Those of us who knew Mark well feel that if he were alive today, he would beg that his son get appropriate help he couldn't provide.

Regardless of one's political affiliation, stance on gun control or crime and punishment, don't recent events show that we as a society aren't even close to understanding mental illness? That said, it makes much more sense to focus on treatment over incarceration when three licensed professionals agreed with what the defendant's family suspected for two years: He wasn't of sound mind that horrible night.


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