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<b>No reversal</b>

EDITOR: The judge did not "reverse himself" in the Sebastopol crosswalk case ("Judge reverses self on crosswalk suit," Sept. 20). The judge issued a single order, and neither he nor anyone else has reversed it. The order represented his final decision on a pre-trial motion.

Pre-trial motions are made before the beginning of trial to allow the court and the parties to resolve certain important issues. The pre-trial motion process involves at least five distinct steps. First, the parties submit written briefs to the judge. Second, the parties appear in court and present oral arguments to the judge. Third, the judge makes his decision in the form of a formal order. Fourth, in relatively rare cases, the parties can make a motion to the court to reconsider its order. Fifth, a party may appeal the judge's order to the appellate court.

In the Sebastopol crosswalk case, the judge made a single order, which has not been reversed. The judge read the written briefs and let the parties know his preliminary thoughts in the form of a notice of intended decision. He listened to oral arguments, conducted further study and then issued an order. The order hasn't been reversed by the judge or anyone else.

W. BARTON WEITZENBERG

Santa Rosa

<b>Loss of integrity</b>

EDITOR: After hiking on the Kortum Trail and returning to our parking spot at Blind Beach, I expressed to my husband the same sentiments that were recently published about "the threat of the loner" (Op-ed, Monday). My comment to him was that since we no longer feel like a part of our communities, we also no longer feel responsible to do the right thing when confronted with individual culpability.

This thought didn't come out of the blue as I was staring out at the Pacific; it originated from the deep dent in the rear bumper of my Toyota Prius.

In my experience, a note should have been left expressing regret along with a phone number to rectify the mistake. I have a feeling the person didn't want to be inconvenienced, especially if no one was there to witness the transgression.

It is our loss that personal integrity is outdated. There used to be a sense of pride in being part of a just civil society; this pride seems to have been replaced by feelings of alienation. Everyone, regardless of socio-economic background, is feeling the effects of the loss of common courtesy.

Is this the new America?

JOLAYNE COPPER

Sebastopol

<b>Questions for bishop</b>

EDITOR: Is Bishop Robert Vasa implying in his remarks that he does not plan to follow the pope's direction for more compassion by his priests and the diocese ("Weighing pope's words," Sept. 21)?

What did he imply when saying that pastoral leadership requires someone stepping in and taking up the administrative role? Is he saying here he is not that person and that he will step down and retire like the previous pope?

I feel his reaction to Pope Francis' remarks raised these two questions that he should answer for the Catholics in the diocese.

LUIGI FABIANO

Santa Rosa

<b>A trashy town</b>

EDITOR: I like living in Santa Rosa; notice I didn't say I love living here? I enjoy the weather, the people, the culture, the wines, the hills, the trash.

Now that I have your attention — I can't love it here because of the condition of far too much of Santa Rosa. If we want to reach out to potential visitors, it's time to clean house ("Brews, Bikes and more," Sept. 19).

I have driven all over the Bay Area for a year now, and I have seen cleaner cities with 10 times the population of Santa Rosa. If we want to show tourists our lack of civic pride, let's leave everything as is. But I maintain that a cleaner city is good for the morale of everyone.

We probably won't be able to educate those who have an insatiable need to litter. But with so many social issues these days, this is just one more "clean up after" campaign we're going to have to embrace.

Raissa de la Rosa said, "Because we are so different from the rest of Sonoma County . . . we were really looking to differentiate from just being Wine Country." That is already the case. We can differentiate ourselves by having the distinction and distraction of being the poorest maintained in the county.

JOHN CLAEYS

Santa Rosa