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<b>Too many delays</b>

EDITOR: The Sonoma County National Organization for Women notes with dismay that the state attorney general requested a third postponement of filing of charges against Supervisor Efren Carrillo. Thus, after three months Carrillo has not been charged with any offense resulting from the July 13 incident involving prowling and burglary.

And, despite being suspected of attempting to break into a female neighbor's apartment, Carrillo continues to hold office, refusing to resign.

We are frustrated by the time it has taken to make a decision and worry that the delay is related to Carrillo's political position. We are aware that the decision to charge or not charge was transferred from the Sonoma County district attorney to the attorney general because of a conflict of interest and possible political repercussions.

Prosecutors must be aware of the public's interest and concern and of the implications for the woman and for Carrillo. These delays are disrespectful to both the alleged victim and the women's community at large and must result in a state of trauma and fear for the woman.

While delays are common in criminal court, we deserve prompt action from the attorney general. The next hearing will be held on Nov. 1. We expect resolution at that hearing.

ANNE-THERESE AGESON

and MARSHA VAS DUPRE

Co-coordinators, Sonoma County National Organization for Women

<b>Pepper alert</b>

EDITOR: Michele Anna Jordan's praise for the wonderful Padron chile should definitely have contained a red-letter warning: Some are hot ("Padron chile easy to prepare, use," Oct. 16). An unwary indulger may get a fiery surprise by chomping down on one. Since there seems to be no way to distinguish those that are hot from the more common mellow ones, each must be approached with a cautious nibble.

STEVE PLANK

Santa Rosa

<b>Saving species</b>

EDITOR: While the recent decision by California lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown to phase in a ban on lead ammunition for hunting is a step toward reducing lead contamination statewide and will assuredly and dramatically reduce the number of lead-poisoned wildlife, the poster child for this effort is clearly one of America's most iconic and threatened birds, the California condor.

The numbers tell the story. There are about 225 of these birds left in the wild, and lead poisoning accounts for 50 percent of condor deaths among the necropsies performed since 1996 by the Peregrine Fund, the organization that has been leading the recovery effort for the species.

Clearly, something is broken when half the mortality of one of our most endangered birds is from lead poisoning even in spite of Herculean efforts to round up as many condors as possible to test for and treat those that are lead poisoned but haven't yet succumbed.

Let's hope the state can work out the few technical issues in the legislation. Assuming that happens, we'll no doubt save more condors — as well as the many other species that would otherwise be poisoned by lead.

GEORGE FENWICK

President, American Bird Conservancy

Washington, D.C.

<b>Misplaced blame</b>

EDITOR: No, no, no, Lake County Sheriff Frank Rivero just isn't right ("Sheriff blames woman's death on drug trade," Friday). A 26-year-old innocent woman, on her way to work, wasn't killed because of violence associated with marijuana. She was killed because a deputy was speeding and crossed into the opposing lane.

Let us not kid ourselves into thinking her death can be justified so easily.

God forbid, how many more innocent people will be killed if we start speeding after violent marijuana growers?

MARY JENKINS

Santa Rosa

<b>Welcoming SAY</b>

EDITOR: Thank you for your editorial supporting the comprehensive, careful planning Social Advocates for Youth is conducting for use of the former Warrack Hospital campus ("Dream Center and residents deserve support," Oct. 13).

As one who lives within two blocks of Warrack, I have attended SAY's neighborhood and small group meetings, toured the campus and spoken to friends and church members. I have concluded that SAY is developing an important service with intelligence, experience and care, appropriate safeguards and an existing model to provide a safe environment and real hope for those young people who will participate. I welcome the Dream Center to Warrack.

ANDREA ENGLISH

Santa Rosa