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<b>Bending the truth</b>

EDITOR: Shame on The Press Democrat for its Oct. 18 editorial ("Did Congress just buy time for a budget deal?") in which you bent the truth with this notion that our government could have defaulted on its debt had the partial shutdown been allowed to continue beyond Oct. 17 without raising the debt ceiling.

The truth is that a default is impossible unless the president takes it upon himself to go against the Constitution and not prioritize the debts.

I can't believe President Barack Obama would intentionally let us default. It would be political suicide.

BILL KETTENHOFEN

Kelseyville

<b>No place for a gun</b>

EDITOR: This entire Andy Lopez incident is a tragedy, and I feel very bad for his family. But we should not forget that he was carrying a toy gun with the orange tip removed, and he was asked to stop and drop the gun and did not. I feel even more empathy for the poor deputy (now outed) as his life will never be the same. There is no place in this country for assault weapons — toys or not. Nothing good ever comes from them.

SALLY HILLIARD

Sonoma

<b>Graton election</b>

EDITOR: As a ratepayer in Graton, I was astounded to receive a newsletter from the Graton Community Services District that prominently discussed the candidacy of the two incumbents, including extensive candidate statements, while only stating that there are challengers on Tuesday's ballot who refused to submit a statement.

This outrageous politicizing, paid for out of my tax bill, truly bears out the findings of the grand jury when it said the current board is out of touch in its relationship with the ratepayers. One board member, John Roehl, failed to even submit a candidate statement on the ballot but had no problem coming up with one when our tax dollars were used to pay for it.

As a former public office holder, I suspect the actions of the board members in sending out their personal promotional material at taxpayer expense is either illegal or, at best, a severe breach of ethics, if not common sense. If there were any doubt on my part as to what should now be done, it vanished with this self-aggrandizing newsletter paid for at my expense.

I urge any sensible voter in the Graton Community Services District to vote for Hollyn d'Lil and Richard Coleman on Tuesday.

DEWEY WATSON

Graton

<b>Treasure life</b>

EDITOR: It was horrible about the killing of the young boy, and the police should be accountable. It was wrong to walk down the street in this atmosphere of fear with a toy gun. It is wrong to second-guess parents or blame their education. Teens will always want to be independent, so their education has little to do with what their peers do.

But I find it really wrong to say that "everyone has a right" to own a gun ("Second-guessing deputies," Letters, Monday). I find it morally outrageous to think that teaching it is OK to have a gun will benefit the community, will keep us safe or prevent harm from coming to us.

If you are in the service, you learn to use a gun, and when you are done with war you put the childish toys away, and learn to use your voice.

ED ROSENTHAL

Santa Rosa

<b>Shrunken park</b>

EDITOR: Have you seen the incredible shrinking Forestville open-space park ("Property purchased for plaza, open space," Oct. 23)?

For a year, ordinary citizens worked with the Forestville Planning Association and raised $750,000 for an eight-acre park. In May, instead of presenting their proposal to the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Efren Carrillo shelved it, asking the planning association to work with a newly formed, pro-development Forestville Locals Alliance that vehemently opposed the park.

In August, the planning association reported an agreement: two acres would be developed; six acres would be a town square and park. In late September, the association reported the pro-development group was still not satisfied and said we should contact Carrillo and ask him to save the deal. In early October, Carrillo emailed that the matter would be brought to the board on Oct. 22. Peace in our time?

When I looked at pressdemocrat.com on Oct. 23, I was delighted to read that the park had been unanimously approved. But reading further, I was shocked that it was now five acres for development and two acres for the park. Someone stuck in their thumb and pulled out a plum. So much for open collaboration.

Score one for special interests.

SALLY QUADY

Forestville

<b>Lock-step Democrats</b>

EDITOR: Perhaps Tom Brunner ("Divisive tea party," Letters, Sunday) should review the voting records of our elected Democrat lawmakers at every level of government. He will find a lock-step mentality that makes tea party efforts look like amateur hour by comparison.

If one takes the time to research how our elected representatives vote, you'll find the Democrats are far more divisive and in lock step than the Republicans could ever hope for. Here's a website you may be want the check out: govtrack.us.

I find it difficult to believe that Democrats always get it right and Republicans always get it wrong. Democrats as a rule vote the party line. As Brunner pointed out, "Liberty is not about everyone marching in lock step and being consistent with any group of precepts." I couldn't agree more.

MIKE FORD

Santa Rosa