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Monday's Letters to the Editor


<b>Forestville compromise</b>

EDITOR: Sally Quady's letter ("Shrunken park," Wednesday) concludes with a disingenuous statement: "Score one for special interests." The Forestville Local's Alliance is composed of ordinary citizens with a genuine interest in the future of the community. The same is true of the Forestville Planning Association.

Through a process of open negotiation, at the request of Supervisor Efren Carrillo and Bill Keene of the Open Space District, a compromise regarding the eight acres in downtown Forestville was reached. An accurate description of the agreement is that five acres will be set for mixed use, and three acres will be set for open space.

One of the five mixed-use acres will be for a town square with a parking lot. That acre and the three open-space acres will be covered by a conservation easement. The net result is that you have four acres for open space and four acres for development. This compromise was reached after many meetings and brainstorming sessions between both groups.

It is unfortunate that Quady didn't attend the Board of Supervisors' meeting on Oct. 22 where the supervisors unanimously passed this resolution. Had she attended, she would have heard the representatives of the Forestville Planning Association and the Forestville Local's Alliance, the supervisors and other ordinary citizens praise the results achieved by this process.

GARY HARRIS

Forestville

<b>Guns do kill</b>

EDITOR: The National Rifle Association teaches "guns don't kill people, people kill people." If it's true that under some circumstances law enforcement has less than a second to decide to kill or be killed, then guns do indeed kill people. Even toy guns.

DOUGLAS BOSCO

Santa Rosa

<b>Misguided policy</b>

EDITOR: Lead in the environment is toxic. Environmental policy based on suspect science is worse. The California condor survives today thanks to the Herculean efforts of conservationists who nursed the population from 22 remaining animals to more than 400.

The main mortality culprit: environmental lead. Lead hunting bullets were banned in 2007 within the California condor zone stretching from San Jose to Los Angeles. Yet condor blood lead levels within the zone remain alarmingly high despite a 99 percent hunter compliance rate.

Now Assembly Bill 711 has passed banning lead hunting ammunition throughout the state while the real source of the environmental lead poisoning condors has yet to be traced. Toxic policy indeed.

TIMOTHY SLATER

Santa Rosa

<b>Fomenting fear</b>

EDITOR: While responsibilities often take me away from Sonoma County, including last week when Andy Lopez died, it's a sad and serious situation that has been reported upon worldwide. In fact, I read about it on the BBC website. To be included with reporting about Syria, Iran and North Korea is not something to be proud about as a Sonoma County resident.

While it can be expected that the actions of the deputies will be thoroughly investigated, that will take time. Meanwhile, why did the county decide to foment fear rather than help with healing? Residents chose to peacefully march from Santa Rosa City Hall to Santa Rosa Junior College, then onto the Sheriff's Office. Was closing the county administrative offices and the courts intended as a sign of welcome and respect for their legitimate concerns? Of course not. It was yet another example of "fear of the other."

Instead of closing, why didn't the county open up? For example, having water readily available for those marching and being willing to engage with, rather than run from, them would have been a much better choice. It was a missed opportunity representing a failure of leadership by county officials. Unfortunately, it was also what we have come to expect.

TIM SMITH

Rohnert Park

<b>Wrong again</b>

EDITOR: Your editorial condemning the Santa Rosa city attorney was right on the mark ("An unfortunate victory for more secrecy," Oct. 22). Not only is the city attorney wrong, but wrong once again. I refer to her stance in continuing into the fourth year the ongoing lawsuit concerning the pedestrian path through private Wild Oak and Diocese of Santa Rosa property, which has been deemed both frivolous and of no merit by three different courts. Yet the appeals (and cost) go on. It is past time for change.

WALLY SCHILPP

Santa Rosa

<b>Ask Andy's parents</b>

EDITOR: When discussing questions concerning the tragic shooting of Andy Lopez, it is important to ask all the pertinent questions. Did Andy know it was the police calling to him? What would have happened if the toy had the red barrel tip on? What did the officers see? All are fair questions that trained professionals are addressing.

However, what is not being asked is why did the parents allow their son to own such a toy and to carry it in public? Yes, I understand the parents have suffered a great tragedy. However, if we are to demand justice for Andy, demonstrate, make signs saying the sheriff is wanted for murder, then we must have the courage to ask all the questions.

The toy clearly looks like a real AK-47. What parents allow their son to own such a toy and carry it in public while missing the red warning tip? Yes, it's a harsh question, but it needs to be asked with all the other questions. It is easy to accuse our law enforcement groups, but if the parents had taken the time to understand the risk of carrying the toy in public, this tragedy and their horrible loss would not have occurred.

JIM MATHISON

Windsor

<b>Napa fair cutbacks</b>

EDITOR: Are you aware that the Fourth of July Napa County Fair will be only one day next year?

July 4 is on a Friday in 2014, which would be perfect for a weekend fair — Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday would be a parade, then to the fairgrounds for carnival rides, corndogs, funnel cakes, etc. then the fireworks. Saturday would be carnival rides, etc. with car races, a demolition derby or a concert, and, of course, Sunday would be carnival rides and the Mexican rodeo.

What is a county fair? It is a local event that gives communities a chance to show off its talents.

We should have exhibits for local items, such as livestock, to teach the values of farming, agricultural and vineyards care and management to a new generation.

But there will be no carnival rides, no carnival food, no races and no Mexican rodeo. And what will happen to the photo and art contest? What do the people really want? Bringing locals together for a celebration of their community is a great plan and offers something for everyone. It is our responsibility to instill this in our younger generation.

All of this can't be done in one day.

LORRAINE BIANCHI

Calistoga

<b>A leg up for kids</b>

EDITOR: As a former counselor at Social Advocates for Youth and a retired Child Protective Services social work supervisor, I am thrilled at the prospect of SAY expanding its services to more of our county's youth.

Young people aging out of the foster care system are, through no fault of their own, already approaching adulthood at a disadvantage. They are, nevertheless, young, smart, hardworking and as hopeful of living productive and meaningful lives as any other young people in our community.

It pains me to read of hardened voices expressing an unwelcome attitude toward this county's young people.

Please bear in mind that these young people deserve the best leg up we can give them; that the question is not about our kids and those kids; it is not about us and them. It is all about us.

ELIZABETH McKEE

Santa Rosa