<b>Political influence</b>

EDITOR: After all this time, Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo is charged with peeking while wearing his underwear and trying to get inside a woman's bedroom. If this was any other citizen, he would be in jail now and not charged with peeking.

We have seen many times how politicians, VIPs and the wealthy seem to have different standards than the rest of the public.

A peeking charge will allow Carrillo to stay in office. The only agency that did its job was Santa Rosa Police Department, which recognized his actions for what they were. The next time a male in his underwear tries to break into a woman's bedroom, we know what to call it.

The victim is not getting justice. What political influence played in this charge?


Santa Rosa

<b>Dramatic irony</b>

EDITOR: When an ancient Greek audience was forced to endure an unfolding outcome it already knew was tragic but the play's protagonists did not, they called it "dramatic irony."

Here we sit, as a town and a country, having to endure once again a shooting death, only to be followed by the same sad and futile rituals: parades of protest, yellow ribbons, teddy bears and candles, the grief counselors and then the same sterile arguments and explanations from all the vested interest groups. In the middle lies a dead child with his grieving parents.

As a country, we have an apparently infinite capacity to endure this slaughter of the innocents. It gives lie to the oft-claimed chant of so many that they care about life, when their own closets filled with guns says exactly the opposite. There is not a single person in Santa Rosa or the entire country who can say when this unnecessary and vainglorious slaughter will ever stop because we willingly stay locked in our paranoid, adolescent dream of fear, arming ourselves to the teeth, ready to spring into action at moment's notice.

The play goes on, the deaths mount, we stay paralyzed.


Santa Rosa

<b>Good communication</b>

EDITOR: While my son was in middle school, I became aware of his participation in an "assassin" game involving toy guns. Rather than forbid him to play, I quietly advised our local police department of this game to help prevent the kind of misunderstanding that happened with young Andy Lopez.

Since police officers tend to interface, in large part, with the underbelly of society, it makes sense to me that they can easily become a bit paranoid. But if law enforcement receives a heads-up from parents lucky enough to have good communications with their kids, they may take that extra beat before responding to what they deem as a dangerous situation.

We're all doing the best we can with the information we've got. Keep police officers in the loop. It may just help.



<b>Limit big hotels</b>

EDITOR: Environmental victories have been said to be merely holding actions. Nowhere is this more true than in my town of Sonoma, and apparently the same is true for the city of Healdsburg and elsewhere. The political dynamics are usually about same in each instance.

Properties are bought up, politicians persuaded, rumors and distortions promulgated, environmentalists, union activists and the unsuspecting are drawn in, and before you know it, people start to unwittingly agree and identify with the profiteers. Before you know it, there is a broad coalition of individuals and organizations who, for dubious reasons, become aligned in support of some project that they should be opposing.

This is happening in Sonoma right now. On Nov. 19, we will see whether voters approve of a measure that limits the size of hotels within our city limits. The details may vary from one city to another, but the central issue is clear. Can citizens petition their local government to stop what they believe would become a game-changer for size, traffic, scale, aesthetics and so on? I urge my fellow Sonomans to say no to big hotels, and yes on Measure B.



<b>Alleging the obvious</b>

EDITOR: What's with the American psyche and the news media's constant abuse of the alleged/allegedly spin? There's across-the-board P.C. misuse by TV, print, talking heads, news anchors.

A plane has "allegedly" been flow into one of the twin towers. A driver "allegedly" hits dozens of cars and people, and it is "allegedly" witnessed by hundreds of people. A law enforcement officer "allegedly" shoots a robbery suspect. A man is sentenced to life in prison for "allegedly" raping 30 women. A woman is freed from an underground prison where she has "allegedly" been held captive for 10 years.

And this past weekend saw a steady stream of reporters saying that the LAX shooter "allegedly" shot and killed a TSA officer. Oh really?

Allegedly, just maybe, none of these events ever allegedly happened. One can't be too careful when allegedly reporting just the alleged facts.