Friday's Letters to the Editor

<b>Deputy's stability</b>

EDITOR: It's a very big deal that Santa Rosa resident Jeff Westbrook had a gun pointed at him twice in what was supposed to have been a pretty routine traffic stop by Deputy Erick Gelhaus a couple of months ago ("Multiple portraits of deputy in shooting," Nov. 1). Westbrook, cooperative and unarmed in the encounter, describes himself as having been very concerned about the stability of the deputy who would go on to shoot Andy Lopez on Oct. 22.

It was disturbing therefore that Westbrook's account was buried in a story about various community members' differing perspectives of Gelhaus. I'm glad that some people think very well of Gelhaus, and I am very appreciative of his important acts of service for our community, as detailed in Staff Writer Julie Johnson's reporting.

But the central question that readers are concerned with right now regarding this deputy is whether he was trigger happy, whether he was prone to overreaction. Westbrook's reliable account goes a long way toward giving us a disturbing answer to that question. Unfortunately, your journalism goes a long way to distract readers from that issue.



<b>Right-wing clamor</b>

EDITOR: The right-wing Republican clamor over Obamacare is telling, and it does not have anything to do with the unfortunate website failures, which will no doubt get fixed. It's all about greed from insurance companies that, along with big conservative contributors, lost the debate that brought the Affordable Care Act into law.

Their kicking and screaming, and a government shutdown, should be ample evidence that Obamacare is good for millions of Americans. Sometimes the decibel level of the squeaky wheel gets so high that it makes us wonder if it really is worth listening to, or more importantly, believing.


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