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<b>Measure B opponents</b>

EDITOR: A diverse cross-section of groups and individuals are opposing Measure B because they realize the unintended consequences it would have on city services and our quality of life. The Sonoma County Deputy Sheriffs Association, Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance, Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau, Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce and North Bay Labor Council represent diverse interests, and they stand united against Measure B because of its long-term, negative impacts on our town. Even 30-year Greenbelt Alliance member Laney Thornton has spoken out against Measure B.

Meanwhile, proponents of Measure B have picked up just one organizational endorsement from a board of directors whose members all live outside of the city of Sonoma and the Sonoma Valley at large. One of the board members happens to be the wife of Warren Watkins, who has vowed to emulate Measure B in Healdsburg. There is no doubt the Watkins effect helped influence the only organization backing those in favor of Measure B.

The diverse and widespread opposition to Measure B derives from the multitude of community organizations and Sonoma residents who see the bigger picture and haven't bought into the scare tactics or misleading sound bites. It's no wonder why they will be protecting our quality of life by voting no on B.

STEVE BURNS

Sonoma

<b>Lethal force</b>

EDITOR: Lethal force should only be used when all lesser means have failed. Ten seconds equals a knee-jerk reaction, resulting in a community tragedy. Such was the case in the taking of 13-year-old Andy Lopez's life. Not an intelligent or well-thought-out evaluation of the situation and a flagrant disregard for public safety. What ever happened to "protect and serve"?

HUGH J. (JIM) MAGUIRE

Santa Rosa

<b>At the crossroads</b>

EDITOR: We are being served a traffic nightmare that I never would have have imagined in Rohnert Park. The casino is something that we didn't want, but it got stuffed down our throats anyway. Congratulations are in order; we are now the crossroads between greed and exploitation of human weakness.

JEFF HUNT

Rohnert Park

<b>Misrepresentation</b>

EDITOR: I have about had it up to here with the arrogance and self-serving attitudes of our public servants at every level.

Did Supervisor Efren Carrillo really need to tear a hole in a window screen in order to peep? I doubt that any reasonable person is at all confused about his criminal intent. And what about the charade of the alcohol treatment? The "disease" made him do it. Maybe all the delay had to do with letting the public cool down somewhat before he had to confront them in addition to enabling him to qualify for his pension. Would all citizens be treated the way he has been?

If it could be proven that the deputies followed proper procedures in the Andy Lopez shooting, we would be examining the procedures rather than the motives of the deputy. Why don't deputies carry video cameras? Why don't we have a citizens' review board as was recommended some years back? And with all there is at stake, does it make sense that our elected officials won't talk to us "on advice of counsel"?

No attorney's opinion is going to help these representatives much when they next come up for re-election.

RICHARD COMFORT

Santa Rosa

<b>The big picture</b>

EDITOR: I have read several letters about the death of Andy Lopez. One thing I haven't noticed is the placement of that event in context. Andy is often characterized as a child, perhaps frightened by a police officer. While this is a possibility, when taken in context, the events look a little more potentially ominous.

Within the same week that 13-year-old Andy met his death while carrying a toy pistol in his belt and a real looking banana-clip rifle in his hand, two other notable events occurred. First, a 12-year-old boy shot and killed a teacher at his school in Sparks, Nevada. About a week later, a 14-year-old boy shot and killed his math teacher in Massachusetts.

Placed in this context, it seems to me a perceived threat involving a gun, no matter how young the person carrying the gun, must be taken seriously. How is a police officer to know whether he's encountering a disturbed and murderous individual with a high-powered rifle or an ill-advised youth who has nothing more on his mind that having fun with an airsoft rifle?

I'm left with a question. Is an airsoft rifle a toy? Is it OK or legal for children (or teens) to play with one in a park or neighborhood?

CAROL WOESSNER

Santa Rosa