<b>Pulled over</b>

EDITOR: Unless the rules have changed, we ordinary citizens have been told to pull over and stop when we see flashing lights and hear sirens behind or ahead of us. That's exactly what I did one recent evening at the intersection of Healdsburg Avenue and Lytton Springs Road.

Coming off the freeway was a deputy sheriff who looked directly at me, made a U-turn in front of another car, parked behind me and exited his vehicle with gun drawn. I immediately raised my arms and placed them behind my neck.

His first question was, "Where are you coming from?" He asked if I had any ID. I told him it was in my wallet and to stop pointing his gun at me. After verifying my address and registration, he told me they were looking for a car similar to mine.

I asked him four times to stop pointing his gun at me.

The most telling question was, "Why did you pull over?"

If this is the competency of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, we're really in trouble.

Pray you don't have an encounter with a trigger-happy or nervous cop. I'm, thinking that may have happened to Andy Lopez.



<b>Website woes</b>

EDITOR: Reading Ron Brunswick's offering about the woes of the website that registers folks for Obamacare ("Obamacare problems," Letters, Nov. 2), it's quite easy to spot a political agenda in his musings. He may convince himself that the access point "points to major concerns with Obamacare," but recent history shows otherwise, and most IT professionals would roll their eyes in disagreement. A case in point would be the website rollout of Medicare Part D in 2006.

The first six months of that access website was an unmitigated disaster. After the problems were corrected, there seems to be little "concern." The checkered history of that rollout is in the public record and readily available.

This website is nothing more than a tool to register, view options and make selections. There is nothing in this site that relates in any way to the administration of the law.

As a health care professional in both the public and private sectors and an IT professional in the health care industry for more than 40 years, I can attest to the difficulty of rolling out an application of this magnitude considering the time they had, the intransigence of the states that refuse to set up exchanges and the volume of traffic they will receive.


Santa Rosa

<b>Missing from school</b>

EDITOR: There have been multiple articles and letters about the tragic death of the young man from our community. One thing that I found concerning but not mentioned in The Press Democrat coverage is the question of how many student days were lost in our local schools, along with the state compensation that those schools desperately need?

In the photos of marches, vigils and demonstrations, many of which were held during school hours, most of the participants pictured were middle- and high-school aged. These activities were ongoing for two weeks. Some of those students are probably still not back in class.

There can be no doubt that the sudden loss of this young man hugely affected his family, friends and schoolmates, but there is a time to get back to school and let the parents, the adults of the community and the elected officials get on with sorting this out.


Santa Rosa

<b>Kristallnacht lessons</b>

EDITOR: Thank you for printing Susanne Batzdorff's Close to Home on Kristallnacht and the suffering of German Jews under Nazi control ("Remembering 'the night of shattered glass' 75 years later," Nov. 9). It's a story we need to hear indeed, and a lesson to learn. Such hate based on who people are is a sin against humanity that no person or government should tolerate.

Which brings me to the irony of how shamefully Israeli Jews are treating Palestinians, with racism and daily violence, for no other reason except that they are indigenous Palestinians and live on land that Israelis want for themselves. Max Blumenthal has recently written a book titled "Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel," a shocking eyewitness account of the ongoing, systematic mistreatment of Palestinians.

Is the Kristallnacht lesson learned? Why are so many American Jews on the forefront of every social issue except this one? Advocates for Palestinian human rights are penalized or shunned. Why?

For the sake of both peoples, we must stand together, force our government to stop funding what former President Jimmy Carter and Bishop Desmond Tutu have called an apartheid system. Our humanness depends on our wide vision, open heart and tireless work for the rights of every person on this planet.


Santa Rosa