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<b>What might have been</b>

EDITOR: Imagine that time travel was possible, and we traveled to a time in Santa Rosa's past when people were afraid of law enforcement because the color of their skin signaled criminality. Imagine people feeling that law enforcement acted in a predatory manner and feeling marginalized because of where they lived.

Imagine that you were there when people gave testimony to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, hearing details about personal tragedies that resulted in 11 officer-involved deaths that were deemed justifiable homicide because protocols were adhered to.

Imagine that the commission didn't assign blame but had criticisms about protocols that allowed deadly force as a primary tactic to de-escalate situations. Imagine that the district attorney, sheriff and Santa Rosa police chief didn't aggressively fight the commission's recommendations.

Imagine that after the commission's report, a Civilian Review Board was created, and enhanced protocols were enacted. Imagine that 13 years later a 13-year-old boy walking in an empty field would come across a couple of deputies, the deputies would recognize this boy as Andy, they would wave, and he would smile, telling them he was returning the toy gun to a friend.

Imagine Andy walking away.

Imagine what we would be talking about today.

JOSE CASTANEDA

Windsor

<b>Easy duty</b>

EDITOR: Talk about greed. There was an article in the Nov. 11 paper about World War II-era merchant marines seeking veterans benefits ("Mariners seek recognition," Nov. 11). These guys enjoyed great pay, all the food they wanted at all times and didn't have long hours on watch. I went to Hawaii on a tramp steamer to meet my new ship, which was being repaired there. That was the best five days I had in the Navy. They made their money then, not now. I say, "No compensation." Give them recognition.

GEORGE ARTHUR

Cotati

<b>Too much negative</b>

EDITOR: I am tired of hearing about how the rollout of Obamacare is soooooo bad. Change is always confusing, especially such a major change of such a complex system. Companies that do only technology put out new products and new programs that have glitches. Give it a break.

After years of spending a large part of our income on health insurance premiums, besides being rejected at times for petty pre-existing conditions, we expect to save about $500 a month. We are among those who received cancellation notices, but we did not get upset because we know Obamacare, while not perfect, is a better system than what we have had up until now.

Maybe so few people have signed up so far because there is so much negativity, which is not justified. The Covered California website works fine, although I have had to make some additional phone calls because our case is a little complicated.

I just tried healthcare.gov, and it was fine. Apparently the improvements to healthcare.gov have worked, so why all the fuss still? Please stop publishing so much negativity about Obamacare. It will work; give it a chance.

VICKI WALLING

Santa Rosa

<b>Preferred tribute</b>

EDITOR: A park for Andy Lopez is fine, but I'd really prefer a civilian review board.

SERENA TURAN EMBREE

Santa Rosa

<b>Off-base editorial</b>

EDITOR: Your Wednesday editorial ("An attack on states' food safety laws") was way off base. The effort to forbid open trade of basic food items among states — in this case eggs — isn't about food safety. It's protectionism at its ugliest.

We passed a law mandating living space requirements for certain livestock — chickens among them — knowing full well it would raise the price of locally produced eggs. The egg safety act was passed not because of safety concerns but to protect our state's producers from less expensive out-of-state eggs.

No state should be allowed to restrict the import of basic foodstuffs. Not even North Korea does that. If anything, the federal government should be suing California for interfering with interstate commerce.

Californians voted to put their egg industry at a disadvantage. They should be made to stew in their own juices as a result. They shouldn't be able to literally take food from the mouths of those of us who want less expensive eggs.

FRED MANGELS

Eureka