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Reason to reflect

EDITOR: Thank you for the glorious and awe-inspiring story of Kristy and Madelyn Mackey ("One family, thankful for two lives," Thursday). Their picture and their tale on the front page of your Thanksgiving Day issue radiated a brilliant light into the rest of my day.

I'm glad that such a courageous and happy family lives in Santa Rosa and I wish them all the best in the years to come. Reporter Brett Wilkison certainly gave all of your readers a gift with this story and reasons to pause and reflect.

JOHN F. BRIBIESCAS

Santa Rosa

Monument to excesses

EDITOR: In the past month or so, I have read no fewer than three PD articles or letters on the subject of disallowing proposed commercial development in Santa Rosa. One was on the relocation of an existing used car dealership, another the expansion of an existing rock quarry, and the third was the proposed development of a gas station/mini-mart. All voiced the same concern about bicycle safety, or lack thereof, resulting from these businesses.

With that said, I have two questions. First, when we're all done catering to the bicycle community, and the economy crashes due to a hostile business climate that favors the utopian ideology of yet another special interest, will there be any local jobs close enough for bicyclists to pedal to, and will Santa Rosa's $20-plus million bicycle "bridge to nowhere" over Highway 101 become just that; a monument to the excesses of a political fringe group that has become too powerful and too loose with the taxpayer's dime?

J. SCOTT FINN

Santa Rosa

Troubled by debate

EDITOR: As a religious Jew, I am embarrassed by the personal attacks some leaders of the Jewish community have launched against Therese Mughannam-Walrath ("Kristallnacht lessons," letter, Nov. 18).

She is a survivor of the 1948 Nakba — or catastrophe — that left 750,000 Palestinian homeless or dead. They were living in cities and villages that the NATO powers "gave" to the Jews when it partitioned the land into Israel and Palestine.

Now Israel controls most of Palestine, building illegal "settlements" in Palestine's West Bank and constructing walls around Palestinian cities and villages. This fits Rabbi George Gittleman's own definition of "genuine apartheid that seeks to confine a population" (Tortured connection," letter, Nov. 26.)

And the "state sponsored destruction" that Jerry Danzig mentions in his description of Kristallnacht is similar to the Israeli-sponsored destruction of Palestinian homes and farms I witnessed a few years ago.

Palestine/Israel is a beautiful country, sacred to three world religions. There is no reason for this conflict to continue, except that it benefits the corporations that sell weaponry to the Israeli army, the fourth largest military in the world. It certainly does not make life better for the human beings who live on all sides of the walls.

LOIS PEARLMAN

Guerneville

Why that vineyard?

EDITOR: I am in full enthusiastic agreement over the Watertrough Children's Alliance trying to ensure environmental compliance from a vineyard in progress. However, what about all the other vineyards that now proliferate the once lovely Apple Blossom Tour route?

What about me walking my dog getting sprayed up and down Burnside and Watertrough roads? Why only that vineyard? What about the rainy season mud that will cover the road for several years because there are no deep tree roots holding down the soil? Follow the money. Or ask why no demand to review all the vineyards' environmental impacts (including draining the water table on which all households exist in the area )

WEEDY TUHTANJOSEPH

Sebastopol

Another route?

EDITOR: Regarding the article appearing in the Wednesday Press Democrat ("Lopez protester arrested"), could the protesters please pick another street to march on ? Yes, they have a right to protest, but why is it always on Mendocino Avenue? Their protests and rowdy behavior have impacted us living in the junior college neighborhood, businesses along Mendocino Avenue and have slowed traffic over and over again. Could they please show some respect for our neighborhood by choosing another route for their next protest, and have a mature person in the group control the rowdiness?

It would be very much appreciated.

LINDA M. HARPER

Santa Rosa

Without gear

EDITOR: I was interested in Peter Lawson's letter in The Press Democrat (Nov. 20) regarding demilitarizing of police. Furthermore, calling for the unmilitarization of law enforcement would be great in a different society.

If I understand correctly, Lawson wants the Sheriff's Office and all law enforcement to give up their ballistic armor, tactical rifles and shotguns, ballistic helmets, night vision goggles, and SWAT teams to make everything so peaceable as he described. Does he not know what is going on?

I assume he wrote this letter before the man in Guerneville died outside his home after threatening to kill his wife and reportedly opened fire on sheriff's personnel ("Guerneville man in standoff killed by deputies," Nov. 20) Perhaps the next time someone threatens to kill his wife and fires on law enforcement, Lawson can respond without military gear? I'm sure he will do well.

RUSS DAVIDSON

Rohnert Park