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<b>Helping the homeless</b>

EDITOR: With Thanksgiving out of the way, we have sprung into December and are all on autopilot holiday mode. One thing that cannot be ignored as we drive frantically around Sonoma County is the fact that we are seeing more and more people who are less fortunate out on the streets in the cold.

We all want to help out as much as we can, but there is only so much that we can do. Donating money, time and effort to help the less fortunate says a lot about a person's character, but that leaves us wondering how much they are contributing to themselves. I fully agree that we cannot let people be out in the cold to freeze and starve. However, in order for people to be more willing to help, they need to try to get themselves off the streets without relying solely on donations and handouts.

I believe that more people would be more willing to donate to a shelter, charity or soup kitchen rather than individuals on the street.

ARIANA SANCHEZ

Kenwood

<b>Seeking solutions</b>

EDITOR: Reading the responses from the community I feel it is safe to say that everyone is shocked and saddened by the death of Andy Lopez. We like to think of Santa Rosa as a small town. But the picture of the police in riot gear stretched out across Brookwood Avenue is indeed scary and very sad.

Maybe this is a time for all of us to reflect. Maybe we are all to blame. How many of us come to work and have people shout obscenities at us? Make rude gestures? Argue some? Act as if they are tough? How many of us may get punched, kicked or worse?

Ask yourself, have I done any of those to a police officer? I believe that if you experience enough of this you can get a little tough toward society.

I'm not defending the deputy. I think he used too much force. But this isn't a problem that only one segment of our community can solve. This requires a joint effort involving us as citizens, our police force, our politicians and our children. We all have to make a concerted effort to change or we will all be fighting each other.

DEB GREEAR

Santa Rosa

<b>Obama's lowlights</b>

EDITOR: As fairy tales go, Richard Sansom ("Impeachment fever," Letters, Tuesday) spins the tired old fable of "Big Bad Bush and Blameless Obama." A look at President Barack Obama's sorry record tells a very different story.

A partial list of lowlights includes more than 2,000 weapons put into the hands of the drug cartels and a murdered U.S. border patrol agent in "Fast and Furious;" the Internal Revenue Service targeting citizens for their political views; four Americans killed in the planned Benghazi attack and the phony "video" excuse; billions of dollars wasted on stimulus and failed companies such as Solyndra; $7 trillion in new debt; ubiquitous National Security Agency spying; Iran's march toward producing nuclear weapons; and the blatantly dishonest, destructive and ongoing Obamacare disaster.

Being a liar, hypocrite and incompetent amateur may or may not rise to impeachable offenses. But they sure make for a lousy president and a very unhappy ending for hard-working American taxpayers.

MICHAEL SHEEHAN

Rohnert Park

<b>Dig deeper</b>

EDITOR: My main concern with the Andy Lopez shooting is the fact that there were multiple shots after Andy had fallen to the ground. Such negligence showcases the shoot-first mentality of the deputy, who was described by his superior officers as an expert in firearms, gangs and narcotics. One of my main questions is how can a department-described expert in so many areas have reacted so quickly in killing an innocent child? Experts don't kill innocent people.

The circumstances don't merit a lackadaisical covering of the story as it is evident through other police brutality investigations that the police "police their own." If a civilian committed this crime, there would be no recourse for the individual, but Deputy Erick Gelhaus was put on paid leave? He got sent on vacation?

There should be more journalistic covering of the injustice here. Our taxpayer money paid for his vacation, and this paper should provide more investigative insight into the reasons for this, rather than highlighting actions as they happen.

RYAN WATTON

Cotati