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Saturday's Letters to the Editor

<b>Strident minority</b>

EDITOR: The Press Democrat's recent articles on Healdsburg's struggle to balance tourism and its small-town charm seem to focus on the concerns of a handful of the city's roughly 11,000 citizens. A strident minority garners inordinate press coverage while invoking a tsunami reference ("At a crossroads," Nov. 30) that is embarrassingly inappropriate.

Healdsburg's elected representatives appear to be weighing the concerns of all their constituents — residents, business owners and employees, developers, retirees — when they review new development plans. The spirited opinions of dissenters are, of course, critical to this democratic process.

Yet, as we have seen with our federal government's recent temporary shutdown, minority voices can also be obstructive. A filibuster by a few firebrands convinced of their righteousness does not serve the needs of a community.

GREGG HOPKINS

Healdsburg

<b>Responding violently</b>

EDITOR: My agency's office is in the lobby of the Sonoma County jail. This past Tuesday, there was a demonstration held outside this facility ("Emotions flare in SR," Wednesday). A demonstrator smashed the front door an hour after I left. The next morning when I learned about this violent behavior directed at this building, I felt sad.

There are vulnerable people in this building. Quite a number of the inmates in this facility are emotionally fragile. Imagine how the sounds of people shouting and screaming and smashing the front door might be felt by the inmates imprisoned here.

Although I was ordered to leave early to avoid potential harm, a lot of people who work in the jail couldn't leave — janitors, clerks, deputies, medics and therapists, to name a few. They are essential personnel and must stay even when the building they work in is being attacked.


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