<b>Missing in action</b>

EDITOR: The attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was blamed on the reaction to homemade video. Iran's attack on our military aircraft the week before the election was ignored and not reported until after the election. The Petraeus scandal was known for months before the election but was not reported until afterward. The investigation of Gen. John Allen has been in progress for months but wasn't disclosed until after the election. The fiscal cliff was conveniently delayed from July 2011 until after the 2012 election, and it wasn't mentioned during the campaign. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama had his first White House news conference in eight months.

It seems that Obama and the press had only one thing in mind (and didn't want to bother us with too many facts): re-electing Obama. That qualifies as a good politician and good propaganda, but we are paying for a leader and unbiased news. The last eight months we have had neither.

Obama may have been the better of the only two choices we had, but it is clear that we don't have any government leaders in Washington who put their responsibilities as a priority greater than their election and their legacy. The press goes along for the ride.



<b>Vital security</b>

EDITOR: Proposition 13 came about because property taxes were being increased to the point that many seniors and retirees on fixed incomes lost their homes because they could not afford to pay.

I have been retired for 12 years, and because of Proposition 13, I am able to stay in my home. I do fear that if Proposition 13 is overturned my property tax may increase to the point where I may not be able to afford to live in my home. In the past 12 years, my income has decreased as some years my retirement benefit increased 1 percent to 3 percent, but my health care premium always increased more than the cost of living, and some years there was no cost of living increase.

Everyone still working needs to remember that someday they will need to retire and live on a fixed income. If in a few years from now, heaven forbid, they should lose their job, if their property tax is stable, they may be able to keep their house instead of having to give it up because they cannot afford the taxes.



<b>Running for council</b>

EDITOR: Congratulations to my fellow candidates for Cotati City Council. In the end it wasn't very close (I am the 2.4 percent), but I had a great time, and I thank those who voted — for any and all of us.

I thoroughly enjoyed walking the neighborhoods and talking with people — people who have serious concerns about the state of business in Cotati and the direction it's headed. Measure U passed easily, so I hope our elected officials as well as paid staff will take that to heart and work toward a goal that brings the community together.

I appreciate the opportunity and want to thank all at City Hall who helped me in a last-minute bid and education of city policies. I'll continue to make my Cotati city T-shirts, work to preserve and share the history of Old Redwood Highway, and if necessary, fight to keep our Sonoma Coast beaches free.



<b>What is NAMI?</b>

EDITOR: The National Alliance on Mental Illness — NAMI — stands for education, support and advocacy for people living with mental health challenges. NAMI collaborates with other community agencies to create a fair, just and sustainable community.

NAMI Sonoma County is not funded by Big Pharma; rather we contract and work closely with Sonoma County Behavioral Health to provide our free services. We believe in the recovery model for emotional and behavioral health as well as human-centered services in the least restrictive setting possible. We believe that everyone deserves a life of opportunity that allows them and their unique gifts to flourish and benefit our community.

I am glad that Sonoma County Psychiatric Emergency Services allows family members and patients to meet in the garden outside the building ("Unlocked door policy," Nov. 4). In the old days, I would have to enter through locked doors, my purse would be taken away, and I would try to have a conversation in a chaotic, noisy environment. Today we can walk outside together, sit in the sun, and enjoy the healing of nature — just as when I visit a family member recovering from surgery.

"An illness, like any other," is NAMI's motto. The recovery model works.


Executive director, NAMI