<b>Risking your life</b>
EDITOR: On two separate occasions Sunday evening while driving north on Santa Rosa Avenue, individuals appeared out of the dark, sauntering across the street, busily chatting with a friend and totally oblivious to the fact that they were not in a crosswalk and, because of their dark clothing, they couldn't be seen until you were almost upon them.
This is the Christmas season. I would like to ask that parents and friends remind one another to use a crosswalk when walking across a busy street, and make sure that you are aware of your surroundings. For if you should be mortally injured while you will be dead, you will have scarred an innocent person for life.
<b>Not a zero-sum game</b>
EDITOR: I realize that Robert Wilcox ("The Dream Act — should we support it"?) has a lot of time to gain maturity and insight into how the world works, but he should be aware that life is not a zero-sum game.
In his student editorial on Sunday, he complains about how illegal immigrant children diminish his chances of getting scholarship assistance. If he is an outstanding student, he will get into the college he deserves, and he will get the assistance he needs. The fact that others are also getting an opportunity to go to college and getting assistance for their needs has no bearing on his chances.
When he actually gets into college, he will have an opportunity to succeed or fail on his own merits.
<b>No thanks to Norquist</b>
EDITOR: In reading the column lauding Grover Norquist ("Norquist is still hero to beleaguered taxpayers," Monday), one paragraph stood out like a flashing sign. The paragraph gave a glaring glimpse into the true nature and attitude of many (not all) of the wealthy and their supporters on the right.
On the idea of raising taxes on the wealthy, William F. Shughart II offered, "And even if they did, raising taxes on high-income earners will create incentives for them to sidestep the higher taxes by establishing charitable foundations, moving their money offshore or adopting other tax avoidance schemes."
Here he admits that rather than help pay the cost of our services and safeties, these "patriots" will stash money in offshore accounts and "scheme" to avoid paying their share. It's amazing that Shughart sees nothing wrong with the idea of using offshore accounts to avoid supporting America.
Let us not forget this hero he is lauding, Norquist, was, according to a report by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, a central player in the Jack Abramoff scandal, using his connections to launder nearly $1 million from Abramoff's Indian tribe clients to conservative activist Ralph Reed and Christian anti-gambling groups.
No, Mr. Shughart, no thanks are owed to Grover Norquist.
EDITOR: Happy 50th birthday wishes to Boy Scout Troop 135, "the Eagle makers", of Santa Rosa. During its 50 years, 65 Scouts of Troop 135 have made Eagle. While an average of 1.3 Eagles per year may not be a record, it's a jolly good average.
Former scoutmaster, Troop 135
<b>Church and state</b>
EDITOR: I do a lot of shopping, hiking and dining in Petaluma. My family and I were surprised recently to see Petaluma police and fire officials out on Kentucky Street, partnering with the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army is an evangelical church that considers homosexuality to be a sin, that calls on gays and lesbians to be celibate and that discriminates against gays and lesbians in employment. As a church they have that right. But why is the city of Petaluma supporting the Salvation Army when there are many local organizations that are both charitable and inclusive?