<b>Padecky will be missed</b>
EDITOR: I mostly don't read the sports section, but I read Bob Padecky ("Game over," Tuesday). I'm not sure how or when this happened, but somehow the subjects he chose to write about, and the way he wrote about them, just pulled me in. There was so much insight, so much wisdom and heart in his writing that I felt richer for the moments I spent reading him, and it didn't even matter that I don't know much about sports.
Unlike some other sports writers whose columns I rarely finish, Padecky never seemed to be writing to show off his superiority at someone else's expense. Instead, his intelligence and craft were revealed by the way he connected with the people he wrote about and how deeply he conveyed their stories.
No more Padecky? What's fair about that?
EDITOR: Zachary Britton ("Explaining justice," Letters, Dec. 28) makes a good point, which I'd like to expand on. Let the community look at who is allowed to have policing powers.
What are the educational requirements? An Internet search reveals a person with a high school diploma can apply for a 20-week course at Santa Rosa Junior College, after which he/she is eligible to work as a police officer. Why is an associate's or four-year degree not required as it is for other professional, public-service oriented jobs? Why is a military background rewarded with extra points toward admission?
What style of training is used? Is it a paramilitary style that instills an us-vs.-them mentality? Does the training need to be demilitarized?
For years, the Women's Justice Center of Sonoma County has advocated that, more than a citizen review board, the community needs awareness of and input into training, specifically training around the use of firearms.
Our community could honor Andy Lopez by implementing changes that would help this never happen here again. I want police officers to have the benefit of a broader education. I want the philosophy around the use of firearms to shift to not shooting unless shot at, or obvious and imminent danger.
These are changes that we could make in 2014.
EDITOR: I want to correct misconceptions in your Thursday editorial ("Let's not run Congress by remote voting").
Contrary to your suggestion, I did not introduce the mobile-voting resolution because I was tired of cross-country travel. The purpose of the resolution is to allow Congress to spend more time in Washington on substantive national priorities such as immigration reform. Right now, more than half of all votes cast are on "suspension," less controversial legislation that requires a two-thirds vote to pass.
You conceded that remote participation is not a new concept. Santa Rosa Vice Mayor Erin Carlstrom participated in a council meeting from home when on maternity leave. Congress does not have such an option. Mothers who give birth while serving in Congress are simply forced to miss votes without an alternative means to participate. My resolution would help our working mothers in Congress, and it could even encourage more women to run for office.
Your concern about whether we are technologically ready to use video-conferencing in committees is also puzzling. In 2013, I successfully video conferenced into four city council meetings in my congressional district while in Washington.