<b>Stigmatizing kids</b>

EDITOR: My heart sank upon reading Diane Martini's accusations of hypocrisy ("No, no, no to SAY," Letters, Thursday) on the part of supporters of the Warrack Hospital conversion to housing for former foster kids.

While I can't speak for the women directly accused, I can assure Martini that our community is abundant with people who do care about these kids who have not been given the opportunities and benefits that most of us enjoy and are happy to share our lives (and neighborhoods) with them.

To suggest that sharing "beautiful Bennett Valley" with them will somehow spoil it is insulting. On top of every other disadvantage these kids have endured, to stigmatize them like this is heartless.



<b>A healing path?</b>

EDITOR: I was inspired by Phyllis Rosenfield's vision for counteracting prejudice and disunity through the old-fashioned art of listening ("Cloverdale kiosk offers a view into others' lives," Jan. 13). Intergenerational community projects aren't uncommon, but Listening for a Change seems to re-imagine a typically artificial exchange and make it profound and something worth sharing with the community.

I believe this project lends itself to the growing community divide following the tragic death of Andy Lopez. Whether justice -#8212; however one may define it -#8212; is ever found in this case, the number of young people feeling dissociated from representatives and law enforcement doesn't posit a hopeful or productive future. Listening for a Change seems to offer an alternative form of activism that paves the way for reconciliation and healing.



<b>Where's the outrage?</b>

EDITOR: You gave a big thumbs down to law enforcement overtime expenses for crowd control during protests without analyzing whether police presence had a calming effect ("Thumbs up, thumbs down," Jan. 13).

But not a word has been printed on the editorial pages about the $15,000 of taxpayer money spent by the Santa Rosa school board to survey voters for a potential school bond. This money was committed prior to the district receiving the current budget from the state.

And, as you reported in March, since 1991, we've borrowed $237 million in school bonds and owe $143 million. Someone's cousin or crony has been collecting interest on these bonds for 23 years, and only about 40 percent of the principle has been retired.

Will you warn voters about exorbitant interest charges or wasteful spending for new school bonds or how much more we have to pay on the old ones?

Will you comment on the fiscal irresponsibility of Mayor Scott Bartley? You reported that he hired a psychologist to conduct city employee performance reviews, but he admits that he is clueless as to what this is costing.

It isn't entirely pension costs that have caused the deterioration of public services. The Press Democrat should better inform us about wasteful spending on projects of little value.


Santa Rosa

<b>Kristar's sale</b>

EDITOR: I read the article about the sale of Kristar Enterprises and was very pleased and proud to see that the name KriStar and the employees will remain ("SR drain maker Kristar sold," Friday).

However, I would like to set the record straight. I was the founder of KriStar Enterprises. I started the business in 1993 and was the CEO and marketing director from 1993 until 2003. In 1996, KriStar became a California corporation and a 100 percent woman-owned business. The name KriStar was my concept, after my two daughters, Krista and Tara, as are the majority of the brand names for the products, e.g. Flo-Gard.

It wasn't until 2003, upon my divorce from Doug Allard, that he took possession and control of KriStar as he owned the patents on the products. I was such an integral part of that company for the first 10 years, that upon the buyout of KriStar by Allard, I had to sign a five-year non-compete clause.

I am very proud that Kristar's legacy will continue on and its dedicated employees will not lose their jobs.


Santa Rosa