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Kids fleeing north

EDITOR: Thank you for printing David Horsey’s cartoon on Friday’s editorial page reminding us of the words on the Statue of Liberty — “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” — which adorns the historic entry to our nation.

Thanks also for the photo on Page A13 Friday of the man cradling his little boy before sending him off alone on a bus to the land of the free. Who can really imagine the agony of a parent sending a beloved small child on such a treacherous trip? It reminds me of the German Jews who put their small children on trains — the Kindertransport — to escape the Nazis, most never to see them again.

These parents are making the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of their children from uncontrolled violence in their countries. What is wrong with us that we don’t welcome them with open arms? How heartless are the people we elected who want to send them back?

The people who should be sent back are those who vote to refuse safe haven to these children.

PAULA SHATKIN

Occidental

Society’s ‘tilt’

EDITOR: I found Donna Brasset-Shearer’s Close To Home column (“Andy Lopez and behavior of the law,” Friday) to be well researched and well written in respect to the conclusion drawn by District Attorney Jill Ravitch in the Andy Lopez tragedy. Brassert-Shearer stated: “It is not always easy for civic authorities to grasp their own tilts,” referring to legal conclusions of guilt or innocence by civic authorities that may reflect, as she said, “cultural sentiments and values than of broader considerations.”

At 80, I have for a long time been aware that much of society, whether in a position of authority or not, seems to favor those in the “dominant” class, which holds the most economic and/or social power.

Thus, I would agree that the outcome of this case would be thought of as inevitable, regardless of whether it is legally justifiable.

I don’t feel anger, only sadness that society, myself included, still “tilts” in favor of those with the most economic, political or societal powers. May each of us separately, and together when possible, reach for true equality for all with peaceful and lawful ways.

CAROL HOORN

Petaluma

Energy needs

EDITOR: Thanks for publishing Lynn Woolsey’s interesting Close to Home column about the campaign to protect the North Coast from oil drilling (“Permanent coastal protection: We’re almost there,” Sunday). Nobody wants to destroy the fisheries, but we do in the meantime need rather a lot of oil from somewhere, and 30 percent of today’s world production is offshore. Are our elected politicians willing to walk, ride bicycles or fly solar-powered planes on their regular commutes to Washington or even Sacramento or Santa Rosa? No.

Logically, oil wells, factories and power plants should be located near their customers. But the parts of our coast that get the most “protection” just happen to be the parts where all the voters live (i.e., near San Francisco and Los Angeles). Woolsey’s voters will no doubt continue their historically high energy consumption but also continue to righteously insist that the power plants, factories, mining and drilling operations they depend on are located far away from them (preferably in another country).

JOHN BRABYN

Bodega

Video evidence

EDITOR: On July 8, you reported that in rare instances officers do get tried on criminal charges for attacking or killing a citizen (“Law tends to back officers in shooting cases”). The case of the BART police officer in 2009 was cited. The only reason the officer was tried and convicted was because a bystander had the situation on video. Otherwise, we take the officer’s word for it, just as we are taking Deputy Eric Gelhaus’s word for it. All the rare instances of law enforcement being tried involve video evidence. Is this a coincidence? Are all the other times justified?

DIANA S. BREITHAUPT

Santa Rosa

Unannounced closure

EDITOR: Imagine our surprise as we pulled off Highway 101 onto Airport Boulevard at 10:30 a.m. Sunday trying to get to the airport for our 11:45 a.m. flight to find a long line of traffic because the street was closed due to a race. This street is known by many as the only way to get to the airport. There were no signs for detour, no signs for alternative routes, no signs to even say there was a race and to expect delays. Who allowed this? And why? Race routes should be confined to small roads, or at least not the main road to the airport. Luckily, my husband knew of a back way off of River Road. Otherwise, we, like many others would have been out of luck. Alaska Airlines did delay our flight so many of those stranded were finally able to make it, but not all of them. This was bad planning at its worst.

LINDA BAKER

Santa Rosa

Scofflaw pet owners

EDITOR: I’m a dog owner, and I’m frustrated that people think they are above the law and let their dogs off leash at Dauenhauer Park while I walk mine on leash. The poo around this park terrible. Our homeowners’ association dues go to upkeep of this public park, so I have a vested interest in seeing that it’s well cared for.

Many people assume that it’s OK to break this law because no one does anything about it. Well, I see you. If this continues, I will push for our homeowners association to make this a private park as others have done. Be responsible pet owners, please. Take your animals to the off-leash, fenced parks, and pick up after your pet. It’s the law.

WADE MALONE

Santa Rosa