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Insufferable Giuliani

EDITOR: Tuesday, on the 50th anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy’s murder, I read in the news that Rudy Giuliani maintained that the president could shoot former FBI director James Comey in the Oval Office and not be indicted (“Trump says he can pardon himself”). Setting aside Giuliani’s cartoonish legal theories, to joke about political assassination on this day, when we remember how much we lost 50 years ago, is simply insufferable.

PHIL GROSSE

Petaluma

Insurance hurdles

EDITOR: The Press Democrat called Senate Bill 894 “a little help for disaster victims” in a thumbs up editorial last Thursday. A “little” indeed. SB 894 started out with good intentions, but it has been amended into near worthlessness.

Take, for example, a provision that would extend from 24 to 36 months the insurance coverage for alternate housing expenses incurred while rebuilding. The bill has been amended to restrict the extra 12 months to rebuilding delays resulting from “circumstances beyond the control of the insured.” This creates a loophole through which insurance companies will drive the proverbial truck. They will claim that any delays are the victim’s fault.

Another provision would allow victims to use personal property coverage to pay rebuilding costs, but it as been amended to restrict such use to where rebuilding coverage is “insufficient.” Victims must still go through the arduous process of cataloging their lost contents, and insurance companies can continue to lowball replacement cost estimates.

The only real benefit is the bill’s extension, from 12 months to 24 months, of an existing requirement for companies to renew policies after a disaster. They remain free to cancel policies after 24 months or to pull out of the local insurance market.

Sonoma County fire victims deserve better.

JON B. EISENBERG

Healdsburg

Trump and Kim

EDITOR: That Kim Jong Un! A kidder, that guy! He sends a letter to the malevolent menace in the White House in an oversized envelope, which should rightly be viewed as an insult to both the U.S. and the office of the president. Yet there’s Donald Trump beaming for the cameras while holding this grotesque prop (Gee, it’s really big!). It’s going to be a riot when Kim gives Trump the chair with the whoopee cushion in Singapore.

WALT McCALLUM

Santa Rosa

Declining discourse

EDITOR: I cannot help but share my disappointment over the depths to which our political discourse has fallen: name-calling, race-baiting, profanity, divisiveness, half-truths, vulgarities, lies. A few years back, we talked about our shared ideals and laughed about our shared foibles.

I am left to wonder where this all ends and where, if anywhere, the buck stops.

DAVID DELGARDO

Cloverdale

Vital funding

EDITOR: I want to comment on the May 29 article regarding mental health funding cuts (“Mental health cuts imperil lives”). We are in a time of unprecedented violence in this country. School shootings occur almost weekly. When they do, we wring our hands, demonstrate against guns and, occasionally, pass another restriction on gun ownership. Then we pat ourselves on the back, and it happens again.

School shootings seem to have some common threads. Guns and mental illness are primary. Can anyone argue that a person who shoots up a school isn’t mentally ill?

So what do we do? We have another series of demonstrations, talk about and sometimes pass another gun law and blame the National Rifle Association (I agree it isn’t not blameless). Then, as your article discusses, we cut mental health care. That is easy to do because the mentally ill don’t advocate for themselves very well.

It’s time to realize that mental health is the root cause of much of the violence, crime and homelessness in this country. We will never solve those problems by cutting mental health funding.

ROY SPRAGUE

Santa Rosa

Peaceful resolutions

EDITOR: Staff Writer Julie Johnson’s article regarding Branch Wroth’s Taser death by Rohnert Park police officers caused me to tremble with a mixture of anger and sadness (“Officers cleared in Taser death,” May 20).

As I delved further into her article, my head began to spin as a plethora of potential remedies for peaceful resolution flooded my mind. Here’s a partial list: summon the mental health crisis unit (which, we recently were informed by a separate article, serves the Highway 101 corridor); call an ambulance; buy him a new pair of pants (he thought his were poisoned); offer to get him a blanket; wait him out.

One fact that must be highlighted above all others is that Wroth was inside a motel room and wasn’t posing an immediate threat to anyone. But he was experiencing a mental breakdown for which he desperately needed professional help.

I will leave you with this question: Has the state’s sanctity and respect for human life really degenerated to such a low point that expedience of process has become the preferred alternative to careful, compassionate and meticulous preservation of a human life?

THOMAS DAVID BONFIGLI

Sebastopol

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