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Monday’s Letters to the Editor


Freitas’ message

EDITOR: Perhaps Supervisor Shirlee Zane and Professor Francisco H. Vazquez have missed the point. Their Close to Home column (“Return of deputy ‘slap in face,’” Friday) decried a lack of communication from Sheriff Steve Freitas regarding his unilateral decision to return Deputy Erick Gelhaus back to full duty. The facts are just the opposite. Freitas didn’t advise or counsel with them before making this decision because they don’t matter. The same for the good sheriff’s response to The Press Democrat. A simple sound bite that, in effect, tells the press you don’t matter.

Freitas made this decision by himself because he could. The people of Sonoma County, county government or any number of police task force commissions or subcommittees are of little concern to law enforcement. They are considered an impediment and of little consequence. We don’t carry a badge, we don’t carry a sidearm, and we don’t matter.

Freitas did a superb job of communicating.

STEVEN R. ONINES

Cotati

Another casualty

EDITOR: Out of the blue, a $600-a-month rent raise. Beware good, long-term, reliable, fixed-income renters, the owners don’t care about you. It’s all about the almighty dollar.

STAR POWER

Santa Rosa

A unique statesman

EDITOR: Sen. James Jeffords, who died on Monday, was a unique statesmen who legislated with his conscience and placed the welfare of the citizenry above politics. As a Republican, he opposed the lockstep voting in his own party when he judged it to be destructive and contrary to public interests despite the character assaults that it brought him.

Finally, after the GOP gained control of both houses of Congress and the presidency; he saw the need to enable some scrutiny from the other party. He then broke all precedents and changed his party affiliation in order achieve this.

Jeffords had set the standards for statesmanship. Hopefully history will treat him with the honor he deserves.

ROBERT SETTGAST

San Rafael

Media bias

EDITOR: I was surprised to read your Wednesday headline regarding the killing of Michael Brown (““Ignoring calls for calm”). The real story is “ignoring calls for justice. Your bias toward the heavily armed and overreacting police and, later, National Guard forces against protesting citizens fuels the growing mistrust of government. Do you see how dangerous this is?

When people see officials killing with impunity, and investigations consistently supporting those officials, and the media supporting those investigations, it becomes clear that government and media are manipulating us. Pretty soon, anything the government and media do is viewed with distrust.

We only have to look to Liberia to see what happens when the people distrust their own government. When there is a real issue, such as the Ebola virus, and a real reason to contain and control people, no one believes them anymore. Then we will have riots and attacks on clinics, and the government might wall off a slum in order to save it. Or is it to limit a deadly virus to a poor population?

BRIAHN KELLY-BRENNAN

Sebastopol

Turning the tables

EDITOR: Are you sick and tired of your phone ringing each day with the usual robo calls? Of course, we all are. Don’t punch 3, it will not help. The “voice” says it will end your calls, but it does not. I have a technique for fighting back. It will consume some time, but if you are retired, time is what you have plenty of.

Punch 1, and go to the operator who wants to take your order. Now, you begin asking questions about the product or service. As you are told things, this becomes a platform for more questions. Question everything possible until the operator becomes exasperated and hangs up on you. Of course, never give any financial information or numbers.

If we all keep them on the line incessantly, talking nonsense, maybe they will . . . oh well, just a thought.

GEORGE LAND

Camp Meeker

Vilifying police

EDITOR: The Close to Home column by Supervisor Shirlee Zane and Francisco Vasquez continues the vilification of law enforcement (“Return of deputy was ‘slap in face’ ”). It contributes to a culture so filled with suspicion that children raised to distrust our police could easily be drawn not only into gangs but also the hate-the-USA propaganda of radical recruiters, such as ISIS, who seek angry young men and women to torture and kill those who don’t believe in their faith.

And if ISIS arrives in Sonoma County, it will be our law enforcement agencies that will stand on the front line, doing the job we’ve asked them to do, risking their lives to protect our families. Frankly, I want them to be alert, assertive, armed and ready to kill, if necessary.

We’re in what will clearly be a long and dirty war with extremists who have no problem beheading innocent children and adults to intimidate the masses. You can bet that the people in Iraq fleeing for their lives would be grateful to have a police officer with a gun standing between their family and the terrorists. I know I am.

Local police are not our enemy. Gangs and radical terrorists are. Let’s make that clear.

JILL OSBORNE

Healdsburg

Using ocean water

EDITOR: Mandy Mott (“Water supplies,” Letters, Aug. 16) is still in high school, and she is worried about water. Me, too. And I wonder why, if we can extract oil from rocks, can’t we extract drinking water from the ocean? Is it just a matter of profit?

JAN BOWEN

Santa Rosa