We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, nearly 1.5 million people used their mobile devices to visit our sites.
Already a subscriber?
Wow! You read a lot!
Reading enhances confidence, empathy, decision-making, and overall life satisfaction. Keep it up! Subscribe.
Already a subscriber?
Oops, you're out of free articles.
Until next month, you can always look over someone's shoulder at the coffee shop.
Already a subscriber?
We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, we posted 390 stories about the fire. And they were shared nearly 137,000 times.
Already a subscriber?
Supporting the community that supports us.
Obviously you value quality local journalism. Thank you.
Already a subscriber?
Oops, you're out of free articles.
We miss you already! (Subscriptions start at just 99 cents.)
Already a subscriber?

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.


Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Sowing distrust

EDITOR: Many want the Andy Lopez incident to be put to rest. My conscience says otherwise.

It’s curious that Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch waited until after her re-election to render her decision, and Sheriff Steve Frietas bypassed consultations, rendered his decision, then promptly left on vacation. It is done. They would put it to rest. I, for one, am bothered.

No boy should be shot dead for carrying a BB gun, wearing a hoodie and walking on Moorland Avenue. Firearms expert Erick Gelhaus shot seven times, claiming he was afraid. Maybe it was an instinctual response of a former soldier in Iraq who was trained to respond against an enemy of another race.

The community that mourns Andy feels unheard and that these decisions target them. They protest with a greater distrust now for law enforcement. We must take this distrust more seriously beginning with some major soul searching.

This is a huge police power problem that the public will not forget. Thank God for Supervisor Shirlee Zane who courageously questioned the timing and lack of consultation on Freitas’ announcement. Whether her bravery effects a small change, at least one conscience is heard. Does your conscience ask you, What if Andy had been my son?



Nothing to fear but …

EDITOR: It’s become evident that the ultra-conservatives’ favorite tool is fear. Jill Osborne (“Vilifying police,” Letters, Monday) turns legitimate questions about one officer’s actions into “children raised to distrust our police.” Those kids “could easily be drawn not only into gangs but also … radical recruiters, such as ISIS.” Wow. The apocalypse starts because people are concerned about public safety.

Push the fear needle, twist it around, and see what she says next: “And if ISIS arrives in Sonoma County …” Well, ISIS wouldn’t be where it is today if President George W. Bush hadn’t destroyed Iraq, but that’s a discussion for another day.

To suggest that we can’t hold public servants accountable or the terrorists will get us is ridiculous. Sadly, it gets traction with an element of the population that seems happy to buy into whatever the right-wing media outlets are selling. Their best-selling product is fear itself.


Santa Rosa

The out of towners

EDITOR: I am appalled that Colleen Fernald, who doesn’t even live in Santa Rosa, wants to be a member of the Santa Rosa City Council. And the same goes for Keith Rhinehart (“Two SR candidates residency in question,” Sunday).

Are we supposed to believe that people who will stretch a truth to the extent of pretending to live at a homeless shelter or rent an occasional room at a gym have the integrity to act in an honest fashion in the interests of Santa Rosa?

Is there no expectation of integrity in our officials and representatives?

If it’s not up to the registrar of voters to authenticate where people actually live, then who will?

These individuals are probably both already guilty of perjury, yet they fear nothing. As you quote Fernald, “I’m carpet-bagging in full disclosure.” In other words, “I’m cheating, but because I admit it, you must accept me and let me represent you.”

Where is public outrage?



Roundabout roulette

EDITOR: I grew up in New England and New York and lived in the UK. Roundabouts are common in all three places. I live now in Petaluma, which has several turning circles. Thus, I am speaking to the citizens of Healdsburg from experience. Roundabouts are confusing and dangerous. Senior drivers in particular have problems negotiating them.

Come to Petaluma and ask the men and women on the street what they think of the city’s many turning circles. I have yet to meet a Petaluman who likes them.

Google “roundabouts.” You will find many articles praising them, all written by insiders, not the people who use them. Nowhere could I find data proving their efficacy, nor could I find commentary from ordinary people who have to drive around them or walk across the streets.

The articles stress that roundabouts require entering vehicles to yield the right-of-way. If drivers did that, they might be all right. In my experience, a large percentage of drivers do not observe the yield signs, either intentionally or unintentionally. Young drivers often race to get there first.

Construction won’t begin until 2016. Healdsburgers, put a halt to this plan. Do it. You’ll be glad you did.



Wealth and poverty

EDITOR: The 1 percent have largely dropped out of coverage by mainstream media news sources, but there’s new information available that the other 99 percent of us need to know about.

For example, the 1 percent now control $32.6 trillion — nearly 40 percent — of our country’s wealth, while 70 percent of our population lead impoverished lives. Fact is, a mere 0.5 percent of that $32.6 trillion could wipe out poverty for all Americans. But 40 percent of the 1 percent’s wealth — roughly $13 trillion — isn’t being used for anything at all. It’s just sitting idle in already grossly overstuffed accounts.

To make things even worse, those accounts don’t provide the full picture. The 1 percent have trillions stashed away in offshore accounts, the exact figures for which can’t be reliably determined, although the best estimates place the total amount at approximately $12 trillion, enough to wipe out all current debt for all American households.

If these staggering statistics seem overwhelming, you can find lots more at daviddegraw.org, along with all the sources from which these figures were obtained.

Economic inequality has historically been one of the primary causes of political revolutions, including our own. Maybe it’s time for a second American revolution?


Santa Rosa

Show Comment