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E-mail letters of no more than 200 words to

letters@pressdemocrat.com. Writer's name, address and phone number

must be included. Writers will be limited to one letter published

every 90 days. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

Commentaries become property of The Press Democrat. They may be

republished in all Press Democrat media.


E-mail local opinion pieces (no more than 650 words) to



* Editorial Director Paul Gullixson

Phone: 521-5282

E-mail: paul.gullixson@pressdemocrat.com

* Editorial Writer Jim Sweeney

Phone: 521-5201

E-mail: jim.sweeney@pressdemocrat.com


Editorials, letters and columns also are available at


Solving a crime

EDITOR: I am asking for help solving the tragic hit-and-run accident that killed my son, Kody Williams, on Feb. 19, 2009 on Citrus Fair Drive in Cloverdale.

My family has had a challenging 17 months with grief since his death. We believe that someone knows something and has yet to come forward. Our concern is that the driver, having avoided any consequence, could harm another individual, thinking he or she can get away with it. We would not want another family to have to deal with what we have, and that's why we are asking anyone with information that might help solve the case to come forward.

We would like to sincerely thank the people who have spoken up with information. I realize the great strength it can take to do the right thing in life.

We all miss Kody so much, and we know he would want us to keep the faith that this case will be closed. As a mother, it is the worst thing in the world to have to deal with -- not only the loss of your child but also knowing this individual is still roaming the streets. Please help find Kody's killer.

Forward any information to Mike Campbell of the Cloverdale Police Department.




Boxer voter

EDITOR: I am a member of several of the "elite extreme environmental groups" that Carly Fiorina berates Sen. Barbara Boxer for supporting ("Boxer, Fiorina come out swinging," Sept. 2).

The most extreme environmental group has stopped oil drilling from Bodega Head to Monterey. This elite extreme environmental group is your federal government in the guise of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. You know, the people who bring you the weather forecast; the people who oversee our coast in the form of our national marine sanctuaries. This is who Fiorina is against.

The choice is simple. Boxer is against oil in the water and on our beaches. Fiorina is for oil in our water and on our beaches.




Time for change

EDITOR: The past 12 years have been devastating for Petaluma. Those who we have entrusted with our well-being and progress have let us down.

I read political signs saying "Proven Leadership." As a retired U.S. Army officer, I know what leadership is all about, and I haven't seen it lately. Those who call themselves leaders have held back this community, and if they had their way we would be riding around in covered wagons and stagecoaches. No, this is not a tourist town. We have bars, banks and antique stores and little or nothing more.

As a citizen of this community for 37 years, I urge the people to wake up and put folks in leadership positions who have our best interests at heart -- unless you are happy with our streets, business atmosphere and economy.

Change is right around the corner when you cast your vote for David Rabbitt as supervisor, Jeff Mayne as our common-sense mayor and Mike Harris, Ray Johnson and Karen Nau as our City Council members.

Petaluma is a great city that has been held back by folks with their own agenda. I love this community, and I want to see us become the leaders not only in the county but in the state of California.




Welfare states

EDITOR: Dorothy Beardsley points out the deplorable condition of California roads and rest stops in comparison to many other states she recently traveled through ("An unwelcome," Letters, Sept. 6).

What Californians need to understand is that, according to the Tax Foundation's 2005 figures, three of the four states Beardsley mentions received more dollars than they sent in taxes to the federal government, and the fourth, Texas, while receiving less than it sent, still recouped 16 cents more per dollar than California. New Mexico topped the list as they received a whopping $2.03 for every dollar it sent in taxes.

They are what are called "welfare states," thriving off states such as California that only received 78 cents for every dollar we sent to Washington. It is these other states, which decry the welfare system then conversely feed from California's tax-dollar trough, that should be ashamed. I believe California would look much different if we received a dollar for every dollar we sent to Washington.




Saluting the flag

EDITOR: In 1993, my 5-year-old asked me why I didn't salute the flag. I thought about that Tuesday while reading "Cotati flap over a flag-less flagpole," in which I learned that Gregg Karraker is upset with Mayor Robert Coleman-Senghor, who won't explain why he doesn't say the Pledge of Allegiance or place his hand over his heart. My son at age 25 now understands why I was angry in 1969 as a 22-year-old military police sergeant about the war in Vietnam and why that anger lasted many years. I told him that more than 58,000 American men and eight American women and hundreds of thousands of others died there. Many of those deaths were after Defense Secretary Robert McNamara knew we had to leave, but for political reasons they kept the war going.

I now salute for many personal reasons related to spending time with veterans from many wars. I've known many good people who don't salute and a few bad people who make a big show of doing so. In a free country you don't have to explain to anyone why you do or don't salute the flag, which is one of the reasons I do.




Reform candidate

EDITOR: I am a fiscal conservative and a registered Republican, and I'm becoming familiar with the choices for Petaluma City Council in the November election. I found some interesting concepts expressed on the website of one new face, Wyatt Bunker, electwcbunker.com.

Worthy of note is his stance on public employee pensions. Did you know, for instance, that council candidate Chris Albertson is receiving a government pension of more than $12,000 a month? We should all recognize that this government entitlement program is not sustainable, and Bunker is in favor of pension reform as one of his most important issues.

I encourage you to visit his Web page and become familiar with his candidacy.




Enough Krugman

EDITOR: I appreciate the alternate op-ed pieces by New York Times columnists David Brooks and Paul Krugman. Brooks has a variety of subjects, but Krugman is always the same -- economics. He seems a true collectivist, blowing fantasy soap bubbles about wise government-inspired stimulus or monetization. How did he win a Nobel prize? I guess he had a rapt audience in Sweden.


Santa Rosa


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