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Dangerous pellet guns

EDITOR: Have they never heard of Andy Lopez? Two 15-year-olds in Santa Rosa playing with a lethal-looking pellet gun on school grounds (“Two boys arrested with pellet gun at school, police say,” Wednesday)? Thank God they complied with police orders. Thank God someone saw them and blew the whistle. I recently did the same thing, albeit as an actor in “13 Reasons Why.” However, several years ago, I was shot in the head in north Berkeley late at night by a 15-year-old sniper with an air rifle. He came close to taking out my left eye. Pellet guns can do real damage, too.


Rohnert Park

Seeking equity

EDITOR: I attended the Sonoma County Rises summit on equity, recovery and resilience on June 4. While waiting for the auditorium to open, I had the opportunity to chat with a woman who said that she has a 9-year-old daughter and a full-time job. Despite the fact that she wishes she could afford to live in Sonoma County, she hasn’t the means to do so. Hence, her homelessness.

She has a support system in the San Joaquin Valley, but a Sonoma County court ordered her to stay here as her daughter’s father shares custody of their daughter. She has sought help from agencies throughout Sonoma County but is stuck. She can’t afford to live here, but she has been ordered to stay.

I shared her story with a friend at the summit. I told him I felt guilty. He asked me if I felt guilty because I’m not homeless. Upon reflection, I said I felt guilty because I couldn’t offer her any resources she hadn’t already tried. I guess I’m confused. The word “equity” kept coming up in the summit.


Executive director, Friends Outside In Sonoma County

Out-of-step parties

EDITOR: Ah, California. They want us to conserve water, as voters legalize pot, a crop that uses massive amounts of water. No money for roads, housing, etc., but more than $60 billion for a bullet train (because Jerry Brown likes trains, as does Gavin Newsom). Millions in taxpayer money to fight deportation of illegal immigrants. Teaching Spanish in schools to American kids. Jobs requiring bilingualism. Making us a sanctuary state and fining employers who cooperate with federal authorities. Constantly sticking it to property owners with more taxes to pay for services that benefit everyone, instead of sales taxes so that everyone shares the cost.

I’m a conservative independent. I hate Donald Trump. I believe Dreamers should be allowed to stay. They had no choice coming here (but are their parents still here illegally?). I believe birthright citizenship needs to end unless at least one parent is here legally. I believe in banning assault rifles and a woman’s right to choose.

It seems all the politicians’ ads speak of their support for immigrants and how progressive they are. Democrats are too far left and Republicans are too far right. So who’s working for people like me?



Settling fire claims

EDITOR: We found the comments of Danielle Cagan of the CSAA Insurance Group a bit ironic (“Seniors plan for next disaster,” May 31). As an example of CSAA’s commitment to “support the community through the long-term recovery and rebuilding process,” she cited their donation of 1,000 emergency bags to seniors as “an example of how we can do that, while helping people be prepared for whatever the next emergency might be.”

If one juxtaposes this largesse with the fact that CSAA has been extremely slow in settlements needed by its clients to rebuild their homes, one could conclude that they may be more interested in good PR than doing right by their existing customers.

Just a guess here, but we suspect their clients would appreciate fair settlement of their claims as quickly as possible — eight months after the fires — more than a gift bag of emergency supplies. These two seniors would, and we have heard that ours isn’t an isolated case. CSAA clients still slogging through negotiations of their final settlement may want to consider filing a complaint with the California insurance commissioner (insurance.ca.gov).


Santa Rosa

Graham and Christians

EDITOR: I think it is important for your readers to understand that Franklin Graham, who was recently quoted in The Press Democrat, doesn’t represent all Christian churches (“Preacher fights to turn state red,” May 28). As a member of a progressive Christian church, the United Church of Christ, I write to respond specifically to Graham’s assertion that progressives are “godless.” He is wrong, and his assumption is divisive and destructive.

There are many progressive faiths who worship God. The United Church of Christ believes that all people are made in the image of God. For this reason, we are an “open and affirming church,” which means that anyone, whoever they are and wherever they are in their life’s journey, whatever their nationality, sexual orientation, party affiliation or ethnic heritage, is welcome in our church.



Business as usual

EDITOR: I find it interesting that so many people are lamenting the cancellation of Roseanne Barr’s television show and the hundreds of jobs lost, when so many shows are canceled every season. It’s a bit of a revolving door by nature of the profession isn’t it? A show runs its course, and writers, actors, camera people, etc. move on. Does anyone expect to retire from any TV program outside of yesteryear’s soap operas?

Keep it in perspective. It wasn’t Barr’s first racist/extreme outburst. Give her the help she needs, and remove and replace her if possible. Otherwise, business as usual.



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