Letters to the Editor: July 16, 2014

On District Attorney Ravitch's decision; note from the Dept. of Corrections; Cal is water-efficient

Ravitch’s Decision

What if everyone was allowed to admit mistakes, even law enforcement officials? What if honesty and humility were considered signs of strength? What if the asking for and giving of forgiveness were met with compassion? What if asking for and giving forgiveness were signs of strength? What if understanding was more important than blame? Might not the aftermath of Andy Lopez’s death have unfolded differently?


A tough situation. Emotion aside, it’s clear that this is not a case of criminal behavior by the officer, but rather a severe failing of civilians, young and old, being taught how to correctly act when being approached and spoken to by a policeman. Incidents of this sort—miscommunication leading to tragedy—happen constantly, and I really believe a firm understanding of how to respond to an officer would save a lot of heartache.

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It seems the toy is an exact replica of the real thing. That’s the problem.

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I grieve for the family of this young man. This must be a deeper cut to bear, like going through it all over again, I am sure. I am of an age where I remember when the police used to protect and serve. Now many officers see us as easy prey as they hide in cars that are barely recognizable as a police car, a car in the past that was easily recognizable and one you could turn to for help. When officers’ first impulse is to shoot and ask questions later, how are we to feel safe as parents when children are walking home? Everything is backwards these days.

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Last Straw

What a country we live in (“Welcome to Gun County,” Boho Blog July8): In open-carry states, a mostly white group of chubby, Second Amendment “gundamentalists” have taken to carrying actual assault weapons into retail and fast-food outlets with not much pushback from police, while in California, a 13-year-old Latino kid gets shot and killed by police while openly carrying a toy gun in a semi-rough Santa Rosa neighborhood. Meanwhile, there’s a school shooting practically every week—and thus the battle lines are drawn between arming everybody and, gee, how about some sane gun laws?

No child is allowed to open-carry. No one in California can own a non-neutered semi-automatic rifle. Open-carry activists usually inform police of their actions beforehand. There is not a school shooting every week, but over 50 percent of gun-homicide victims are African-American. How about constructive policy rather than your anti-NRA “gun laws” that do nothing to help anyone? Talk about drinking the Kool-Aid. Strawman much?

If you cared at all about ending gun violence, you would be talking about poverty, the war on drugs, black-on-black crime and the failure of anti-gun policy. But you’re not. You’re repeating talking points that don’t make sense. You’re demonizing your enemies and you’re tugging at the heartstrings of racism in the United States. Unbelievable.

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Clean Facts

Sonoma Clean Power (“Growing Power,” July 9) “made geothermal deals in recent months with the big-industry likes of Calpine and Constellation/Exelon in the Geysers.” Calpine is one of the operators at the Geysers project in Sonoma and Lake counties. Constellation (which merged with Exelon in 2012) is not one of the operators at the Geysers or any geothermal project in California. In fact, geothermal is barely mentioned on their website (www.constellation.com). Constellation is headquartered in Pennsylvania.

Via online

Editor’s response: You are correct. Constellation Energy, a subsidiary of the Exelon Corporation, does not have a geothermal power-production contract with Sonoma Clean Power as Tom Gogola reported. SCP says: “Constellation provides hydropower, wind, biomass and power from natural gas in our current contract. We are working on a second contract with them that would potentially supply power from additional sources as well. Calpine provides geothermal power in our current contract.” The Bohemian regrets the error.

Water Wise

I may be wrong (“Saving Water in California,” Bohemian Facebook page, July 9), but I think California is relatively efficient and has become more so over recent years. The commercial water deals that big commercial farms (not new, smaller ones) have been getting, though, should be renegotiated and made more fair, IMO. In any case, we have no choice but to be much more efficient, since demand is still high and water supply is low.

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