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05.07.08

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Jeremiah's divine purpose

I am a close family friend to the Chass family ( "For the Record," Open Mic, April 30). Jeremiah grew up with my children and was as close to our family as our own son. Gretchen Giles' editorial reveals the pain and sorrow of a mother struggling to put the pieces together after her beloved son was killed at the hands of the county sheriff's department. Thank you for such a heartfelt understanding behind this graphic autopsy. Jeremiah was a young man who wanted to change the world. He didn't worry about what other high school kids thought about him; he was more concerned about what he could do to bring peace and harmony to the community, as well as to the world. 

Everyone who knew Jeremiah from the time he was a young boy believed he had a divine purpose to his life. Now in his death, he still speaks to the hearts and souls of the community he cared so much about. Blessings.

Sheridith Maresh

Sebastopol


Enough is enough!

Ms. Giles is a talented writer with a poet's heart. No one reading her recounting of the autopsy detailing the loss of Jeremiah Chase could help but be moved to tears.

A year after the mental-health community was bought off by Mayor Blanchard, little has changed in our community. Five more souls have been lost to police violence. The county jail is being referred to by the sheriff/coroner as the de facto "mental health facility" for Sonoma County. Increased training of officers in response to the Chase killing has done little more than give police officers another excuse to bill for overtime pay.

When will the citizens and voters of Sonoma County stand up to those they elected and tell them that enough is enough?

Stephen Gale

Santa Rosa


Misdirected ire misread

Sheriffs with guns reversed what [Jeremiah Chass'] parents created, not the autopsy. The autopsy allowed the truth of what happened to his body be recorded in the hopes of justice. Our outrage should be directed towards a corrupt DA and the sheriffs who shot him, not the doctor and hard-working people who cleaned up and recorded the truth. Turn your focus to the real perpetrators of violence and not the compassionate and hardworking people of the coroner's office.

Amy May Beckman

Penngrove


More strength

With tear-filled eyes, I must comment on this soul-touching article. I am a mother of older children and granny to 11. One of my grandchildren is almost identical in weight and age as was Jeremiah Chass. We nicknamed him "noodles" because he is so thin. But that grandchild is so loved, as I know Jeremiah's mother loved him. No cop needed to murder this young one. The writer of this article said it all, and put love and dignity to the most horrible autopsy report I could ever read. I will probably read the article over and over again in hopes of gaining each time more strength to fight against killers of our children and others. When you call 911 for help, keep in the back of your mind that even though law enforcement officers are to serve and protect us, they are also capable of tiring and will riddle us with bullets. Sad. Sad. Sad.

Cora Lee Simmons, Round Valley Indians for Justice

Covelo


Costco, we hardly knew ye

Regarding "We Are Family?," the feature story by P. Joseph Potocki (April 30) on the Costco dual-system hiring/pay practices, I was shocked to find out that even Costco has joined the ranks of the big corporations that have devoted considerable "overtime" to finding new ways to bolster the bottom line profit margins at the expense of loyal workers. It seems quite clear that WDS and CDS demo workers essentially work only for Costco and thus have been forced into the ever growing percentage of the American workforce that finds itself at or below the poverty line in spite of their attempts to be honorable workers rather than dishonorable welfare recipients.

When will deep-pocket corporate management begin to realize the difference between the two groups and take steps to restore some semblance of honor to those Americans whose work ethics are loftier than their own?

There is something deeply disturbing about a corporate policy that figures out ways and means to basically cheat some workers who perform just as admirably as other workers, while publicly proclaiming to be the shining star in the warehouse-retail industry. I might have expected as much from Wal-Mart's Sam's Club, but was shocked to learn the real culprit, in this case, to be Costco.

It is frightening to me to envision a sizable percentage of a not-too-distant future American workforce that can only afford what full-time workers in Third World countries can afford. Have CEOs begun to unravel, wittingly or unwittingly, the strands that used to anchor the American dream? Sure looks like it.

James Sudalnik

Laguna Niguel


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