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May 31-June 6, 2006

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Letters to the Editor

Response Re Ravitch

I was shocked to read Jill Ravitch characterized as "unapproachable and volatile," a bully who "demeaned . . . virtually every employee in [the] office," in a recent article ("Agree to Disagree," May 24). I have had the privilege of sharing office space with Jill for two years. My experience has been just the opposite. Jill is pleasant, polite and respectful to all. Jill has formed long-lasting friendships with each person in our office at every level. We shall miss her when she assumes her new position as Sonoma County District Attorney.

Personal attacks serve to divert the voter's attention from what is currently transpiring in our courts. As a family law attorney, I can attest to the current waste of resources and clogging of our courts. Jill is endorsed by colleagues, judges and court officials who have worked with both candidates. In the article, Ms. Gomez states that "25 of the 47 prosecutors in the DA's office support Passalacqua," but notably, the Prosecutor's Association has refused to endorse either candidate. The majority of Mr. Passalacqua's employees do not support his candidacy for reelection. The Santa Rosa Police Department has also refused to endorse either candidate. It is clear that those who work most closely with Mr. Passalacqua have obvious concerns regarding his reelection.

Joann Bertram, Santa Rosa

Sugar from Coffee

I have been part of this community for 45 years. I have worked in collaboration with many leaders during that time, striving to bring us all together irrespective of race and religion. Our district attorney, Stephan Passalacqua, is one of those rare individuals who cares deeply about the future of our youth and the elderly.

Stephan participates in many activities and programs, such as the Rites of Passage, to help our teenagers make the right choices when they are faced with the challenges of peer pressure, such as using drugs or joining a gang. He has the necessary ingredients to lead a large organization with so many personalities and the ability to bring people together in our community to better address the challenges that we face, including gang violence and elder abuse. Over the years, I have observed him first-hand. He is fair and emphasizes equal justice for all of us.~He's a district attorney who is tough on crime. I have always been impressed with his commitment and dedication to making our community a safe harbor for everyone. Passalacqua has proven himself as a strong leader.

I encourage you to join me in voting for District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua for a second term. He has earned it.

Rev. James E. Coffee, Santa Rosa

Fish Farmers Are People, Too

Good article ("On the Rocks," May 17), but there is another perspective--that of the fish farmers--that we never seem to hear. These are not corporate farms, but families like those of the fishermen. To learn more, go to www.klamathbasincrisis.org. Sure, it's a biased viewpoint, but there is a lot of useful information for an understanding of the whole situation. Hopefully a solution will be found where everyone wins.

Dan Greenbank, San Jose

Dept. of Corrections

Intern Lauren Willard contributed valuably to our recent Hot Summer Guide ("Earthly Pleasures," May 24), but was lamentably overlooked in the byline listing. She most certainly was not among the "slow-footed." We regret the error. (Sorry, Lauren!)

The Ed., poisoned by pollen


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