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Letters to the Editor, Jan. 26 - 29

Hanna troubles? Follow the money

EDITOR: Regarding the recent editorial on Hanna Boys Center (“Troubled Times for Hanna Boys Center,” Jan. 12). My son attended Hanna Boys Center for a year. His counselor was Mr. Kevin Thorpe. In that year we met with Mr. Thorpe 52 times (once a week). I will never believe he is guilty of harming anyone; nor will I ever believe it of Father Crews.

Why did the victims wait so long to come forward? Have they been put on a lie detector? Or would that be too easy? As for the 22-year-old female counselor and the 17-year-old student, why would you think the staff at Hanna was aware of it and did nothing to prevent it? That’s just plain stupid.

Am I the only one who smells a rat here?

Here’s a thought: Maybe someone wants the land that Hanna sits on and will stop at nothing to destroy the reputation of Hanna Boys Center. Might also give some thought to the surrounding neighborhood that tried so hard to prevent new construction at Hanna. Funnier things have been known to happen. All it takes is money.

Diane La Rocca

Sonoma

Ask yourself: Who was your mentor?

EDITOR: National Mentoring Month takes place each January, therefore it is only fitting that we take the time and effort to thank one of the unselfish individuals within the Sonoma Valley who have stepped up to mentor one of our local kids via the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance. If you moved here following a successful career somewhere else and have made local friends of similar circumstances, there is a good chance that you will know one of them. Most local residents are aware that Sonoma Valley attracts an abundance of retired and semi-retired talented and accomplished empty nesters from all professions who have decided to make our Valley their home. Quite a few people within this group have given the unselfish gift of mentorship to kids within our Valley – especially those from lower-economic and single-parent households or broken homes. One of the most important contributions these mentors have made is to have helped kids overcome self-limiting beliefs or untrue opinions based on a perception of a behavior that is in fact, changeable. As a result, kids who would have normally been held back from becoming high achievers are mentally freed-up to literally “shoot for the stars!” In fact, without the help of a caring mentor myself, I would not have overcome my own self-limiting belief or untrue opinion many years ago that college was not in my future because no one else within my family had ever gone to college. Once I overcame this mental roadblock with the help of a mentor, I eventually became the first person in my family to graduate from an accredited four-year university. All because one caring and unselfish adult many years ago decided to make a difference in a young person’s life one hour a week. Therefore, please ask yourself, “Who was your mentor?” Chances are you had one. If so and you want an opportunity to pay it forward, please step up and make mentoring a part of your legacy. Right now, the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance has more than one hundred local kids on the waiting list for a mentor.

Bob Leonard

Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance board of directors