Letters to the Editor, March 1
Keep the lid on pot
EDITOR: I support David Cook's opposition to our beloved Sonoma becoming an inebriant-based economy ('City Council Makes First Move on Pot Dispensaries,' Feb. 22). Although marijuana is certainly part of our local culture, I am afraid of the elements I've seen proliferate around dispensaries -- the 'bullseye' these industrialists are willing to place on our elected officials, and the powerful concentrates they'd like to expose to local youths. Soirées similar to those of Mrs. Agrimonti's youth which she detailed in last week's article do take place behind gates in Sonoma and saying 'oh cool!' isn't a competent response. At a minimum for our public safety any new ordinance should include prohibiting the sale of incapacitating marijuana concentrates for recreational use.
Catholic priest abuse 'reprehensible'
EDITOR: Thank you for your thorough reporting these past months on the criminal abuse perpetrated against vulnerable children and victim teens through the Santa Rosa Catholic diocese ('Two Sonoma Valley Priests on Diocese Abuser List,' Jan. 15) and at Hanna Boys Center. That is reprehensible and loathsome behavior.
Thank you for exposing the corruption and crimes that had gone on for decades.
Fostering kids, fostering hope
EDITOR: This is in response to the insightful article about foster parents by Kate Williams ('Places In the Heart,' Feb. 8). I applaud the good work done by Mimi and Petie, and have tremendous respect for the social workers employed by Sonoma County Human Services. As a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer for over 16 years, I'm well acquainted with the issues faced by foster kids. We're a national organization, and the Sonoma County agency has existed for over 20 years. When family dysfunction makes it necessary for a child to enter foster care, the judge often determines the need for CASA support. We provide not only mentoring but also, along with attorneys and social workers, represent the child in court.
My 'CASA kid' was 12 when we hooked up. Smart (3.87 high school GPA) but, because of his horrific background, had anger-management issues. Before emancipated at 18, he had 17 group and foster home placements. In that time, I interacted with four overworked social workers, and we cooperated to help create a positive future for the young man. He's battled homelessness, no transportation, poor jobs – you name it. Now, he's 28, living on the East Coast with a steady job and a lasting relationship. We're Facebook friends, and he credits CASA with his success. Not out of the woods, but in the right direction.
In Sonoma County, there are 131 CASA volunteers serving 198 foster children, with 47 kids on the waiting list. Foster parents, social workers, CASAs: Working together to make a good life possible.