Letters to the Editor, Dec. 25

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The show will go on…

EDITOR: Last Friday’s edition has to bring smiles to many faces from within all levels of our community with the Sebastiani Theatre story (“Iconic Sebastiani Theatre Changes Hands,” Dec. 14).

Properly above the fold on the front page, we read of Roger and Diana Rhoten’s masterful work of holding on and growing the theater and of how they are warmly passing the Sebastiani to the theater Foundation, headed by Jocelyn Vick. For those of us who are familiar with the 26 years of the Rhoten tenure, the almost-ongoing heroism needed to move through all the adjustments, the nail-biting times with contracts, the city connections, etc., keeping alive this historical and social resource and saving it from the real estate plunder so common in our midst has been a large and rich gift for our community.

Now this next stage will ask us to stand up and show our appreciation which I hope we will do in good measure.

Ned Hoke


No room at the inn?

EDITOR: I’m writing regarding the people trying to close the homeless shelter (“Neighbors Vow to Shut Down Homeless Shelter,” Dec. 21). Ironic, coincidental, deja vu. Whatever the words used, it seems we’ve played this tune many times before. Actually, 2,000 years ago there was a couple who couldn’t find any room in a small town. Perhaps, not for the same reason, but they were told to go somewhere else for the time being.

Amazing that in this small town of Sonoma some people are getting the hysteria bug. These people will have the same idea that homeless people must be bad people. They must be pedophiles, drug addicts or just plain thugs. No thought that some good, kind, wonderful people have the worst luck.

In the words of Mother Teresa, “If we have no peace, it is because we’ve forgotten that we belong to each other. We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.”

Claudine Sweeters


Homeless story sad news in season of light

EDITOR: The article on the group fighting the homeless haven at Sonoma Alliance Church was heartbreaking. In this Season of Light, it took my breath away. Perhaps it could have been placed on a back page in a lower corner? News, and unfortunately not fake, but not worthy of the front page.

Kathleen Larsen


Increase IOLERO staffing

EDITOR: The Board of Supervisors will shortly select a new Director for the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO) and will probably re-define that body’s mission. IOLERO’s mandate is broad, but its efforts have fallen short because of a lack of promised staffing.

In a letter to the Board of Supervisors, the ACLU strongly supports the mandate and scope of IOLERO and its Community Advisory Commission (CAC). We urged the board “not only to continue the existence of this valuable investigative and advisory body, but to further strengthen its mandate, procedures, independence, staff, and funding.” We continued: “any restrictions placed on its staff or reductions in mission or budget… will inevitably compromise the transparency, integrity, and correctness of critical procedures within the Sheriff’s Department, not to mention compromising the civil and legal rights of citizens subject to them. We believe that Director Jerry Threet’s recommendations will result in a more professional and effective Sheriff’s Office, as well in policies and procedures that more effectively than at the present reflect the expectations of the community in the area of protection of civil and Constitutional rights.”

Sonoma Valley Supervisor Susan Gorin, a strong supporter of IOLERO, is advocating full funding for an adequate auditing and community outreach staff, and we applaud her commitment to this important component of our county government.

Dave Henderson, Patricia Morandi

American Civil Liberties Union

Sonoma County chapter

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