Fantastic! I love the Bohemian and it's mission. Thanks for carrying on the torch, in fearless and fun-loving fashion. And just between us, I'm looking forward to one day seeing my band Team Venus featured in the music section. Certainly that was NOT a plug, just a casual aside... ;-)
a fearless and fun-loving reader
weareteamvenus.com (whoops... how did that get in there? So tacky...)
Good points, Tom, but it's worth keeping in mind that there are situations when a bicyclist or group is in no way acting out of "self-entitlement" or aggression by occupying a lane when safe to do so. As drivers we should keep this in mind and not bug out and honk a horn whenever we have to wait 10 seconds to pass.
Bridges are key examples: many, like this bridge out of Pt. Reyes if it's the one on Shoreline Highway south out of town, have no bike lane. Just because a stripe exists somewhere on the side of the road does not mean that you can safely pass.
In June this year, you cannot legally pass a bike without 3 feet of clearance, minimum. On a bridge like that—it's totally unsafe to pass anyway. The dude honking in a case like this was likely the aggressive instigator, although he may have not realized that, and was not necessarily deserving of a beat-down. Clearly, everybody needs to chill a bit. I'm just pointing out that occupying a lane, in some situations like a blind curve or bridge, are the correct thing to do per California's motor vehicle code, and not a display of aggression.
Say it, Redwood baby! That's what I'm talkin' about!
I've ridden close to 100,000 miles, on three different bicycles, mostly in Sonoma County. Showing drivers you care about staying out of the way, and using courtesy, eye contact, and a smile, makes the experience a lot more enjoyable and a lot less fearful.
I've been buzzed a few dozen times, and have had the "why did you get so close" chat with some bikers trying to show me something, but most folks are pretty cool.
Be nice out there folks. Some of these drivers are also lovers, and you may need 'em on your side of the bed some day.
Big Man: I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your outstanding letter which you took time out of your life to bravely author and submit for publication. We are certainly on the same page when it comes to the disgusting shenanigans of this "man," whom I have appropriately dubbed Sonoma County's perennial political embarrassment. That the board of supervisors - chaired by David Rabbitt - did not follow through with a formal vote of censure is a real slap in the face to those of us who take pride in our county, our community and the quality of our governmental leadership. We were led to believe that at the NEXT regularly scheduled Tuesday meeting of the board of supervisors following the meeting where Supervisor Carrillo was excoriated publicly for his shameful acts and overall conduct unbecoming, that an item would be placed on the agenda calling for both his censure and resignation; and, yet, that never came to pass.
At the start of the heavily attended meeting where speaker after speaker took to the mic to voice their absolute displeasure for Supervisor Carrillo's nefarious conduct and shameful acts, Chairman Rabbitt made it clear that that board has no legal power to remove Supervisor Carrillo from his position of Fifth District Supervisor, but that certainly does NOT mean that the formal - albeit symbolic - vote could not have been held, for I believe that it would have carried great weight with the public - and would have done MUCH to help restore at least a crumb of the incredible amount respect that has been lost for the governing body known as the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.
It's a damn shame that those in power are so incredibly disconnected with the constituents who put them in power that they just don't see it that way.
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Bully, Bully.You keep the people informed.
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Nice letter, Doc. I, too believe in recovery, restoration and forgiveness for Efren Carrillo. It's between him and Jane Doe from this point forwards. One day at a time, as he said the other day to the PD.
Vote for Victoria Shanahan on June 3rd.
This case is one of the reasons Ravitch has to go. It is inexcusable how hard this prosecutor tried to make Houston Herczog a murderer rather than a mental patient - 3 opinions in favor of schizophrenia and she calls in a 4th doctor, which has never been done before in my memory. And still she lost the case, although the rest of us feel justice was finally achieved. Ravitch also promised procedural reform, which has not occurred. Mark Herczog, a good father, friend and fellow musician, died because he refused to call in law enforcement for fear they would murder his child, like Jeremiah Chass was murdered by our Sheriff's office.
How about you blame Carrillo for his own actions and not the victim, not the pressdemocrat, not the constituents, nor substance abuse. Enablers are what you are.
The guy thinks tresspassing on a strangers house looking for sex shoud be treated as some kid stealing candy. Where did you get your doctorate? A jack in the box ?
Wow! Such incessant rambling by what appear to be Carrillo's very own professional apologists.
First of all, I will remind you that alcohol is one of the most potent and effect removers of inhibitions, so Fed Up's comment, "Anyone who has experienced alcoholism first hand...can understand that what happened that night was not something a sober Efren Carrillo would do" falls completely flat on its very face.
"...and I commend him for baring his soul and not trying to cover anything up..." Indeed, on the witness stand, he did bare his soul, that therein lies the problem, for his disturbing admissions made therefrom have automatically propelled this entire pathetic situation into a whole new realm of seriousness.
Tori Coto: Your comments about the "father holding his son" which you so misguidedly made above are out of line. I met that man and his son, and let me tell you something: He is more of a man than Efren Carrillo will ever be. I and many others applauded and commended him for bringing his son to see how NOT to grow up and that the conduct unbecoming which has been displayed by our "supervisor" is NOT conduct which any of our future men who will someday walk this earth should in any way emulate. I and many others were understandably moved by his excellent speech - and his valiant display of fatherhood.
As for people being outraged and upset at Efren Carrillo's actions, I agree that they are - and for very good reason, for NEVER, EVER did we think that we would have a politician engaging in such a flagrant display of conduct unbecoming right here in our very own backyards. In fact, I would have been even more shocked had there not been such an outcry.
As for your contention, Fed Up, that he was "leaving," you obviously did not attend the court trial, nor have you followed the case sufficiently, for if you had, you would have known that Efren frightened not one but THREE WOMEN so badly that they felt it necessary to arm themselves with butcher knives and line up in lockstep formation to defend themselves against a potential attacker; and Efren testified that when he heard a man's voice, he decided to leave. Funny thing is, there was NO MAN inside that apartment....
Sarah Liz Uyehara's letter needs to be published in the Press Democrat as well as the Bohemian to reach the larger audience. I blame the Press Democrat for the negative and damaging reporting on Efren Carrillo from the beginning. They shaped reader's ideas into believing that Efren intended to harm his neighbor and that he is a sexual predator. That's ridiculous! A male or female (especially a drunk one) wanting sex is not sinister, evil, nor abnormal.
An important element that was conveniently glossed over was that when the police arrived, Efren was away from the apartment, he was leaving. He was NOT trying to force his way into the woman's apartment and he did not "rip off the screen" as some have said. he put his hand through it trying to knock on the window. Poor judgement, yes. Criminal? No.
Anyone who has experienced alcoholism first hand (and binge drinking has it's own complexities) can understand that what happened that night was not something a sober Efren Carrillo would do. Poor judgement was fueled by his disease.
He has taken responsibility and I commend him for baring his soul and not trying to cover anything up, like most politicians do. He has done great work professionally and I support him and his decision to press on.
I was deeply moved by Sarah Liz Uyehara's letter in this week's Bohemian. As someone who has worked in the restorative justice field, everything she said resonated with restorative justice principles. It was a beautiful and inspiring letter.
The reality is that until we stop stigmatizing, shaming, judging, and punishing people for making mistakes in judgement, people will not be able to look at their (and our) behavior realistically nor will they (or we) be able to make true amends and be welcomed back into their (and our) communities. Do we really want to permanently exile people for stupid, drunken behavior? Yes, I know the officer involved said that Efren really wasn't drunk, but without a blood test, how would he know for sure? Efren has admitted he was a binge drinker; most binge-drinkers have black-outs. The description of his strange behavior on that night definitely sounded like black-out behavior. It's also obvious that by doing what he did, he scared the crap out of himself. It was his "bottom" in 12-step parlance; only one direction was left to him: up. And he has been moving in that direction ever since, to his credit.
I have been appalled at the vitriol and open hatred directed at Efren, especially by this allegedly "enlightened" community. Turns out this "progressive" area isn't so open-minded and openhearted as they like to think they are. Seeing the picture in the Press Democrat yesterday of a father holding what looks like a three year old in his arms while his face is contorted with rage as he hurls judgement and shame at another human being, I couldn't help but wonder what lessons that child is learning about human behavior.
I've read postings on local online bulletin boards and letters to editors that claimed knowledge of terrible motivations for Efren's behavior; many were filled with coded racist and bigoted language. People jumped to all kinds of conclusions without real proof that their conjectures had any basis in fact. The revenge fantasies were incredibly disturbing.
Believe me, I do not, nor will I ever condone the kind of behavior Efren displayed on that night last July, but this young man showed tremendous courage Tuesday listening to not only the other supervisors chastise him, but he also sat through what looked like what one observer called " a public stoning with words." For THREE HOURS. All this after he displayed sincere remorse, talked about what he is doing to change himself for the better, and expressed understanding that what he did was a huge mistake and was very wrong.
People have been very upset about Efren's initial behavior of getting an attorney, refusing to comment, and going into rehab immediately. What many people do not understand about our justice system and why Efren did this, and then pleaded "not guilty" is that the justice system is adversarial; there is no room for sincere admission of guilt, expression of remorse, any kind of apology or making of amends to the victim with an expectation that that open honesty will be rewarded with a thoughtful, unique-to-the-situation response. Not with mandatory, cookie cutter sentencing in place and certainly not with a public "out for blood." I am sure Chris Andrian explained this to him.
I have facilitated restorative circles where a young person has laid their soul open to a room full of people who they knew hated them for what they had done and I have seen those victims who were filled with hatred soften and begin the process of forgiveness, because they have seen the sincerity in that young person's eyes. I've seen that same sincerity in Efren's eyes; he cannot hide the shame and remorse he feels and that is such a good sign that he has already changed for the better.
Too bad a restorative process wasn't done instead of a trial. And too bad he was tried and convicted in the public sphere and by the media before he got anywhere near the courtroom. I venture to say that the outcome would have been much more healing for the victim, her family and friends, as well as Efren, his family and friends, and the community.
Sarah Liz Uyehara in her Letter to the editor of May 7th has put into words exactly what I think and feel about our 5th District Supervisor. Of all of the news articles and letters to the editor I have read on this topic, Ms. Uyehara's letter has me jumping for joy!
I will applaud any person who is taking the steps to become healthy by confronting their addiction and by making decisions every day in a most brave and often difficult fashion to stop imbibing.
I have siblings who are alcoholic and a father who was alcoholic. I am thrilled that Mr. Carrillo is on the road to recovery . I wish him well, especially considering the onslaught of reprimands and demands he is meeting at every turn.
I am not in denial of his absurd and demeaning actions under the influence and neither is he.
I am also not making light of what happened and the people that were on the receiving end of his bad behavior. I have made many hurtful mistakes too.
Stay in office, Efren. Do what you must to stay sober and in 5 or 10 years from now when you have effected considerable change in your life, this judgmental brouhaha will be behind you. Know that some of your constituents are proud of you and want you to stay in office.
I am 100% behind you in this difficult and challenging time.
If Efren Carrillo were truly concerned about taking responsibility for his actions, changing his evil ways, making amends with Jane Doe and serving as a role model for our youth, he would have resigned a long time ago and spared this county and its good, dedicated, hardworking people the pain and agony that has been the end result of his SECOND run-in with the law. It is clear that he needs to spend time working on his demons, but until he makes the decision to put the people and this county AHEAD of his own insatiable desire for his own political and personal self-aggrandizement, he will not be able to do so. And, quite frankly, I don't want him doing this on my time - and on my dime. He has had plenty of chances to make amends and has failed miserably at each one of them - including at yesterday's Board of Supervisors meeting, where he continued engaging in his now-familiar version of "the blame game," blaming his current political woes on his now-plentiful political detractors. Supervisor Shirlee Zane described it as "reprehensible," and I couldn't agree with her more if I tried.
He is setting a tumultuous example of bad behavior to the community he represents! This is not high school! Grow up!
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