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Published March 27th, 2024
Letters to the editor

Dear Editor,
I am writing this letter in response to Sora O'Doherty's article on the recent high speed chase after the armed robbery of the Jack in the Box. The tone of the reporter's article suggested the officers may have done something wrong by pursuing the subjects. I would like to comment that the commitment to our community and the dedication of Lafayette's officers is the very reason that Lafayette has been able to remain a safe community. We have not experienced the same amounts of violent crime as other local areas and this is all due to the reputation that the police officers in Lafayette simply will not tolerate violent criminal acts locally. I applaud the dedication and efforts of these officers and all the other members of the department that continue to show up. As a 20+ year citizen of Lafayette I am grateful for their efforts and I hope that they continue. Support our local officers rather than demeaning and questioning their efforts. Please continue to work so hard in the fight against these violent criminals in order to keep us safe. Thank you Lafayette PD.
Richard Shinaman, M.D.

Dear Lamorinda Weekly Editor:
Thank you for publishing an article on the Feb. 28 high speed chase from Lafayette to Orinda in your March 13, 2024 edition. I write to add additional perspective on the incident.
I am a parent of two elementary school children who attend Wagner Ranch Elementary School in Orinda. I was saddened to learn that the Feb. 28 high speed chase from Lafayette resulted in an injury collision involving a seven year-old child. I hope the child and all impacted make a full recovery.
The article failed to note, however, that the crash took place adjacent to Wagner Ranch Elementary School's entrance (at the corner of Camino Pablo Road and Bear Creek Road). Had the Contra Costa County Sheriff-led pursuit occurred just 30 minutes earlier, hundreds of elementary school students would have just been dismissed from class, dozens of whom walk home from school daily along Camino Pablo (including my own children).
As Camino Pablo Road nears the elementary school, it transitions from a four-lane road to a two lane, narrow winding road with a 30 mph speed limit. Along much of the route, there are no barriers protecting the walking path from vehicles. Elementary school children cross Camino Pablo at multiple crosswalks as they make their way home from school each day. Our community is incredibly lucky that this ill-advised pursuit did not end in greater tragedy.
I am appalled and frankly outraged that the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office offered no comment as to why its officers deemed it safe or appropriate to engage in what I understand to be an upwards of 70 mph chase past an elementary school on a school day. I implore community members, including our City Council, to demand accountability. The steep costs of high-speed pursuits have been well-documented, and the consensus is clear that the benefits rarely outweigh the risks.
Carri Maas

Dear Editor,
Reading the article written by Sora O'Doherty was reminiscent of news from the old Southern newspapers. It is unthinkable & a disgrace to read that the suspects were a "24 year-year-old Black male and a 39-year-old Black female.." What color were the police?
O'Doherty's next article will probably mention the religion and ethnic background of perpetrators..
This article is a betrayal of the social justice for which so many have worked and by printing this letter you are abetting the perpetuation of and sanctioning such heinous language.
Gloria Marchick

As a Contra Costa College Biology Professor, I wanted to provide a clarification to the article "The Garden Melting Pot" published on March 13, 2024. Cynthia Brian stated "Many revered non-natives have acclimated to our soil, weather, and stressors providing food and refuge for our insects, wildlife, and birds while living in harmony with native species." While it is true that many non-natives thrive in our ecosystem, it is not necessarily true that they live in harmony with native species. Ecosystems consist of delicate food webs with producers and consumers that have evolved together for thousands of years and non-natives can disrupt this delicate web. Some consumers only survive on a very small selection of native species. I would encourage everyone to plant as many native species as possible.
Suzanne Sparacio MATSci, PhD

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