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Brown’s column does disservice to discussion about race and policing

How can Larry Brown purport to draw lessons about racism from the shooting of Breonna Taylor in his Oct. 2 column without mentioning the important fact that the man with her fired first at police who had announced themselves?

When police are fired upon, they usually shoot back, for their own safety and that of the public. The particulars of the action can and will be assessed, but the officer’s reaction to return fire would have been no different if the officer had been black and the shooter white or both of the same race. Taylor’s death was an accidental tragedy, the proximate cause of which was the initial shooting.

It is a great disservice to the current discussion on police and race to attribute this tragedy to racial bias on the part of police.

Brian R. Merrick, West Barnstable

Steven Xiarhos has the drive and commitment to serve

I endorse Steven G. Xiarhos for state representative and I ask you to give him your vote.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Steve for many years now and he is a dedicated, hardworking and caring individual. Steve helps provide food and clothing for veterans, students and families around the Cape. This is just a single example of the many efforts Steve has consistently put forth to care for the people in our community.

We are in need of men and women who will represent us, honestly and fairly, to steer state government in the right direction. We need serious representatives that can see past race, religion, political ideology and income to find and address the challenges facing our state today, and Steve is that person. He will reach across real and perceived divides to build trust and solve problems.

Steve has transformed his personal tragedies, as well as those that he has witnessed in his many years of service to his community, into a drive and commitment to improve our communities. We need that level of drive and commitment in the person representing us, and Steven G. Xiarhos will provide it, every day.

Dean L. Melanson, Hyannis

Whether you choose to vote by mail, vote early or vote in person on Nov. 3, I urge you to vote for Mark Forest and Sheila Lyons for Barnstable County commissioner.

County government has a lot of potential to aid the residents of Cape Cod. Today it’s time for a change in leadership on the Barnstable County Regional Board of Commissioners. Mark Forest and Sheila Lyons are a breath of fresh air county government needs in 2020.

I have followed Mark Forest’s career over the years and I have always been impressed by how he has served our communities on the Cape. When he worked in the Provincetown town manager’s office, he skillfully guided planning and secured funding for the redevelopment of MacMillian Pier. He secured funding for groundwater protection and much of the town’s water system. With Congressman Gerry Studds, he was one of the founders of the Community Development Partnership, a nonprofit engaged in creating affordable housing and economic development assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses.

As Chairman of the Cape Cod Conservation District, Forest helped revitalize coastal wetlands and construct new fish ladders in many Cape towns. Most recently as a Yarmouth selectman, Mark has continued to demonstrate his commitment to the residents of Cape Cod.

With Mark Forest and Sheila Lyons on the regional board, Cape Cod will be ready for what 2021 and the next four years bring.

Please remember to vote for two on your ballot for Barnstable County Commissioner: Mark Forest and Sheila Lyons.

Paula Perrone, South Yarmouth

Lange, Rifkin offer lesson in civility

I was quite surprised but heartened to read of the friendship between Paul Rifkin and Adam Lange in the Cape Cod Times on Oct. 11. These are men of two totally opposite beliefs who have managed to go beyond their disagreements and instead civilly discuss their differences. I wish that our Congress would do the same!

I am inspired to actually try to seek out those with whom I disagree and see how an open conversation would sound, and to what avail?

Any takers?

Avis Pritzker, Hyannis

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