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Thank you for showing a continuing interest in the “high-profile” bicycling death of Greg Jennings, which occurred August 25 of last year. (“Gross Negligence?” June 18). I have a few bones to pick with the last two paragraphs, which contain Mr. Gallegos’ comments about petitions and vengeance.

Family, friends, and colleagues of Greg Jennings and his wife, Lisa Hoover; family, friends and colleagues of the bicycling community, and the greater community — we are all strata in the body politic. Our names on a petition, and the number of our names, lend gravity to the circumstances of Greg’s unfortunate, wasteful death. We hope these circumstances will not be forgotten or ignored. Petitions are not out of place; they invite public awareness.

Justice sought — and justice gained — can be achieved within the framework of fairness and due diligence. Vengeance need not — and should not — be a participant. I regret that Mr. Gallegos raised this spectre as stated in the closing words of Walters’ article.

I was present at all open court dates in the Bear case; I was present and participated in the conference room parley with Gallegos after the June 10 date, when he apologized to us all for that day’s fiasco in court. We present were astounded by his last minute change of tack. Certainly we expressed our frustration and confusion and dismay but at no time, either overtly or implied, did I hear an expression of vengeance. Instead I heard a baffled but determined concern for justice for Greg, a need for “due diligence” and, decidedly, a further exploration of the several witnesses who saw the collision and its aftermath.

Betty Jain, Arcata

Sweet Spot*: Betty Jain wins a Bon Boniere sundae for sending our favorite letter of the week.*


A “sudden change of direction in the prosecution” relative to Gallegos’ morning of the trial session with one CHP officer ... I would have thought, after more than six months, it more befitting that the DA’s office review the sudden change made by driver Alan Bear, who on a straight stretch of Hwy 299, in broad daylight, upon seeing the bicyclist ahead, suddenly left the lane by 15 feet (not 10 as stated in the article), to hit and kill Greg Jennings.

From the beginning, family, friends, colleagues and the Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Association have only asked that Gallegos and his office closely review all the evidence of the case, contact witnesses and practice due diligence. These are reasonable expectations. Thus the closing of the article with the quote by Gallegos inferring that the petition (not to mention the letters, e-mails, personal meetings that I and others have engaged) was to pressure his legal decisions, more to the point, the communication was to give a voice to the larger community to express concern. For others such as myself, the impetus was to try and understand the process, the perspective of the D.A, but also to raise issue with lack of follow-through and thoroughness in the investigation of this case.

As to the article’s placement of Gallegos’ quote about “justice can’t be vengeance” at the very end — well this is a very, very poor and misguided synopsis of what we are all about and, frankly, an insult.

Lisa D. Hoover, Blue Lake


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