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June 27-July 3, 2007

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Letters to the Editor

Debunking de-watering

In response to Paul Stutrud's "Construction Queries" letter (June 13), a couple of clarifications need to be made regarding the groundwater issue he mentions at the Sonoma State University's Green Music Center project.

First, the letter correctly reports that several "shallow" 25- to 30-foot-deep temporary well (technically called "temporary de-watering systems") were installed to remove groundwater during the early phases of construction. However, Mr. Stutrud claims no permits were issued. The County of Sonoma Permit and Resource Management Department, Well and Septic Section and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board-North Coast Region would disagree with this claim; permits where issued and a Well Completion Report was filed for the temporary de-watering system.

Secondly, Mr. Stutrud claims that the shallow temporary de-watering system caused the collapse of a permanent 210-foot well casing at Grossi Farms, northeast of the campus, approximately a quarter of mile away. This is an untrue statement supported by the fact that our de-watering system was temporarily started Saturday, June 16, 2006.

Ms. Sharon Grossi's well casing failed the day before we began, on Friday, June 15, 2006, as confirmed by Ms. Sharon Grossi herself.

Christopher Dinno, Senior Director, Capital Planning, Design, and Construction, Sonoma State University

And she shall be earth

Love your green issue ("Biophilia," June 20). Pardon me while I drag out my soapbox for a short rant. In English, when we write of a thing, we do not capitalize it. When the dog becomes important in our lives, we give him a name: we call him Spot. Not spot. We capitalize the word to indicate love, reverence, identity, uniqueness, personhood.

Our planet is one of several in this solar system. It is the planet we live on. All the planets have names: Venus, Mars, Jupiter. These are names, so we capitalize them. Our planet has a name, too: Earth. Since Earth is our planet's name, shouldn't it be capitalized, too?

If this word is not capitalized, it can rightly be construed to refer to soil or dirt, not the whole, magnificent planet. Psychologically, if we do not capitalize the name of our planet whenever we use it, we are dismissing it as dirt.

I suggest the Bohemian and all persons who revere our planet always capitalize the name Earth. It's just a little change, but an obvious one, when you think of it. But maybe it will contribute to the shift in consciousness we must undergo in order to save our planet, our beloved, living Earth.

Diane Darling, Graton

In praise of Mr. Penniman

What's this grumbling I hear about Little Richard's performance last Saturday at the Russian River Blues Festival in Guerneville? (Table of Contents, June 20 print edition.) When I first heard that the "architect" of rock 'n' roll was going to be at the blues festival, I assumed then that I might not hear him play rock 'n' roll standards. Now, no one loves origin rock 'n' roll more than I do. I am a DJ on Guerneville's own noncommercial radio station (streaming on the Internet at www.kggvfm.org.)

My specialty is pre-British Invasion, and Little Richard is one of my favorite artists of all time. When he started to play with a band of two drummers, three horns, bass and guitar and his beautiful self on the grand piano, he announced that Saturday is his Sabbath and he doesn't usually work on that day. So he played mostly old camp meetin'-style spirituals. But they did rock. I mean, how could they not with a band like that and the King (and Queen) of rock 'n' roll performing them?

I loved that he broke down that silly gold-tier seating caste system by asking the audience to come forward to the stage (thanks to security for letting us!). So there I was within eye-contact distance of the man himself just appreciating the fact that he was there for us. Reality check: this was one of the latter day performances of someone who started rockin' more than 50 years ago. He will be 75 next birthday. When I saw him perform five years ago, he stood on the piano. Last Saturday, he walked with crutches when he finally stood up and he left the stage in a golf cart.

Personally, I am thankful I was there to see and hear him perform in my own backyard, and I honor the fact that he chose to emphasize the spiritual that afternoon. We have to let even our most beloved performers be humans not juke boxes.

Sister Glitz, Guerneville


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