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06.22.11

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Theatre District of the Absurd

Bravo to Peter Byrne's exposé ("Basin Street Blues," June 1). Finally, an intelligent exposure of very confusing facts. The marriage of Basin Street and Barella is so obvious. Barella knew his low offer to Basin Street would be well-rewarded to cover his low bid. I'm wondering which city officials got kickbacks.

Mr. Byrne has only touched the tip of the iceberg, and I hope he will continue to pull the string. My dad used to say, "Never do anything unethical—you don't know who or what it may affect. Mr. Business was said to be good for what he did on Sunday—but Mr. Business went to hell for what he did on Monday."

It's sad, but your cover picture of the smiling girl, innocent and hopeful, reminds me of the first movie theater fundraiser held across from the mill in the car lot—courtesy of George Lucas, who befriended the determined and ethical young girls who decided on their own that a theater would benefit downtown. What a magical night to attend the film American Graffiti and see the town backing the girls. And so the good news spread—and so the sharks and jackals came sniffing around, and so the city council officials basked like deer in the headlights.

Claudia Phelps

Petaluma


Hobbs on Lock

In Graton there sits a vintner named Paul Hobbs, whose ruthless reputation increases daily. Owner of 10 vineyards, he has recently acquired eight acres of his elderly neighbor's land at prices far below market value ("Sour Grapes," May 18). Hobbs is now clear-cutting his newest acreage in Pocket Canyon, near Guerneville, though he has been issued a stop order.

Our community needs to work together to stop this individual's negligent and destructive operations. Serious negative consequences to the environment, water table and quality of life do not concern him. But the consequences are already heavily impacting our community.

Una Burke

Stewarts Point


Libya: Not a War?

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has filed a lawsuit accusing the Obama administration of waging unconstitutional military operations in Libya. The suit says President Obama violated the War Powers Act by failing to obtain congressional approval for the Libya attack within 60 days. Last week, the White House issued a lengthy report arguing Obama had the authority to ignore the 60-day window because the U.S. role in Libya was limited and therefore outside the scope of Congress.

The people are brainwashed.

Ted Rudow III

Palo Alto


Ugly Inner Workings

Leilani: Your article was a smear, as I expected ("Hidden Agenda," June 15). You attacked my partner, did not interview her for the facts, solicited quotes from people with a grudge against us without giving us a chance to respond, distorted my statements, deliberately tried to injure my employment by naming my employer though I asked you not to (and you agreed), and coined a term, "Agenda21ers," in order to diminish the importance of the issue.

A couple of years ago, I reported Michael Allen to the Fair Political Practices Commission, and the Press Democrat did a smear article on me using Judy Kennedy. Now I reported Valerie Brown to the FPPC, and the Bohemian used Judy Kennedy—the quote is nearly identical. Gary Wysocky neglected to mention that he stole the position of JCNA president from Kay so that he could call himself a "neighborhood leader" when he ran for Council a month later. That was the kind of "neighborly" behavior he supports. She was democratically elected, and he was not.

This kind of yellow journalism shows that you are available for hire—an ugly look into the Bohemian's inner workings.

Rosa Koire

Santa Rosa

Hi Rosa, thanks for writing. I do want to clear up one thing: Your employer's name as well as your job title and description are very clearly stated on your own website, and you yourself outlined the relevance of your line of work to your views on Agenda 21 in your speech to the Tea Party group in Danville. Unbeknownst of your request, I added it to the article in the editing stages, as it was information that you appeared to be comfortable sharing with the public.—Gabe Meline, Editor


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