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July 19-25, 2006

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Letters to the Editor

Sobering thoughts

I read this story ("Totally Tweaked," July 5), and it made me think about when I was using. I have a lot of similarities in my story as David does in his. I have been clean now for over a year, and I'm only 18. At 18, I should be out with all my friends, but I'm working my butt off to stay clean and never go back to using. I went to rehab when I was 17 and when I got out, I had to stop hanging out with all the people I love to death. But in the end, it is all for the better. I never want to go back to how it used to be. Thanks for the article. It made me realize even more that I want to stay clean.

Stephanie, Petaluma

Why we love resto reviews

Being crazily passionate about wine, we were surprised to find ourselves the subject of a review that focused primarily on food, and even used the term "restaurant" (First Bite, Wine Spectrum Shop & Bar, July 12). But we were pleased by reviewer Carey Sweet's consistent comments on the quality of the food, a sentiment that is regularly echoed by our customers. What I'm confused about is the lack of focus on the business's main reason for existence.

We are a successful 15-year-old Santa Rosa business. This new concern in Railroad Square is an extension of that. We are a wine shop and a wine bar. We have worldwide contacts and the experience to offer up rare and hard to find amazing wines, and offer them by the glass, the bottle and the case. Our food offerings are there because we think it's important to have some good food with your wine.

I'm also really confused by Ms. Sweet's statement that the wines pours range from $12 to $38. This is simply inaccurate. In fact, the Albarino that Ms. Sweet enjoyed costs $6 for a standard 5 ounce pour. Our by-the-glass range, and the one that was on the menu when Ms. Sweet was there, is $6 to $20 for the standard 5 ounce pour. We do also offer a 2 ounce tasting and a more prodigious 9 ounce geared toward two persons.

When Ms. Sweet visited our wine bar, we had been open for about three and a half weeks. She correctly identified a need for fine-tuning regarding food pricing and portion, and we are doing that.

As a Bohemian/Sonoma County Independent reader for over 20 years, my desire is to reach out to our entire community of wine lovers, and not only to "wealthy enophiles." The price range of our wines both by-the-case and by-the-glass demonstrate this.

Glenn Siegel, Santa Rosa

Carey Sweet responds: I consider a place that serves food, prepared by an on-site chef in a sit-down atmosphere, to be a restaurant. Certainly other diners at other tables around me seemed to share that conception as they ordered food from Spectrum's menu. As for the wine pricing and the 9 ounce glass being intended "for two," I personally don't care to share a single glass of anything with another diner. The 9 ounce Albarino is $12.

But why nitpick. It seems Mr. Siegel and I agree. Once the food pricing and portions come into balance, we'll have another fine reason to visit the Railroad Square area.

Workers are customers, too

Kudos for Joy Lanzendorfer's scary account of the Santa Rosa City Council's attempt to swallow up most of the downtown area I have known for 35 years ("Blight or Fight," July 12). Do I understand this correctly: The council can use the right of eminent domain to take private homes and businesses, and thereby get federal funding instead of having to finance this project with their own capital? This is supply-side economics run amok.

Santa Rosa has a historic downtown area--remember the Alfred Hitchcock movies. More importantly, it has residents who are trying to earn a living in this city. This country is about more than money, more than entrepreneurship. Workers matter. Workers are customers, too.

Will they be able to stay in Sonoma County if eminent domain claims their homes? Does private home ownership mean anything anymore? Does citizenship? Let's have a referendum!

Cecile Lusby, Santa Rosa

Standing to the Slur

Grazing through my magazine rack, I came across a copy of the Bohemian from a few weeks back, and read an angry, snarky letter by some guy slagging Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead for being a deluded, out-of-touch rock star in claiming that he had given back to the community (Letters, June 14). The author of the nastygram thought that claim was bogus. In response, a line from the Dead song "Jack Straw" came into my head: "I've got one old score to settle / One small point of pride." This slur should not go unanswered.

What our wannabe David Spade does not know is that Bob Weir and the Dead have in fact given away millions of dollars to worthy community groups to help create a more sane and humane society through the Rex Foundation, which has been around for many years. My group, the Living Wage Coalition, has twice received funding from Rex for our social-justice work. We know first-hand the great generosity and sense of civic responsibility of the Deadhead community through the Rex Foundation.

Ben Boyce, Coordinator, Living Wage Coalition, Sonoma


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