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09.30.09

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A Kindly correction, full of love

Regarding Juliane Poirer's Green Zone article "Heat Rises" (Sept. 16) and the Letter to the Editor response by Mr. Cauthen the following week, I only have one thing to say: Do you people ever think any of the ideas through that you write about or publish? And what about backing up opinions and statements with some kind of thesis or even just a simple explanation of what you are trying to persuade people to believe.

To start with, I have been driving the Sonoma-Marin Narrows since John Lennon broke up the Beatles (now that's emotive writing), and I have observed that the traffic still sucks at high usage times. I also drive farther up Highway 101 through Santa Rosa and have observed the dramatic change in traffic flow through the Roman-inspired "Three Lanes" area. The old congestion is now gone with the addition of another lane and doesn't return until you go back down to two lanes. Note: As the population increases through the years, congestion will return. "Yes Virginia, more people equals more cars equals more congestion equals more GHG emissions." I guess the other theory would have us believe that great masses of people just sit waiting at home with their cars until a highway is widened. Or that more people will start commuting or move to Sonoma County if they just had one more lane between Petaluma and Novato. ("Pack the bags honey, there are HOVs in wine country!") Conversely, wouldn't it make more sense that cars sitting in congested traffic would create more GHG emissions as opposed to traffic that is flowing smoothly? I'd be interested in seeing the facts that support the estimated 27 percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions due to the widening of a road. That's a pretty bold allegation to make in a supposed environmental article without anything to back it up. Am I the only one who took a critical thinking class?I'm no Caltrans engineer, but I've observed that extra lanes don't increase traffic; more people driving cars increases traffic.

Mark Barry

Santa Rosa


Hooray for Plebes

Re "New Bohemia" (Sept. 9): Some of our most brilliant, courageous people have historically come from "plebe" if not "culturally deprived" society, i.e., Lincoln, and currently the president and first lady and Justice Sotomayor. Genius does not reside only in the ranks of the elite. That is why I quit reading Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand's society of the best and the brightest is somewhat similar to members of writer P. Joseph Potocki's superclass of "global elites" with its "top-flight national, corporate and independent laboratories." Potocki does issue warnings about this elite "contado," and that is much to his favor. I found his article fascinating, and I read it three times.

Kathy Cheer

Santa Cruz


Other people's dreams are weird

After reading your article on the Meat Puppets ("Normal Whimsy," Sept. 16), I had this dream: I was in the Hopmonk Tavern's beer garden feeling happy and having a grand ol' time. I wandered into the room where the Meat Puppets were playing and everyone was doing a dance, which I think may be called the "electric slide." I thought, "This is bunk," and started a free-style spin of my own dorky creation. The proprietors would have none of this and promptly threw me out. One of them was nice enough, during my escort down the street, to go back and retrieve my pillows. I, true to fashion, sneaked back in. Although I was originally in the beer garden with a friend, a robot friend now accompanied me. The robot barged through the throngs of teenagers. We broke the gate as my mechanical buddy was compelled to lead me to a secret room in the establishment. There, video cameras recorded miniature helicopters touching down in a mock neighborhood, broadcasting to the would-be hoodlums that "the man" wasn't going to allow any shenanigans. I, true to fashion, started smashing the lights, props and cameras. The dangling wires started shocking me, but I continued my rampage. The shock grew worse but I endured them. As I made it to the exit, a wire followed me. I was getting fried as I went down the hall.

Steve Labourdette

(AKA Lab)


Dept. of Liquid Bread

In our recent groundbreaking roundup of Oktoberfest activities, an egregious error was committed; to wit, the absence of the Highland Dell's Oct. 17 and Oct. 25 festivities. They're lousy with blossoms of snow over there, featuring the Original Edelweiss Trio Oct. 17 and Tony Raymann's Edelweiss Band on the 25th. Sausages, beer—the works—they'd be glad to see your smiling self.

The Ed.

Leathered up and ready for drinkin'


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