Letters to the Editor


Measure Q Verbiage

Leilani Clark was taken for a ride by whoever told her that a Sonoma County judge “threw out sections of the ballot argument against Measure Q, ruling that opposition statements contained false and misleading information” (“Riding that Train,” Oct. 8). I was in the courtroom, and that is not what happened. It is true that backers of Measure Q sued critics over one sentence in the No on Q argument, signed by Ernie Carpenter (Sebastopol), Dick Gaines (Windsor), Bill Bennett (Petaluma) and me. The sentence was retained (not “thrown out”), tweaked slightly with our consent, and appears in the Sonoma County Voters Information Pamphlet (“Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure Q”) as follows: “NCRA freight trains and gravel mining, if facilitated by SMART, might damage the Eel River and its threatened salmon and steelhead.”

We have been called liars and worse for wanting to inform voters about Measure Q’s shortcomings—its outlandish expense, limited utility and detrimental consequences. Under the guise of reducing greenhouse gases and traffic congestion, Measure Q would actually fuel overdevelopment and environmental decline, while diverting huge sums of money from more workable transportation solutions.  But don’t take my word for it. Please read the ballot arguments in your voter information pamphlet and make up your own mind about which side, blinded by wishful thinking, is taking you for a ride. Then vote no on Q.

Joan Vilms

Santa Rosa

Call it Art Country, Please

A big thanks to Gretchen Giles and the Bohemian for spotlighting ARTrails, the Arts Council and the new Artspace404 (“Hitting the ‘Trail,” Oct. 8). As a new Arts Council board member, I’m impressed by the number of programs and initiatives the council plans and executes year after year as the county’s champion and voice for the arts. Sonoma County’s wealth of creative talent, established and emerging, visual as well as performing, is still largely undiscovered, and your article not only helps raise the awareness of our art community, it helps us in our goal of making Sonoma County as well known for its arts as it is for food and wine.

Rob Akins


Neanderthal slanderer!

Dear Tom Tomorrow: Well, you’ve done it again!  Earlier in this presidential campaign, about 150 years ago, you published an edition of “This Modern World” that compared Republican presidential candidates to Neanderthals. The strip on Oct. 1 also repeats that same slander of Neanderthals, but this time you added insult to injury by comparing a certain Republican vice presidential candidate to, and I quote, “a deer caught in the headlights.”  Now our doe-eyed friends are also caught in the cross-hairs of your invective.

A call to arms: Neanderthals and deer caught in headlights, unite against defamation!

Ken Ward



Contest: Jive Turkey

Our annual fall writing contest is here and once again, we’re playing a slight variation on Exquisite Corpse. We start a story (see below) and you finish it in 500 words or less. Each sentence is specially larded with details aimed at prompting smart, funny, poignant, scary, marvelous, wonderful, passionate, enthralling, ridiculous and clever tales from you. Deadline is Friday, Nov. 14, at 5pm. We’ll publish the five we love the most on Nov. 26. Submissions should be sent to [email protected]; attachments are fine. Regular post is also welcomed: Jive Turkey, Bohemian, 847 Fifth St., Santa Rosa, CA 95404. No phone calls, OK?


Jive Turkey

The turkey hit the floor with a wet thud. Three year’s worth of dust settled ashily down around it. Unperturbed, Hector and Nanette continued to tango poorly, inhibited by the many packing cases around them. Breaking briefly, Nanette took a small sip of her pisco sour, leaving a lipstick ring that caught Hector’s attention. Guests were due in hours, but Hector was sanguine. After all, Nanette was sure to . . .

 What was Nanette sure to do? What’s with all that dust? If you’re going to tango, shouldn’t you do it well? What the hell is this, a Somerset Maugham short story? Packing cases!? Is there some metaphor to be wrought from a pisco sour? Lipstick, friend or foe? These questions and more are yours to answer as you best see fit when you play Jive Turkey with us!


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