Letters to the Editor


Posthumous playwright

Thank you for the excellent article by David Templeton announcing the new production of Dale Wasserman’s last play, Premiere!, at Ross Valley Players (“Final Curtain,” Sept. 9). Mr. Templeton captured the spirit of the play and of my uncle’s fascinating and complex character. I was at the opening and was impressed and delighted with the production. Dale would have liked it a lot. I regret he’s not here to see it.

Abby Wasserman

Mill Valley

Four Months Away

“Coastal Conundrum” (Aug. 26) by Alastair Bland contains a statement for which we request a correction. It states that “the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, for one, has made promises to help with placing demarcation buoys along the [MLPA] reserves’ boundaries and with aerial patrols, but their promises have fallen short of reality.” This is incorrect.

The effective date for California’s MLPA sites is Jan. 1, 2010—four months away. The Farallones marine sanctuary has already issued a Request for Proposals for placement of demarcation buoys around closure areas. This work is scheduled for completion well before the effective date.

The Farallones sanctuary has also been coordinating with the California Dept. of Fish and Game and U.S. Coast Guard in developing an enforcement plan, including air patrols, for the North-Central coast MLPA sites. An enforcement technical advisory committee was established to develop an enforcement plan, including overflights. Our sanctuary has developed a flight guide for pilots. The sanctuary is also assisting the state to educate the public through boater guides and on the net, with signage and exhibits. We are frankly puzzled how any of this could be construed as having “fallen short” of promises.


Media-Outreach Specialist

Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary

Arbitrary attribution?

I was interviewed several times by writer Alastair Bland for his recent Marine Life Protection Act story. It was clear that Mr. Bland wanted to write about this ocean restoration effort from the perspective of an extractive abalone diver. Twice, he tried to attribute statements to me about the possibility that protecting key areas of the coast could shift abalone catch effort and “hammer” nearby intertidal areas, resulting in an eventual lowering of catch limits. Each time I clarified that this was not my belief. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Alastair had arbitrarily assigned me an attributed opinion on transfer of abalone catch pressure that I had specifically told him was not my position.

Your writer is certainly welcome to express his personal opinions about the health of our coast, and free to criticize those from all walks of life who spent hundreds of hours in an open public process trying to come up with a fair and equitable way to restore damage done here by too many people taking too much from the ocean. The Bohemian has a responsibility, however, to assign such opinion pieces to its editorial page and to keep erroneous attributions by its writers to a minimum.

Richard Charter

via email

Alastair Bland has reviewed the complaints issued since our story ran and assures us that his transcripts are true and correct. We stand by the story as he reported it.

Breaking the trust

I’m suspicious of the motives of the anonymous “trust attorney” who called your publication to question the competence of trustees of the Doyle Trust (“Deep Doyle,” Sept. 9). Exchange Bank, arguably the only bank in the entire world for which it can be said that the majority stockholder is a charitable trust—the Doyle Trust—has been the target of takeover attempts for decades. The first hurdle, which no one has yet succeeded in jumping, although several have made the attempt, is breaking the Doyle Trust. How interesting that an anonymous attorney now questions the handling of that trust, the sole asset of which is Exchange Bank stock. If the Doyle Trust were forced to diversify, something very sinister might happen: the bank could be vulnerable to takeover by outside interests at a time when its stock price is low because of the economic crisis. It’s anybody’s guess whether Doyle Scholarships would ever again be issued if the bank were sold.

Sonoma County is so fortunate that Exchange Bank’s founder, Frank Doyle, had the foresight to structure the trust in the way he did. Exchange Bank will again declare dividends, and SRJC students will again benefit from the Doyle Scholarships.

Alice Whitehead Chan