Letters to the Editor


A Record Store Worker Writes In

In the article “Fifty Years of Howlin’: A visit with Arhoolie Records’ Chris Strachwitz,” Robert Kravolec states: “An older gentlemen, also doing inventory, gives me the once over, adding a few cagey questions and eyefuls of boredom.”As the “older gentleman” mentioned, allow me to clarify. The day Mr. Kravolec visited, we were closed to the public and in the midst of our annual inventory. Mr. Kravolec may have misunderstood, Chris Strachwitz (pictured) does not frequent the retail store. He is more easily reached through his office at Arhoolie Records. We were rather busy attempting to meet a deadline, but nonetheless took time to protect him from any needless inquiry.I recall that Mr. Kravolec failed to clearly identify himself or his business, hence the cagey questions. As for the eyefuls of boredom, this may well be in the imagination of Mr. Kravolec. In closing, I would also recommend that Mr. Kravolec refrain from resorting to any unneeded derogatory descriptions like mousey to describe our staff. Perhaps I’m missing the point. If so, my apologies.

J. C. Garrett

Down Home Music, El Cerrito

Tax All Meat and Dairy Products

This country would be in better shape, physically and financially, if we implemented a tax on meat, eggs and dairy products. At least then the tax code would reflect our social incentives and burdens, the tax would help to curb the self-destructive health impacts of consumption of these foods, and revenues could compensate society for the associated devastating environmental impacts. It’s hardly a radical concept, and there are already similar taxes on tobacco and alcohol products, as well as some states taxing soft drinks and other junk foods.

Revenues could reimburse Medicare and Medicaid for treating victims of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and other chronic killer diseases, all linked conclusively with consumption of animal products, and even pay for the restoration of waterways and wildlife habitats devastated by meat and dairy production.

Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” However, death can be deferred and taxes reduced selectively with a tax on meat and dairy products.

Larry Rogawitz

Santa Rosa

Well-Oiled Wall Street

Why is it that our country will involve itself in illegal and immoral military engagements, tolerate massive environmental destruction and give tax incentives and preferential treatment—only to allow our energy sources to be threatened by speculators and gamblers on Wall Street? How is that protecting our interests? Am I the only one to notice that the first thing that happened after the crash of 2008 was that gas dropped radically in price? Then we bailed out the banks, but instead of loaning that money to small businesses, they ran out and bought gas and oil shares with the money—driving up the price. Gas is again rising to unsustainable prices for the working-class to afford. Fear of unrest in the Middle East is being used as an excuse. It threatens our fragile recovery. Why isn’t it part of our National Defense Policy to restrict speculation on necessary commodities such as oil, which has such a direct influence on our economy?

J. T. Younger

Santa Cruz

Burgers Aren’t 25 Cents Anymore

Sorry to say, but when the Pine Cone restaurant changed, it was not for the better. It may fit well with modern-day Sebastopol, but they lost something in the change. I went to Analy in the ’50s and it was our regular hangout. We could get a hamburger and a cherry Coke for 25 cents.

After the change I went in once, looked at the menu and prices, and got up and walked out. As far as I’m concerned, they ruined an old icon of the town. Sometimes it’s best to leave things as they are. If it works, don’t fix it!

Chuck Woodbury


Sonoma County Library