Napa has indeed changed ("Start of Something Big," May 8).
It's the Monday after the BottleRock festival. I watched from a distance the effect this gathering (for profit) has had on the Napa Expo neighborhood. And I purposely did not attend, and avoided the area to keep out of traffic jams.
The reason why I did not attend, and I'm not alone in this reason: I could not afford the ticket price. I quickly dismissed the offer to volunteer after finding out on the website that there would be a $15 processing fee to apply to volunteer. That gave me a sign of what the promoters were all about.
The ultimate comment should really be coming from the many residents of the Juarez Street to East Avenue to Fairview Drive neighborhoods, who were subjected to the crowds that saturated the Expo area. I wonder what percentage of them look forward to BottleRock 2014, for which, in the spirit of promotion, tickets are already on sale?
Don't know about the 2014 volunteer application process.
I'm certain that chefs Kronmark and Doppelfeld were able to offer top-notch training for our returning veteran warriors ("Kitchen Call," May 8). Both have the professional demeanor that lends itself to proper guidance and direction rather than the idiotic, stereotypical shouting matches that are popularized by some current TV shows. These men have what it takes to provide the necessary ingredient for our wounded recovering veterans—and that ingredient is heart.
I just wanted to say thank you to the Healdsburg Jazz Festival for the Marcus Shelby Orchestra with Faye Carol and the HJF Freedom Jazz Choir show at the Community Baptist Church in Santa Rosa last Saturday night. The atmosphere was great, and the performance of "a musical suite . . . inspired by the civil rights movement" was absolutely fantastic, emotional and beautifully played. The jazz big band was scorching, and to see a hundred local people in the choir was a thrill.
I am shocked to see the misleading signs regarding Drakes Bay Oyster Company popping up around Sonoma and Marin counties. These signs should say "Save Pt. Reyes Wilderness." I strongly support organic, sustainable agriculture and I love oysters, but the attempt by Drakes Bay Oyster Company and their corporate allies to deny wilderness status to Drakes Estero has nothing to do with farming and everything to do with opening publicly owned wilderness lands to development.
Pt. Reyes National Seashore is a wonderful example of cooperation between agriculture, the national park system and wilderness. My family, friends and thousands of other people worked for years to protect this national treasure. The current owners bought the oyster company in 2005 with seven years remaining on their permit, knowing that the Estero is a designated wilderness area. They should honor their lease agreement and contracts, follow the rules and policies and respect the 1976 wilderness designation.
This is not an issue of "farmer" vs. big government. The real issue here is that private development and industry interests have been working for years to overturn environmental laws and allow natural-resource extraction and commercial development in the wilderness areas, national parks, oceans, estuaries and other publicly owned and protected lands. As a member of the public, one of the millions of owners of the Point Reyes National Seashore, I urge all Americans to protect Drakes Estero wilderness and stop the attempt to privatize and commercialize our national park and wilderness systems.
American taxpayers have waited 40 years for wilderness designation for Drakes Bay Marine Estuary in our beloved Point Reyes National Seashore. Please let any restaurant or business displaying one of these signs or serving Drakes Bay oysters know that you support our National Parks, the law and wilderness designation for Drakes Estero in Pt. Reyes National Seashore.
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