Thanks for reporting the stories about the appalling SPOT tagging project by Dr. Michael Domeier (Nov. 4 and 11). This is insane! I cannot believe the powers that be approved this project. It makes me physically ill thinking about dragging a hooked, 4,000-pound great white shark into a boat for a research project. Historically, researchers have been tagging sharks from boats with hand taggers while sharks remain in their natural habitat. This seems reasonable, but not the SPOT project. Shame on Dr. Domeier and everyone involved in hooking our great whites, including the government. This is reprehensible, and must be ended before they kill one of our beauties. If this shark fishing continues, a death is inevitable.
We are proud that our reportage in part prompted a series of articles on LATimes.com as well as an ABC report. What we didn't know was that actor Paul Walker was onboard Domeier's boat to add an aura of 'professionalism' to the proceedings for the cameras!
Elitism in apple country?
I was appalled by the prejudice and bigotry implied in the article "Street Talking" (Nov. 11) about the day laborers who come to Graton looking for work. My husband and I hired four men "loitering" on the streets of Graton to help us on our land four years ago. I feel so indebted to these men who were shy and unsure of themselves and their precarious place in our society. Being around them taught me humility, patience and compassion—something the snobby residents and business owners of Graton obviously need to learn. Three of the men had to return to Oaxaca. The one man who stayed here still helps us when we need it, is the hardest worker I have ever met and has more integrity than anyone I have ever known. When we treat him with concern and compassion, he is reticent and seems to be embarrassed by it.
The article goes on to say that Graton is becoming a green community. In order to become green, an annoying cliché at best, one must first start with compassion. When I have eaten in the restaurants in Graton or shopped in the various businesses, I detect a palpable elitism. So if I do find myself in Graton, I go out of my way to say, "Buenos dias" to the "men loitering on street corners" so that maybe, when they go home at night, they won't think that every white person is insensitive, egotistical and shallow, and that the world exists only for them.
Conning con's calls
I found out today that PCS Telcom phone company charges inmates at the Santa Rosa Main Adult Detention Facility $2.65 to place a local call and 8 cents a minute after that. I don't mean to criticize our judicial system, but it is just possible that some people there are innocents waiting for the wheels of justice to turn who are already poor and unable to pay bail. Why doesn't PCS Telcom provide better phone service for the unfortunates who are incarcerated there? It's like kicking someone when they are down, and lining the greedy corporate pockets while they do it. At least a local call should cost no more than it would from any pay phone. Perhaps I don't have the whole story here, but this seems like an injustice perpetrated against the downtrodden by a big corporation to me.
No Good Deed / Unpunished files
The photo on the bottom of the page was taken by John Youngblood, and was included on the website of the Hot Frittatas (Critic's Choice image, Music section, Nov. 11). You mentioned the Hot Frittatas' CD release party at the French Garden Restaurant, but you failed to acknowledge the photographer, who is a personal friend of the band, and also a very accomplished professional in Sonoma County. I was also a little puzzled why you chose the caption "No Te Enganes Corazon," which is Spanish for "Don't disturb my heart," the name of a Brazilian tango which is included on the new CD. There is no explanation about that; even for those who speak Spanish, that caption doesn't make a whole lot of sense.But thanks for mentioning the new CD. We appreciate the publicity, and we hope we get a big turnout.