I would like to commend Gabe Meline on ("Not What It Seems," April 4). I am the sergeant for the Santa Rosa Police Department Downtown Enforcement Team.
Ms. Reed failed not only to pay her bills, as any other responsible business owner would in the downtown area, but provided an unsafe business that was potentially a disaster waiting to happen. Mr. Meline's article addressed key points in that it is not about the music. I am all for having a venue that provides a safe haven for kids to perform; however, this does not allow someone like Ms. Reed to allow for dangerous conditions. I would bet my bottom dollar that if a fire or other incident happened during a concert and a young person was killed or injured, their parents would be the first ones at the city doors demanding why Ms. Reed was allowed to operate her business in such a hazardous way.
Sgt. Andy Romero, Santa Rosa Police Dept.
Difference of opinion
Hip-hop is one of my true loves. The Bohemian might occupy a place in my heart if it plays its cards right. I don't always agree with reviews, but whatever--it's a difference of opinion, right?
However, before the arrival of Heroes in the City of Dope is something that I feel Gabe Meline shouldn't get away with (Critic's Choice, "Hyphy Overload," April 4).
Sure, his material might be obscure, but the Grouch is one of the dopest emcees ever, and I'll say in this letter that Heroes in the City of Dope didn't sound that special at all.
Oh yeah, and the picture attached to the critic's review isn't the Grouch as the review claims. Do your homework. There is a presence of melanin in the emcee's material, but other than that he is a pasty white mofo. Thanks for trying, though.
Handsome Frank, Calistoga
Um, speaking of pasty white mofos, certain terrifyingly white editors made the mistake with the picture, not Gabe . . .
Who is that gorgeous man?
At a time of war, global warming and breathtaking government corruption, the notion of artistic attribution is less than cosmic. But I was delighted by the lovely photograph of the sexy man in the sombrero on page 99 and noticed there was no photographer's credit (Critic's Choice, "Si Se Puede," March 21 print edition).
Art rarely feeds the poor or clothes the naked. Indeed, the artist more often than not struggles to feed and clothe herself. But the value of art to our collective souls is incalculable and acknowledgement of its source is, at the least, a courtesy. Thanks for running a terrific picture.
Lucy Aron, Sebastopol
Fortunately for us, Lucy, artistic images are also often degraded into that anonymous bundling known as "clip art." Our Mister Beautiful of p99 was indeed a product of such a homely transaction. Good-looking, half-dressed people sell free papers (and make us deeply happy on the inside). Thanks for the nice note; sorry to strip the scales away.
Making mention of mentoring
Mentor Me Petaluma would like to thank the many individuals and businesses in Sonoma County that so generously supported our recent Mad Hatter Ball. The proceeds, in excess of $20,000, will assist us with some of next year's expenses as we provide over 100 mentorships in 10 schools. This kind of support is exactly what we envisioned as we founded our school-based mentoring program eight years ago. We know that a community that supports its youth for success in school and in life is a stronger, healthier community.
In my years as principal of McNear School, I witnessed the many immediate positive results of mentoring on children, on their mentors and on our school as a whole. Mentoring is among the strongest interventions we can provide our children.
On the eve of my retirement from the Mentor Me Petaluma Board, I urge others to join in this effort--if not as a mentor, then as a committee or board member who provides the support that insures successful, ongoing mentorships.
Call Mentor Me Petaluma at 707.778.4798 or visit our website www.mentormepetaluma.org. Your life will be enriched and our community will become more interconnected.
Clare Eckhardt, Sonoma