Bravi to Ty Jones and Spring Maxfield for creating such a fabulous event, the Handcar Regatta, on Sunday, Sept. 28, in Depot Park. What a hoot!
It's the first time in my 15 years here in Santa Rosa that I've experienced a public celebration this original, accessible and appealing to a cross-section of Santa Rosans. We could use more of the unpolished, spontaneous and participatory aesthetic of the Regatta. The blend of art and craft, history and science, fantasy, street theater and Victorian kitsch is a tangy antidote for the plethora of expensive, overscripted wine country public events.
And, in light of peak oil and climate change, what a playful way to insinuate the necessity of reviving rail travel, cycling and post- (and pre -) petroleum technology and DIY craft into mainstream culture and consciousness.
I hope the Regatta returns next year.b>Janet Barocco
Listings of Meals Past
I enjoy your Dining Guide but take issue with the descriptions of "organic" restaurants. For example, in the listing for Papas and Pollo restaurant that has run for years, the reviewer states that "it's all organic." I went there and asked if the tortilla chips were organic, since I was particularly concerned about GMOs. I was told that they were not. So I asked "Just what is organic in the burrito that I'm ordering?" The answer was "only the salad greens." I would encourage your reviewers to take organics more seriously—as do the writers for the North Bay Natural Pages—ask about percentage of organics and use statements like "some organic ingredients" instead of "it's all organic" when appropriate. For a restaurant that uses organics only for its salad greens, I wouldn't expect any mention of organics at all in the review. There are restaurants like Peter Lowell's and Cafe Gratitude that use organics for a majority of their ingredients, and I believe that many would be interested in this kind of information.
Down to the Lawyers Now
Reading your article on the Drakes Bay Family Farms oyster farm in the Pt. Reyes National Seashore ("Shell Games," Sept. 17), it is clear to me that the Lunnys run an environmentally sound business that improved greatly upon the former owners, does little if any damage to the environment and helps the area and its people through locally produced food and jobs. But NPS employees and others are justified in being concerned that by allowing the business to operate past its lease they could allow other less responsible business people to demand equal treatment under the context of legal precedent, and thereby permit continued damage to public lands all over the United States. If you will indulge me, the NPS wants Lunny to admit he took a chance and "take one for the team." I hope the lawyers can work out an agreement that respects the benign impact of the farm without implying a harmful precedent.
Robert Fox Gaynor
Dept. of Extra Info
Fall Lit usually presents with the clever glowing wit of your responses to our annual Java Jive writing contest. For the first time in some 14 years, this Fall Lit issue is Jive-free, but that doesn't mean that the Jive has left the building. It's just been pushed forward.
We who love and adore our twice-yearly lit issues have been frustrated because printing all of your clever glowing wit takes over Fall Lit and precludes us giving adequate notice of MTC's innovative staged reading series, the digital Bard, radical Jack, the last word on shamanism and other such delights as are included in this steaming hot copy held preciously by you this instant. Therefore, we plan to publish your clever glowing Jive wit in our Thanksgiving issue, Nov. 26, and will announce this year's breathless contest next week. We know the deadline will be Nov. 12; we just don't quite know what tomfoolery we're up to yet this year.
In other Lit news, please join us in welcoming novelist Bart Schneider to a regular rotation in the Bohemian. A founder of the nationally acclaimed Hungry Mind Review, Bart launches Lit Life this week, a biweekly column devoted to writers and writing. We're honored that Bart is willing to suffer the insulting pay and irritations of deadline in helping us to better serve community.
More Pleased than Punch