Let's see . . . in the last issue (Feb. 11), we found one full page ad for beer and a full story on wine as well as a News of the Food item on Pigs and Pinot, the Swirl 'n' Spit wine column and a slew of Tour of California stories filling up your now-dwindling pages! Yet, with some sort of bizarre editorial wisdom, and in such a timely fashion right before the Oscars, you decide to omit the movie listings! What, are the theater listings not sexy enough for your wine country rag?
It was so easy to rip that sheet out, throw it in my car and decide on the spot what film(s) to hit for the week. And I have never,—and I repeat, never—made it to one of those theaters only to find the schedule off and changed. And if that had actually happened, would the world end? I think not. Give your readers a break. There are actually some of us who care about more than wine all the time. This was a huge mistake!
Drinking the New Coke?
Discontinuing the movie listings seems to me about the best idea since New Coke. How many of your readers do not see the Press Democrat? Where else will they find movie listings? The movie listings are often the main reason that I pick up the Bohemian.
With a Zenlike steadiness, we direct readers to sonomamovietimes.com, marinmovietimes.com and napamovietimes.com for up-to-the-minute listings.
Yes, It Was an Obscure Reference
The article in the Feb. 11 issue asking if cycling under the influence is a problem in wine country was given the headline "Cycle Jerks." A summary of the article gives us a very clear answer to the question:
1.) The Sonoma County Sheriff's officer interviewed was not aware of it being an issue.
2.) The Santa Rosa officer interviewed said there is no information linking an increase in bicycle accidents to drinking.
3.) The director of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition says it has not been brought up as an issue.
4.) The director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition says it has not been an issue.
5.) A Healdsburg police officer interviewed has seen only one arrest for cycling under the influence in 12 years.
6.) The workers in two winery tasting rooms visited by the author both state it has never been a problem.
7.) The owners of two bicycle touring companies state it is not a problem, and both work to discourage their guests from drinking and riding.
8.) The legal penalties for drinking and cycling are equivalent to drinking and driving.
9.) The author includes the fact that a tasting-room worker at Mill Creek Winery does see the sheriff pass by once a day—although he does not mention that the tasting room at Mill Creek is well back from the road, and one would assume the worker is busy with his work and not watching the road all day.
Of course, the author did find two people, one of whom we are told was on probation, who were willing to say they drink and ride a bike. Perhaps a better headline would have been "A Couple of Jerks Ride Bikes."