I want to thank you for doing this story May 10). I enjoyed it and have sent it to all of my friends, and not only because I am featured in it, but because it is a powerful article. I want to thank Patricia Lynn Henley for uncovering a really big problem in Sonoma County that everyone should be aware of. I hope that by me telling my story other people know that recovery can happen.
Carole Kidd, Santa Rosa
Driven to it
Thank you for the Byrne Report. My husband and I are particularly grateful for his comments on candidates in the upcoming election. The article on Joe Nation ( May 10) is especially valuable and contains information we would not have gotten in any other way. Since we found the Byrne Report, we drive to the other side of town where the Bohemian is available.
Beth Grimes, Petaluma
Follow the money
In the upcoming election, there is a choice between Joe Nation and Lynn Woolsey as the Democratic nominee for the Sixth Congressional District. To find out what these candidates actually represent, it is useful to take a look at the contributors to each of the campaigns. All donations over $200 are in the public record.
According to the record, among Joe Nation's contributors are some who also gave to the 2004 Bush/Cheney campaign and a host of other Republican organizations. At last count, contributors to Joe Nation's campaign gave over $1.6 million to Republican causes. Why would well-heeled Republicans back a Democratic candidate? One interpretation is that they will do whatever it takes to unseat one of the most effective progressive Democrats in Congress today. They want to silence the strongest voice in Congress against the Iraq War.
When you decide who to vote for, look beyond the campaign rhetoric. Follow the money.David Warrender, Sebastopol
'Nuff said: Gabe rocks
I saw Frank Portman's Mr. T Experience at L.A.'s Whisky a Go Go several years ago. The band was fresh and fun. Dr. Frank was obviously happiest when he was playing and singing, not talking. Your article on his new book ( May 10) is excellent. Gabe Meline's perspective as a band member, travel companion, friend and cohort of this new author is a treasure for us readers.
Leslie Pixton, Kapaa, Hawaii
Directly From the Urinal To You
I enjoy the Bohemian but don't often read the letters. However, as last week's letters were posted prominently above the urinal at the Healdsburg Bar & Grill, I had a glance and read, out of context, this sentence in Don MacQueen's letter: "How could we have blundered into building a society in which killing or dying for a color could be seen by young men as an honorable fate?"
I immediately thought of the troops fighting the war in Iraq. To my chagrin, the letter was instead about the gang violence that's marring and undermining modern civilized American society; not the honored, sanctioned and apparently God-ordained American policy of unilateral military intervention to protect the interests of private overseas investments. I'm bad.
Rob Loughran, Windsor
This is in response to the letter sent in by Dr. Laurence Smith ("Straight Dope from the Doc," May 3). There is 50-plus years of medical and scientific research from other countries that disputes your claim regarding the health risks of smoking marijuana. As in all health issues, developing any type of cancer is patient-specific. Almost everyone can say they know someone who smoked all of their lives and never contracted lung cancer. Tobacco, in and of itself, does not cause lung cancer; the pesticides used during growing or processing it are what cause lung cancer. Also, outside environment plays a part in the development of disease. Marijuana has been used for centuries. Perhaps it is time that health matters be kept exactly where they should be, between the doctor and the patient in private. Any physician will tell you that medicine is not an exact science and that it changes every day.Michelle Mayer