I have read the information re: the SMART vote for an extended tax. SMART has failed to deliver what it promised. Watching 7 or 8 people sitting on a train anytime outside of the current commute time upsets me (putting it mildly), especially when the taxpayers are supplementing the fare. SMART "leadership" asks us to continue this farce. The print media supports SMART. Why? I don't know. Of course, we see letters praising the train going to Larkspur and then the leisurely ride on the ferry to S.F. to spend the day or a few days in a swanky hotel. Well, maybe they are the 7 or 8 people riding it in the midday.
The SMART board needs to go back to the drawing board to look at salaries (and publish the position of how much is being paid; you can figure out the names), expenses, anticipated future costs and overruns. Until that happens, I will be voting "NO" on SMART. Tired of seeing the debacle being rewarded for shoddiness.
It looks like editor Vesta Copestakes was lied to by Darius Anderson, whose Sonoma County Investments (SMI) group just bought up the Sonoma County Gazette ("Bought Up," Jan. 8).
Per the article: "In a Press Democrat article about the purchase, representatives of SMI implied that they intend to keep Gazette's content largely the same while expanding the paper's online presence.
'We will continue the fine tradition of local community content that Vesta [Copestakes] has nurtured for many years,' Darius Anderson, SMI's lead investor, told the Press Democrat."
What a joke. Normally, the Gazette is on the newsstands on the first of each month. I checked a few locations yesterday, and all I found were empty boxes. I checked again today and found the same thing. Next, I went to the website. The only updates since last month were endorsements for Democratic candidates for the upcoming election, or stories that sound more like political ads (i.e., "Transit is Good for Your Health — Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit"). In other words, the new content is pushing the agenda of SMI and its ilk, and that's about it.
Normally, TPTB implement changes incrementally so that the public isn't even aware of what's happening until it's too late. Not this time.
So, Vesta, there goes your legacy. Your newspaper has simply been snuffed out.
"People aren't willing to pay what it costs to farm Zinfandel." ("Future Ex," Swirl, Jan. 29) That's not what some vineyard owners told me. They told me that wineries stopped buying their zin grapes, and stated they won't buy in the future either (unless you are Maple).
I love zin, but the truth is that the younger generation likes lighter wines, and the industry has already made the switch away from zin.
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