Like we wouldn't print this
Loved the "Field Trippin'" article by John Moss (Jan. 21), and it made me so nostalgic that I just had to write you about the many incarnations of the Bohemian that I've observed over the years.
Your birth was in Monte Rio around 1979 as The Paper and I still have many articles saved from that time. With Nick Valentine as editor and Tom and Elizabeth as publishers, this brave little weekly with beautiful graphics and extraordinary layout (before computers) became must reading for all us counterculture types. It replaced Bliss Buy's previous paper, the Sonoma County Stump as the activist publication, and was one of the reasons that we were so successful in 1980, the first year that we protested at Bohemian Grove. It took us through the early 1980s protests at Rancho Seco, Diablo Canyon and the Livermore labs as well as covering all our doings here at home.
The only problem was that it lost money in droves as it leaned much more to covering the resistance than advertising for the establishment. I won't go into why Tom and Elizabeth gave it up and left for Australia, but it's a great story. Then you moved to Freestone and later Forestville under new management, and somewhere along the line you became the Sonoma County Independent. You were still doing a good job of covering the community, but unfortunately, in order to survive, your focus started leaning more toward economic reality and the radical edge began to tarnish. When you moved into Santa Rosa and became county-oriented as opposed to West County–oriented, a lot of us old timers were a bit miffed. When you changed to the North Bay Bohemian, I really got pissed.
I gave up on you for a while and then, lo and behold, Gretchen Giles took over and slowly you have been pulling it back from the abyss. You still have way too much advertising, but in my head I do understand.
I appreciate Peter Byrne, P. Joseph Potocki and John Sakowicz's reports; they bring back that edge I have so missed. And John Moss' acid trip was just what I needed to put it all in perspective. So thanks for that, and let us never forget our roots.
Clark Wolf made some great suggestions for things we can all do for small family farmers during these hard times ("Change We Can Eat," Jan. 28). Our local Slow Food chapter has been putting a lot of time and energy into alerting people to the very real danger of losing the Gravenstein apple. There are now only 900 acres of Gravs left, and if our farmers don't get some help, more of them will destroy their orchards and plant wine grapes. And now, besides the economic catastrophe, we have a drought. The good news is, most local apples are dry-farmed!
Here are few things you can do to help save our apples and the biodiversity of our community: (1) Buy Gravensteins and happily pay a few cents more per pound this year so our farmers can afford to keep growing and tending their orchards. Buy them direct from the growers or at local farmers markets, or ask your favorite market to be sure to stock local Gravs this season. (2) Get involved in our movement. Go to www.slowfoodrr.org or email us, [ mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org ]email@example.com.
Paula Shatkin, Slow Food Russian River
Thanks, we think
I do hope you are not considering cutting "This Modern World." I have to say that personally, it is often the most cogent and interesting thing I find in the paper. And I leaf through the rest as a result.
L. B. Williams
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