To Tom Mariani (Open Mic, "Words Fail," April 22): Quit your whining. We spend way too much money on the prison system for all the "innocents" serving time. You've got two strikes by accident? Why spend more money on lifetime losers and less on the real innocents, the children? You did the crime, and you shall forever pay the time. Whether or not you get a job is your problem, not mine. If memory serves me right, we spent about $45,000 a year on you and maybe $5,000 a year on students. Don't you think enough has been wasted on you?
Let's just forget about this generation that screwed up and put the money into education. Get rid of the teacher's union, hire only teachers who want to work and pay them more than the prison guards. If we spend more on educating children, we'll spend less on "rehabbing" felons like you. Have you looked at the tuition for a junior college? Pretty cheap. But you, like most other "innocents" and falsely convicted felons, took the easy route. Too bad. I think you owe me $495,000 for the time you spent in jail. When I see that check, I'll think about rehab in jail.
Thomas M. Harrigan
QUALITY OF LIFE
The crash of 312 South A Street's artists and gallery (Blast, "End of A Street?," April 1) was indeed a blow to the finer growth within Santa Rosa.
The hope is to return, reengage, continue where we left off. We certainly are capable of our individual pursuit, yet the beauty of our togetherness equaled more than the sum of our acts—it worked quantumfold! There was nothing like this unique group of artists to bring about beneficial social reshaping within our neck of civilization. In our time together, we spanned outward into the community in novel, healthy ways that will not be forgotten, and it continues ever outward.
I miss this group I was privileged to be part of. I grew from our shared endeavors. To have been a part of this history has been an honor. May we all continue to give and receive and never forget this time in our lives where we worked together and participated in creating the concept and practice of the amalgamation of talents.
With heartfelt warmth to my friends and hope that our ideas continue.
Your article "Grapes and Class Warfare" (April 29) seems a bit inaccurate. While the writer bemoans the injustice of the migrants and their average salary of $9 an hour working in the grape fields, the article seems to neglect the various taxpayer-funded social services available to these workers that are not available to the average working citizen.
In Napa County, there are special farmworker homes and special reduced-rate rents available. There are also low-cost health clinics that cater to the low-income, non-English-speaking population. Contrast this to a single mother who has been a U.S. citizen her entire life, working at a big-box retailer for the same pay, and the inequities begin to show.
We have record high unemployment in California. Maybe the incentive to hire illegal, under-the-table workers should be taken away?
I HOPE YOU ARE NOT IN HELL
Oh mother dear, I love you.
I love you for all you did,
guiding me through my youth,
telling me to always be true.
Forgiving me when I erred,
discussing life, with an open mind.
when I thought I knew what I didn't.
Which in turn, taught me to be humble.
For it is not always what you know
but who you know really knows you.
I miss you. I wish you were here.
Wish you could have lived forever.
Seeing me as I aged, carrying on
living your positive words.
Words that have echoed in my head.
"If there is a will, there is a way."
As I enter into the unknown, I have no fear
You taught me well, I hope you are not in hell!
S. Edward Matheson
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