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June 6-12, 2007

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Letters to the Editor

Arts Council update

Your otherwise informative article about the Napa Valley Arts Council neglected to research just how good the Arts Council of Sonoma County (ACSC) and the Sonoma County arts sectors are performing ("Turn Around," May 23). The California Arts Council rated the ACSC with its highest rating in the state. Our new executive director and staff are working collaboratively with artists and arts organizations. A few of the exciting things going on include last year's Sculpture Sonoma, the first countywide multivenue sculpture festival, which was a huge success. This fall we plan Performance Sonoma, a countywide performance and music festival including 12 arts organizations with a shared theme of Crossing Borders. Santa Rosa has created a downtown arts district; in Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol and Rohnert Park, a 1 percent for public art program has been passed. We're working with schools to bring artists, poets and other professionals to introduce arts more fully into the curriculum. With the Community Foundation, we bring new philanthropic support to the community. We gave out the first Emerging Artist Award with three $5,000 prizes. Perhaps you'll write an article doing justice to the great work being done by all of our artists and arts organizations.

Michael Friedenberg, Board President, Arts Council of Sonoma County

Cops are people too

Do I believe in checks and balances? Yes. Do I think that paying attention to police in the way they conduct their duties is important? Yes. But the overall attitude of the people in the CopWatch article (as well as the article itself) seems to be that police officers are an out-of-control group of homicidal racial profilers that need to be kept under control, with little or no perspective on the primarily good service they do (The Byrne Report, "The Right to Witness," May 30).

I am well aware that there are instances of power abuses, misconduct and sometimes fatal mistakes made by police officers, and because of this I believe we need a greater dialogue between citizens and law enforcement. Few of us know the reality of trying to perform the job these men and women do. We have strong reactions to the tragedies we read about in the newspaper, but I think this is all the more reason to try to create unification within our communities in which we engage police in active communication, not objective criticism. Constructive criticism is good and even necessary; I know that CopWatch exists because these people want to help the community, but we must not forget that police officers are members of our community, and vital ones at that.

Devon Rumrill, Santa Rosa

Pushing the concept

In regards to the recent article about Petaluma teenage children overseeing the police doing their difficult job, I feel so much better now! The world-educated and savvy teenagers are keeping us safe from the rogue cops of Petaluma!

At their first call, a 7-Eleven, a guy of "color" (we all have color!) is caught buying a minor alcoholic beverages. After the perpetrator is cited by the police for facilitating the drunkenness of a minor, the CopWatch kids hand the perp a pamphlet advising him of his rights! So it's OK by the CopWatch kids to buy booze for a minor and help out the criminal? Then a domestic dispute at the Lakeville Gardens apartment complex; again with the "color" thing! The police defused the situation, and maybe the people won't beat each other up again and have to call the police again.

I mean, come on! Nobody wants police misconduct or abuse, but consider this: If you don't want to tangle with the police, don't commit crimes. What a concept!

Robert C. Harvey, Petaluma

Institutional value

Gretchen Giles' review of the Kendall-Jackson-sponsored "Art of Terroir" at the Sonoma County Museum hit the nail on the head (Critic's Choice, "Making Sense of the Place," May 23, print edition). There is a lot more to Sonoma County than the making and selling of wine, and unless Santa Rosa and the surrounding community really come to value our museum and public arts organizations like the Arts Council of Sonoma County, this will be the result.

Shane and Sally Weare, Santa Rosa Dept. of Corrections

Who, what, where and when are laughingly thought to be the stock of the journalist's trade. Whatever. When it comes to Mezzo Mezzo, the restaurant we love so much (First Bite, May 30), said affection didn't quite stretch to all da faktz. To wit: Mezzo Mezzo is proud to operate Tuesday–Sunday, fortunately does not tuck asparagus into its cannelloni dessert and can be found via Alexander Graham Bell's finest at 415.459.0330. We apologize for the errors yet find ourselves strangely drawn to an asparagus dessert. With a lemon cream?

The Ed.
Avec Bib

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