Barella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh
Kudos to Peter Byrne and the Bohemian for running the investigative article about Petaluma's Theatre District project ("Basin Street Blues," June 1). It was well-researched and to the point, and is an example of the need for quality journalism in the community.
Though I am glad that Petaluma finally opened a movie theater as part of the Theatre District, the way the developers left the city and its residents with the excessive costs is deplorable. Does no one remember that at the same time, KFC was offering to repair Petaluma's potholes in exchange for advertising on the asphalt?
Why isn't this story front page in the Press Democrat? Let me guess:
Mr. Barella's connections in Petaluma politics. Maybe someone like Mike Kerns, who was on the board of supervisors at the time of the vote for the quarry. Has anyone looked into that connection? Or Mike O'Brien?
Looking Sweet on the Seat
Sarah Hadler's article ("A Bicycle Built for Two," June 1) articulated exactly how I felt when I was pregnant last year and riding my bicycle. So many people were concerned for me and my baby and couldn't understand why and how I was still riding while pregnant. I felt great and didn't see any reason to stop (I was able to pedal on my due date!). My midwife thought it was great and validated that I was building immunity for my baby. I did, in fact, have a healthy girl, and can't wait until she is old enough to ride with me again. For now, I'll drive her to childcare and ride from there. Ride on, Sarah!
One Sick Country
I know a traitor when I see one. It's someone who doesn't believe in paying taxes to support the common good. Republicans and many of their cowering Democratic brothers and sisters believe that they should not be responsible for the general welfare of their fellow citizens. These are the same people who have no trouble asking us (the poor, working class and middle class) to die for their "freedoms." Of course, it's really about their economic freedom to exploit us and the rest of the world. Apparently, our lives are a lot less valuable and precious than their dollars. It's a very sick bunch of people who believe that dollars are worth more than people—and this has become one really sick country. It's difficult for me to comprehend the moral blindness and stone-cold hearts of those who do not realize that the well-being of the country is tied to the well-being of all its people. So from now on, join me in calling these people exactly what they are—economic traitors to the United States of America.
Dept. of Burden of Proof
After running Peter Byrne's story on North Bay Construction founder John Barella's ties to Basin Street Properties ("Basin Street Blues," June 1), we were pleased to see Mr. Barella, who did not return calls for our article, finally respond to the press. In this week's Press Democrat ("Petaluma Urged to Investigate Theatre District Construction Deals," June 7), Mr. Barella has a single statement, directed at the Bohemian: "All I can say [to them] is 'prove it.'" Prove it?
Our article online at Bohemian.com links to several detailed PDFs proving not only Mr. Barella's ties to Basin Street Properties as its single largest investor—which he swore to under oath—but also the cost overruns, the passing along of developer costs to the city, the promises by Basin Street Properties to take part in an assessment district to share in those costs and the final audit on the project after those promises were reneged upon. These are public documents from the Superior Court of the State of California, the city of Petaluma, Petaluma city inspectors and Basin Street Properties itself. The PDFs, produced by Peter Byrne, could not "prove it" more clearly.
Friends of Mr. Barella who may be able to assist him in downloading the latest version of Adobe Acrobat, please get in touch.
Transferring the Onus
Send a letter to the editor about this story.