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June 20-26, 2007

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Letters to the Editor

Dept. of Horn-tootin'

It's awards season in the rapidly diminishing halls of journalism, and we at the North Bay Bohemian are no strangers to big, glorious wins. Nor are we overly shy about letting you know exactly how great we are.

How great? Really great.

To wit: At the June 16 meeting of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, an organization that counts among its number such venerables as the Village Voice, we are proud to have won two national awards for our editorial product.

In the "60,000 and under" circulation range (we produce 31,000 papers a week), former contributor Daedalus Howell won first place in the Food Writing/Criticism category for his wine writing while the "Swirl 'n' Spit" column was under his aegis. Hooray for Daedalus! (To give delicious contrast, the L.A. Weekly's Jonathan Gold won that same position in the "60,000 and above" category. As recently reported in these pages, Gold also just won a Pulitzer.)

In the "special issues" category, our entire freakin' 2006 Best Of issue won second place in our circulation category. These nods from our industry colleagues brings to five the number of national awards we've won in the last four years, two of them first place.

Continuing in this outrageously immodest vein, we hasten to point out that this year, the Bohemian is the only publication in our association to have won awards for editorial product from the Oregon border to Santa Barbara County. Not those publications with "San Francisco" in their names, nope. Not those with "News & Review," "Pacific" or "East Bay," uh huh. Just little old us.

Thanks for reading each week. We're so proud to serve you so well.

The Ed., Rolling in it

Many of my fans were outraged

I have been the harmonica player with the Pat Jordan Band since the inception of the band several years ago. I was shocked and very disappointed that you omitted my name from the article (Critic's Choice, "Pop, Rock, Roll," June 6). Many of my fans were outraged and called to tell me you had left my name out.

We really appreciate the article and the coverage you gave the band; however, in the future, it makes sense that you would include all the band members' names when you are going to write an article. You have my information on file since we have won Best of Sonoma County for the past two years.

Dallas Jones, Santa Rosa

Copwatch R Us

I was impressed by your choice to put the "kids" of CopWatch on the cover of the Bohemian ("The Right to Witness," May 30). I had already scheduled a "Know Your Rights" training by some of the very people Peter Byrne interviewed at the high school where I teach. Celeste and Karin of Petaluma CopWatch and Ben Saari of Santa Rosa kept about 70 teenagers fully engaged for over an hour. With useful advice and some really fun role-play, the students had a ball while learning what kinds of rights they have when confronted by law enforcement. They were no less attentive as when a teen clinic did a sex-education presentation months before. If a presenter can keep that many teens engaged for that long without the use of prophylactics, they are undoubtedly reaching out to them in a relevant and needed way.

I had asked Karin to do this training as a response to the police shooting of Jeremiah Chass in Sebastopol, an Analy student whom many of my students knew personally and were heartbroken by the untimely death of. It doesn't take the severity of the several recent police shootings for them to understand that law enforcement is prone to abuses of power. I have repeatedly seen teens be targeted for unwarranted police harassment for offenses such as standing in a parking lot while waiting for their ride or for just sitting on the sidewalk with their friends. It was fun and empowering for them to see how young adults can nonviolently resist abuses by law enforcement.

I'd also like to note that there are others of us who have been known to show up to observe the police all over Sonoma County. We are teachers, students, construction workers, interior designers, computer programmers, office managers, health outreach workers, laborers, Ph.D. candidates, librarians and retirees, among others, and not just the "kids" described in your article.

Nicole Poindexter, Russian River Charter High School

Dept. of Corrections

In a recent article about alleged construction problems at SSU's Green Music Center ("Concrete Complaints," June 6), we mistakenly switched the identities of the subject and photographer of the main image. The man pictured is Kevin Hoyt; the man behind the camera, Dave Kennedy.

Men, go figure. They all look alike . . .

The Ed., distracted

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