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July 4-10, 2007

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Letters to the Editor

Kickin' and carin'

Just when I was feeling like the left side of the continent and its journalists were about to fall off into the Pacific, Michael Shapiro's "Exploitation of Pat Tillman" (June 27) kicked me hard in the stomach and made me care again.

Thank you, Bohemian, for making it a feature story; it was easy to mail to friends and family in middle America.

(And sorry for cleaning out one of your newsstands, next time you do a feature this good, put your name at the top and national ads on the back.)

Steve Klausner, Glen Ellen

Our bad evil government

Thank you for "Why It Still Matters," which not only brought the shocking story of Jeppesen's complicity to a larger audience, but also gave the backstory on Claudio Gatti, the ACLU's suit, and the Torture Outsourcing Prevention Act (June 27). I was astonished to learn that there are other companies around the country who also profit from the CIA's program of extraordinary rendition. Jeppesen should be ashamed of their involvement.

Rachel Baker, San Jose

Not too old to rock 'n' roll

Regarding "Before I Get Old" (June 13), I don't know if Karl Byrn happened to catch Ian Hunter at the Raven a couple months back with the Charms and the Zombies, but Ian Hunter straight-up embodies rock and roll no matter how old he is or gets, and no matter what his lyrics or content. Some performers look the part or try to look the part, but this guy is the real deal and is a bona fide living contribution to the genre. Anyone who loves rock and roll should catch this guy if they can. I took my wife, who had never heard of him or Mott the Hoople (as I'm sure many thirty-somethings and younger haven't), and she was blown away, as was the entire audience. Thanks for the information about Mary Weiss. I look forward to hearing her as well.

Jason Schwartz, Santa Rosa

Secret No More

On a recent Saturday afternoon, my husband and I took a long walk beside a robust, densely forested stream, richly populated with avian and aquatic life. Among the birds we saw were blue night herons, a mating pair of Bullock's orioles, a wild turkey, snowy egrets, and two large mallard families with a total of 19 ducklings. There was sun and a cool breeze, and, except for a few cyclists, we had the path to ourselves. A three-minute walk from the end of the path, at the end of our journey, we stopped for coffee and to browse at our favorite used bookstore.

No, we didn't drive hours to get to this riparian oasis. Instead, we'd spent a relaxing afternoon practically in our own backyard, along the Prince Greenway Creek Walk, apparently Santa Rosa's best kept secret. At the end of the day, we felt rejuvenated and somewhat perplexed that more people were not taking advantage of this verdant piece of wild nature hidden in the heart of downtown Santa Rosa.

Janet Barocco and Richard Heinberg, Santa Rosa

United he stands

Regarding "It's in the Bag" (Briefs, June 20), I think it noteworthy that United Market, a local chain here in Marin since the mid-1950s, has always bagged groceries in customers' canvas bags first, second in customers' paper bags and third in new paper bags. They have only recently offered plastic because of customer demand, but unless one asks for the plastic, they will use paper. This has impressed me for years, as Albertsons, Safeway, Cala and others default to plastic. (Actually, Mollie Stone's and Trader Joe's also make paper the first choice.)

I think United Market deserves accolades for this, as it is less expensive to use plastic, so using paper represents a higher cost for them. Their fresh produce and fish are also first-rate.

David Pittle, San Rafael

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