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08.31.11

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In Love With Guerneville

Thank you for printing the grand article on our three new businesses in Guerneville ('Stumptown Rising,' August 24). Yes, we are coming back, better than ever. Sometimes our little town has been forgotten, so thank you for remembering us. You may wish to also check out Chef Patrick's restaurant, another precious gem. I guarantee, you will be pleased! Again, kudos.

Robin Johnson

Owner, Guerneville 5 & 10

Miranda, Miranda

Thanks to Mikayla Butchart for her great painting of Miranda July. I have always been a fan of Miranda July, but now I'm a big fan of Miranda and Mikayla! Leilani Clark's interview was great, too ('Floating in the Future,' August 24)—an informed and nuanced profile of one of my favorite artists. Thank you.

Aileen Robinson

Novato

Not So Simple

In the last several decades the wealth hasn't been spread so much as concentrated—at the top. The share of total income going to the top one percent of income earners more than doubled from nine percent in 1970 to 23.5 percent in 2007. (The Great Recession has since narrowed the gap.)

And while, as noted above, the rich pay a greater proportion of their income in taxes, the share of total taxes paid by the richest Americans is commensurate with their share of national wealth. Examining the total tax burden—state, federal and local—Citizens for Tax Justice calculated that the top one percent of households (average income $1.3 million) earned 20.3 percent of income and paid 21.5 percent of taxes in 2010.

The tax code is studded with a costly bevy of deductions and preferences—mortgage interest, employer-sponsored health insurance, retirement savings—that benefit wealthier taxpayers over those with modest incomes. The rich are so smart about making money, but they are so blind about seeing real value in the future and what it's leading to.

Ted Rudow III

Palo Alto

What Side Are You On?

Capitalists protesting capitalists—hard to resist, but I'll try. There is no 'nice capitalism.' Capitalism is a crime, and not a victimless crime. That we here don't know it is our owners' success at our dis-education. Go through schools, even 30 years ago, any time, and get ignorant-ified, in service to the owning class, the ruling class; thereby, the electing class. There is no compromise—no 'other' way, no 'better world' using the profit system, the wage system.

That we are unable to work for, march for, organize for, demand/ask for what we want and need must become to our chagrin. Justice is to be found only based on material equity, all of us to have the means to enjoy life, securely, unto our children's children. Yes! That's socialism communism. You got it.

Norma Harrison

Berkeley

Paul Hobbs Is a Big Fat Jerk

Come on, you guys! Whatever you or James Knight may think about the property war between Paul Hobbs and John Jenkel, you have to have known that it's an enormous cause celebre in the West County, and there are a whole lot of people who feel that Hobbs took Jenkel's land by subterfuge and made an unsightly mess of it, people who wouldn't drink Hobbs's “toasty, buttered popcorn" chardonnay if it were flowing out of their cold water taps for free (Swirl, August 24).

It would have been easy to do your homework before printing this article. . . unless you look forward to the increased newspaper sales that controversy always brings (not an accusation, just a speculation). James Knight. . . did it make your little heart go pit-a-pat to taste that $275 cabernet? You'll probably get many more tastes of absurdly priced grape juice, now that you've joined the ever-growing crowd of people sucking up to the wine industry. “Fantastico"? Disgusting!

Roland Jacopetti

Santa Rosa


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