They’re developers, not city beauticians!
EDITOR: We live right around the corner on Bettencourt so we went to the meeting last week (“Broadway Craftsman Project Gets Hammered,” Sept. 8.” It is truly shocking how many obviously educated adults seem to forget that these people are trying to develop this eyesore to make money. They are not proposing this development as a charity effort to beautify Sonoma. Yes, community input is helpful in the end for many reasons, but the implication that nothing in the design has, or will be, vetted is laughable. We live in Sonoma where if you want to change out a cabinet in your kitchen you probably need five permits! The building codes, zoning codes, etc., have been set by California, Sonoma County, and the City of Sonoma. If they meet all these requirements I feel they should have every right to build their project. I don’t understand how my “ascetic sensibilities or preferences” should have any bearing on their right to buy and construct this property. You can’t make everyone happy.
EDITOR: People walk up to me and ask why I don’t write more. They say, “Hey man, put up your mind out on a page so I can sponge on it.” Well, my absorbent friends, sometimes I write and sometimes I don’t. I do send letters to the editor. Some are worth printing and some aren’t. The editor probably has a file full of letters enshrined under the title “Psycho-babble.” I write in the stream of consciousness. Depending on what I’m conscious of the letter is more or less interesting. If nothing else is provocative, dare say noteworthy.
Sometimes, more often than not, we prefer to read something that makes us laugh. When I go to see a movie if I get one good laugh out of it that’s worth the price of omission. The price of admission, but the time you pay for your ticket, candy, popcorn and a drink you are ready for a movie. Twenty bucks used to pay for you, your date and a pizza. In the words of my Grandmother: “I guess you live until you die.”
I encourage you all to write your editor. Do not be concerned with the quality of your diction or content. Miss use words, misspell words, write a sentence without a verb. Put the period on the outside of the quotation marks. Say something completely wrong. Toss in your favorite colloquialism. We are after the flavor not the nutritional value. Continuing with the culinary metaphor: yes, you can make it chewy. Do the fine grind. Put the windrow going the wrong direction so the hay gets blown all over the page. That way your reader will have to think, “What’s he saying?” Bale it from the other direction after it dries. We encourage thinking, engage your reader. Have you ever been on a farm? Talk to a farmer, their speach is practical, as is their relationship with nature.
Editor’s note: Thanks for writing Eric! I, too, echo your urging that Sonomans throw caution to the wind and compose letters to the editor. However, I caution them to heed your advice about adopting a laisse faire attitude about spelling and punctuation. Not only does it cause more work for our crackerjack team of proofreaders -- brief pause for sarcastic comments – but could leave the writer with a reputation for illiteracy among the general readership. As to the several English-language faux pas in your letter, Eric, I’m assuming they’re intentional and so left them in to allow your point. If they weren’t, well… I’m sure your reputation precedes you. – J.W.