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Letters to the Editor: May 18

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Cannabis access – let the people decide!

EDITOR: For the past several weeks we have been circulating a cannabis ballot initiative in the City of Sonoma to gather enough qualifying signatures that would hopefully place it on the Nov. 6 ballot. Called “Sonoma Citizens For Local Access” it creates a voter-approved zoning-use overlay on West Napa Street allowing for retail cannabis. You may have already encountered it being circulated in your neighborhood and at the farmers market.

The signature gathering process is not a “yes” or “no” vote, it simply qualifies it for the ballot box, our ultimate right as a democracy. Because this is strictly a City of Sonoma initiative, signatures are required to be registered-voters only that reside within the boundaries of the City of Sonoma, yet our greatest challenge has been making sure that many willing and enthusiastic signers actually do live within the city limits. Everybody in Sonoma Valley relates to the city and the vast majority do approve of local cannabis access!

We are getting very close to achieving the number of signatures required but we need a final push from qualified signers. Please rally and help us get a few more signatures. Visit sonoma-access.com.

Jon Early, organizer

Citizens For Local Access

Shaken and stirred

EDITOR: Your photo for the story on this season’s farmers market live music (“Strike Up the Bands,” April 27) showed four comely women performing at last year’s farmers market. But the photo’s caption – “The Poyntlyss Sistars Rockin’ Show Band shook their moneymakers to classic rock standards at last year’s market” – left me to wonder, what part of a woman’s body is the “moneymaker”?

What was apparently meant to be a clever reference loses its way with the rather pathetic double entendre.

Consider if four good-looking men, handsomely dressed, were on stage performing. Would the photo caption have read, “Four Big Hunks Shaking Their Moneymakers”? I doubt it.

But then, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Dorothe Prior

Sonoma

Editor’s note: Thanks for writing Dorothe! Yes, the term “shake your moneymaker” is a bit of music slang for urging someone to dance. It’s often used interchangeably with Peaches and Herb’s recommendation to “shake your groove thing,” soul group the Five Du-Tones’ suggestion to “shake your tailfeather” or, as Ricky Martin so eloquently put it, “shake your bon-bon.” “Shake Your Moneymaker” was originally a 1961 song by blues legend Elmore James and was subsequently covered by Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, among others. It was listed by Rolling Stone magazine among its top 100 “songs that shaped rock ‘n’ roll.”

As to your question of whether I would run a similar caption for good-looking, handsomely dressed gents? See above.

– Jason Walsh

Welcome to the Gem State, Sonomans!

EDITOR: I moved from San Jose, California to Boise, Idaho in 1999 (“Price Pump Moving to Idaho,” May 1). I took a lateral transfer with the bank I worked for at the time. I was raised on a wheat and cattle ranch in eastern Oregon, so had some familiarity with Boise, but lived in the Bay Area for 14 years prior to being transferred. While at a regional meeting in San Mateo in 1999, there was an announcement to my co-workers that I would be taking a position in Boise. The general consensus was that of sympathy and questioning on how this transfer would be damaging to my career. With two kids just beginning school, it was simply a lifestyle choice.

I was able to maintain the same salary structure, we paid cash for a much nicer home in Boise with the equity from our property in San Jose and my wife did not work until our kids were in high school. My kids are now graduated from college and my wife and I can see retirement in the not-so-distant future. I became a passionate fly fisherman, my family embraced the outdoor activities readily available in Idaho and we are now enjoying the urban amenities that come to larger metropolitan areas.

My wife and I have spent time touring wineries and visiting friends in Sonoma and nearby Santa Rosa. But I predict those employees that choose to follow Price Pump to Boise will realize the good fortune bestowed upon them by this transition. Although there are the typical challenges that come with growth – traffic, escalating cost of housing, demand on public services – the Boise metropolitan area has a wealth of parks, our beautiful Boise River Greenbelt, winter sports facilities, an abundance of open space and public lands, nearby state and federal forests, lakes, rivers, majestic mountains, good schools, numerous restaurants and performing arts facilities – all making Idaho one of the most livable places in the country. Boise welcomes Price Pump and the dedicated employees and their families.

Kelly Temple

Boise, Idaho

Slap in face of Latino community

EDITOR: Your endorsement (“The Vote for a New Sheriff,” May 4) references “a... perception that the Sheriff’s office... botched the Andy Lopez response... (and) affront(ed) the entire Latino community.”

It is bad enough that Andy Lopez was shot and killed. In my opinion, much worse is the fact that Deputy Gelhaus shot Lopez seven times, yet District Attorney Jill Ravitch somehow didn’t see this as excessive force, and failed to hold Gelhaus accountable. If seven shots isn’t excessive, what is? She won’t answer for her decision. Then Gelhaus gets promoted. If that isn’t a slap in the face of the Latino community, what is?

Shame on the District Attorney.

Ed Shoop

Sonoma