No ‘culture’ in culture commission
EDITOR: Dear Sonoma City Council,
I read with interest the article in the I-T on the Cultural and Fine Arts Commission (“Culture Club: City Committee Has an Eye for Art,” Aug. 14). I would like to suggest a name change based on their actual activities: “The Public Art Installation Approval, Scholarship and Treasure Artist Appointment Commission.” My reasoning is that this committee is not involved in the promotion of culture (ostensibly its mission) in our community in any way more than this new name suggests. They seem uninterested in other important cultural activities in Sonoma, and are certainly not promoting culture in Sonoma to its residents or the outside world.
For example: I think people would agree that Sonoma Arts Live (SAL) is an important part of the cultural fabric of Sonoma… at least I hope they would as it has a commitment to bringing quality live performing art to our community, and is doing so year ‘round. Well it’s bad enough that SAL (a 501C-3) receives no support from the City of Sonoma, but as far as I can tell the performing arts as a whole do not receive any attention from the commission. (I understand the city may be raising the Transient Occupancy Tax. How about the council throw some of it toward the promotion and support of culture in Sonoma?)
My point it: How do you call a commission a Cultural and Fine Arts Commission when really all they do is approve public art installations, give out one scholarship a year, and select a Treasure Artist?
If the mission of the commission is truly to promote fine arts and culture in Sonoma that’s what they should be doing, and you should give them more that the paltry sum they now receive so they can do it effectively. If it isn’t, then change the name.
EDITOR: I am a resident of Sonoma. A few weeks ago, I had strong stomach pains and went to the Emergency Department of Sonoma Valley Hospital. I was concerned it might be appendicitis. They did a CT scan and told me it was a bowel obstruction and wanted me to stay in the hospital until it worked itself out through a bowel movement. I stayed in emergency overnight and then was admitted as an inpatient, where I stayed one more night. I had a bowel movement and was discharged. I received a diagnosis, but not any direct treatment other than an IV solution to prevent dehydration. My insurer was billed for $40,866, including $10,846 for an abdominal CT scan and $15,323 for overnight in the emergency department. I don’t yet know how much I will be required to pay. Had I known these were the charges, I would not have gone there. I suggest that the hospital post rates (or at least inform patients prior to diagnosis/treatment) so that patients are not surprised later, as I was.
H2O rates not water under the bridge yet!
EDITOR: I am writing to protest the proposed increases in the Sonoma water rates beginning September 2018. Similar rate increases were unanimously rejected by the City Council in 2012, when it acknowledged that more information and due diligence were required, including considering a consolidation of functions with the Valley of the Moon Water District, examining the fixed-versus-usage costs (which are cheaper in nearby cities), and questioning the continuing high increases in the Sonoma County Water Agency’s charges to supply some 90 percent of Sonoma’s water needs.