No Name ‘more than just an eatery’
EDITOR: In your Dec. 18 article, “Teen Services to Lose No Name Café,” district food services manager Cody Williams said, “Now you don’t have to be a student with money to eat there. It’s an equity issue.” Mr. Williams misrepresents the café and its mission.
I was the manager of the No Name Café from January until June of 2018, and our clientele was a representative, cross section of the Sonoma Valley High School community. We did not merely cater to students “with money” as Williams suggests, but to the entire student body with items at several price points, some as low as 25 cents.
The No Name was more than just an eatery. It served as a place for students to congregate and socialize with their friends, something they are unable to do at Mr. Williams’ cafeteria.
The No Name’s purpose was to empower SVHS students. It gave them an opportunity to earn money during school hours. It connected them to Teen Services’ Ready to Work program where they learned to write resumes and how to interview. They handled money, gained customer service experience and, most importantly, they learned how to be professionals.
Hopefully, Mr. Williams’ next iteration of the café will be successful and I hope it continues to provide students with these valuable life experiences. I would just ask that he not mischaracterize the work Teen Services did there as he pushes them out the door. The high school will be lesser for its absence and so will the students.
Can buy me LOVE!
EDITOR: Everywhere I go in Sonoma people are talking about keeping the LOVE sculpture in the square. Who could be against that? I have a suggestion that might work. How about one of you very wealthy residents purchase the sculpture and donate it to the city? What a wonderful legacy that would be for you… keeping the LOVE in town. Maybe you who drives “PRTY KAR” could afford it? If no one steps up, maybe there is a fund the town could use to buy it. Because... as it turns out, the Beatles were right. All you need is LOVE.
Sonoma should embrace high density
EDITOR: I want to thank Bill Lynch for his column of Dec. 18, “How Not to Stop Change.” I also grew up here in the 1960s and can attest to the truth of it. It turns out that Sonoma’s small-town character was not about a certain look, but about the people who could afford to live here. Once, the people who worked in local businesses, taught in local schools and provided care in the local hospital had to move out of town to find a place where they could afford to live, Sonoma ceased to be the close-knit, living and working community it used to be.
We can’t bring back Sonoma as it used to be, but we can at least rethink our ideas regarding development of the remaining empty or underutilized parcels of land in town and in the Valley. We can embrace, rather than resist, high density, affordable housing, so that at least some of the people who work here will have the option to live here. “But who would want to live in such tiny, crowded units?” you say. Give them the choice. I’ll bet many would prefer it to their current daily commute from outside the Valley.