Letters to the Editor, Feb. 12
Hoot and holler
EDITOR: I read your recent article on the birds of the valley, especially owls (“Birders of a Feather Flocking Together Online,” Feb. 5). I’ve been watching birds around the Valley for a number of years and have seen owls many times. In fact, a few times, I’ve seen both great horned owls and barn owls on the same day (not at night). I’m attaching a recent photo your readers might find interesting
All about the Benjamins
EDITOR: On Jan. 24, I went to a local restaurant with a couple of friends to enjoy a live music band at night. I paid the $20 entry fee with a $100 bill that was from a bank in Napa. It was a crisp, clean bill and looked like new.
Everything went fine until almost three hours later, I was called to the side and told that I had given them a counterfeit bill. The staff person asked me to give them back the $80 change, or they’d call police. He showed me a rumpled $100 bill that he claimed I’d given them.
I told him immediately that it was not my crisp $100 bill and told him to go ahead and call the police. Instead of calling the police right away, male staff members kept trying get the $80 from me, saying, “Give us the change back or we’ll call the police.” The bartender/manager insisted, “This is your $100 bill, it was the only one in that cash box, and it even has Japanese words on the back side.”
Really? I don’t want to use the word “racist,” however, I’m an Asian, but it doesn’t mean I was the owner of that fake bill with words on it in a language I don’t even speak, read or write. I wonder if the man even knows there are many countries in Asia beside Japan. My friends and I asked them to review video from their surveillance camera to check for the possibilities of other patrons paying with $100 bills, or someone switching the bills, but they declined. I asked them to please call the police to investigate.
When the officers finally arrived, I told them what happened and explained that the counterfeit bill was not mine. The deputies said they believed me and told me later that I had nothing to do with the phony cash, adding that such fake bills have been circulating in the Valley and they are subject of an ongoing investigation.
I would like to think those staff at the bar were merely ignorant or misinformed and certainly not intending to discriminate against me. However, I do not understand why they waited three hours to accuse me of giving them a phony $100 bill. Why didn’t they call the police as soon as they discovered the counterfeit bill instead of harassing me and making a scene? That fake bill was so worn and suspicious, shouldn’t they have questioned it the moment they received it?
The staff members were rude not only to me, but also to my friends, and before this experience, we all had been their regular customers. I cannot help but ask, if I were not an Asian woman, would this ugly incident have occurred?
I have called the business and left messages several times, seeking an apology. So far, no one has contacted me. I know they are going through some organizational changes, but that’s no excuse for bullying and treating their customers disrespectfully!