In your Jacques Brel article ("Jacques and Awe," Dec. 25), you mistakenly call the fifth anniversary show the 50th. I know, for I was there, seated four rows behind the man himself. He had not come to America in many years as a protest of our aggression in Vietnam. He made an exception this night. Brel sat on the aisle next to Judy Collins, a faithful interpreter of his work. The Village hip and the uptown swells joined at Carnegie Hall to honor the voice of the generation—or as Ms. Collins said, "The world's greatest performer." The audience was dotted with elites from the theater and devotees of the show—many of us who had seen the show multiple times. My seven times seeing it was a minor blip. Many had seen the show 20 times or more. The music and lyrics are life-altering.
Here we are at the time of the year when most people look back and reflect on their lives, experiences, successes, failures, relationships and beliefs. Most are also looking ahead, planning for the coming year—preparing and constructing their goals, purposes and aspirations as the old year draws toward an end. Many people enjoy the comforts and pleasures of reflecting on past accomplishments and experiences with loved ones, sharing meals together, exchanging gifts with one another and generally being thankful for having such people in their lives. This is a time where most individuals really embrace the idea of family and truly slow down just enough to realize what that entails.
Past successes don't always guarantee future successes. Failures don't always condemn us to impending doom. Family, however, on whatever level one chooses to acknowledge or experience it, is the heartbeat of everything. It is one thing that will always just "be."
Love makes the world turn. It is the creative power in the universe. Embrace it and accept it on any and every level during this wonderful time of year, and try to carry those thoughts, intentions and feelings with you throughout the duration of the coming year.
Digital read thermometer probes have been a lifesaver for me, because I don't cook enough meat (except on the grill) to really know by "feel" or experience when that whole turkey/beef roast/crown roast is done ("Food-Fad Fails," Dec. 18). But I have to agree with their flimsiness! Usually it's the metal wire leading from the probe that fails, usually from heat! Wouldn't you think they'd take that into account during the design process? "Our product will be used in 500 degree grills. I guess heat resistance to 200 should be sufficient."
More than 37 years ago, the Sonoma County coast was the birthplace of the movement that led to the California Coastal Act, which has preserved maximum public access to our coastline and beaches ever since. And in the 1990s, the Free the Beaches movement stopped a threat to charge the public to use our beaches.
Today, we need your help to fight an unfair and unwise proposal by the state to charge day-use fees to use beaches along the Sonoma County and Northern California coast. Please join me and show your support by signing our petition to stop the state's plan and protect maximum public access for our beaches.
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and our state senator, Noreen Evans, have been aggressive opponents of these day-use fees. I'm grateful for their tremendous work and leadership on this important issue.
Unfortunately, this ill-considered proposal has made it this far because too many other leaders in Sacramento have lost touch with their local communities. I would be honored to have you stand strong with me to protect the public's right to use our beaches free of charge. Sign our petition today!
Candidate, State Senate
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.