I've recently gone out on the diving board—alone—to sing the praises of the Bohemian's editorial courage re supporting investigative journalism. Ouch! The thin, under-investigated oyster story by Daniel Hirsch ("Consider the Oyster," July 15) is my embarrassment.
Hirsch's "investigation" got him as far as Fred Smith, the good-looking, charming, paid employee of the West Marin Environmental Action Committee. Smith is besotted with the zealots, and the fact that they pay him is determined to kick out the "commercial" biz in the Point Reyes seashore, i.e., Drakes Bay Oyster Company.
Smith overlooked completely the fact that the zealots enthusiastically support tourism in the wilderness. ("Come on down to Drake's Bay for summer fun!")
Hirsch swallowed hook line and sinker the aerial-photos propaganda, shown to him no doubt by the talkative petitioner, that appear to be devastating the eel grass. Hello! That narrow channel is the track taken by all small craft to go around the oyster beds. Furthermore, the eel grass has doubled over the years. Oysters do not pollute, Mr. Hirsch. In fact, there are projects nationwide that introduce oysters in order to clean water.
You should have at least talked to Kevin Lunny, the owner of the oyster farm, being the good reporter you are. He is easily accessible.
Why are you so eager to believe the zealots? Why aren't you asking questions that include: Is this a land grab? Will structures be built to house "wilderness" visitors in the future?
Please visit the oyster farm and see for yourself the low impact, hands-on, Slow Food, environmentally fabulous biz it is. The year-round tourists absolutely adore the oyster farm. Duh!
Daniel Hirsch responds: Thanks so much for your impassioned response to my article. The environmental impact of oysters at Drakes Estero is certainly a complicated issue, and you are correct in pointing out (as my article also does) the long history of disputed and refuted scientific claims. I would have loved to talk with Kevin Lunny about his farm's practices, but after repeated phone calls to his office, I got word that he had left town for Tahoe and never did return my calls. Given this paper's history of positive coverage of Mr. Lunny and his business, we let this omission slide for press time. Additionally, I only had the opportunity to speak with Fred Smith over the phone—if we had known Mr. Smith was as charming and as good-looking as you claim, he probably would have been on the cover.
Funny, insightful 'wretch'
Regarding David Templeton's "Wretch Like Me" (July 15): It was long. (Maybe too long for a publication?) But I liked it very much. Very insightful. Very funny. Good points made. I'd like to see a performance. I'm sure there are things that one doesn't pick up from the printed page.
I had a similar experience, having been a "Jesus freak" in college and gradually becoming a rational atheist. So I identified with much of what was said. I thank you for having the chutzpah to publish it. I don't know how many fundamentalists read the Bohemian, but if any do, I'm sure you'll get some flak. And thanks to David T. for having the chutzpah to write and perform it.
Pegasus in the pews
It has been most interesting having Pegasus Theater performing in the sanctuary of the Guerneville Community Church ("Nomad Company," July 8). For one who is a member of that church, it is amazing to me how Pegasus has been able to transform our sanctuary into a playhouse and then put the altar and cross hanging over it back so we can have Sunday service. The walls of the church are hung with black curtains and the pews are screwed around, but other than that we feel quite normal. If you haven't seen Driving Miss Daisy, you still have a few days left, and then you really should come to church on Sunday to see the transformation. Congratulations to Pegasus!