As a former convict from the '60s–'70s era, I agree with some of your writer's complaints about "the system" ("Words Fail," Open Mic, April 22). On the other hand, the state already spends at least five or six times as much on convicts as they spend on school students, so what exactly should be corrected? Why does it already cost so much more to keep a con in the can than to educate a kid who has yet to become a criminal? Maybe they call the guards "correctional officers" because all they can do is correct the behavior of the cons, most of whom are pretty much lowlife tramps who rob their own families when it is convenient. Aside from petty drug "criminals," most of my erstwhile colleagues were pretty much worthless to the world. I never met any bankers in jail. There ought to be a lot of them in there.
The advent of seedless fruit and GM produce is just another manifestation of man's harmful manipulation of nature to serve its own selfish, lazy and greedy appetites ("A War on Bees?" April 15). We need honeybees to be able to fly freely to complete the natural cycle of pollination. We don't need seedless fruit, we don't need genetically modified food. What we need is to respect nature and nature's processes and let the bees do the work that they were put on this earth to do. Anything that humankind does to hamper that will surely end badly for all of us.
In response to Gary Smyth's Letter to the Editor ("Three in One Blow," April 15): While I'll agree that the Bohemian boringly panders to the wino community (note to Gary: winos tend to whine a lot, like you) for obvious financial reasons, you couldn't be any more full of cheap malt-liquor piss than when you begin to talk smack about Gabe Meline. I've known Gabe since I was a little scrap looking for a good record in the Last Record Store 10 years ago. Now, as I'm on my way to a college education and impending yuppie-hood, I can't help but be so grateful to have had a community leader who always had his ear to the heart and soul of our county. Our cynical and grape-saturated community needs more youthful, albeit sometimes adolescent voices to show the old folks and remind the emerging adults (like me) that the young people still give a damn about living life free of the trite cynicism you so boringly exude. What have you done for the community lately?
Addiction is something that grabs you by the balls and never lets go. It's a personal hell created by the mind and taken over by the body—and gambling is no exception. Casino advertisements are popping up everywhere: a billboard on Highway 101 reads "24 Hour Action—So Close." At my job, there are brochures for River Rock Casino attempting to entice people with a "Players Club Card," and in the Bohemian itself there is an ad encouraging play at a casino by reducing the buy-in rate as people rack up the number of hours that they've played.
All this advertisement and encouragement for gambling needs to stop! Gambling is so easy to get addicted to, and casino owners know this— that's why there aren't any windows or clocks in casinos. Gambling addiction causes people to think illogically about the amount of money that they're spending and the consequences for spending so much money: the inability to pay rent, take care of their children or pay other bills.
Sonoma County is not Las Vegas. People do not plan a vacation to come to Sonoma County to see the fabulous casinos and shows. So these local casinos are mostly endangering our own residents. In keeping with how dangerous casinos are, why in the hell is the casino out in the Geyserville area allowed to have a liquor license? The roads to get out there are windy and difficult to drive sober as it is! Having a liquor license is just one more trick casino owners use to get players to spend more money. If you're drunk, you're not thinking about how much money you're spending.
Casinos are a very negative attribute to Sonoma County, and I believe that a conscientious paper like the Bohemian should not print casino advertisements.
Christina Orme, age 20