Letters to the Argus-Courier editor May 27, 2021
On the Water Street ’monstrosity’
EDITOR: It is said that “Art is a very individual thing.” However, when it comes to the Tacky Tubs (oops, sorry, A Fine Balance), P.T. Barnum’s “there’s a sucker born every minute” is much more accurate.
Apparently, the Petaluma Public Art Committee gave birth to quadruplets who approved the infestation. I mean, installation of this 20-legged monstrosity on Water Street. And it’s only going to cost the city another $80,000.
“Art is what you can get away with.”
Thank you, Andy Warhol, and congratulations, Brian Goggin.
A vote for the fairgrounds status quo
EDITOR: Why is the fairground’s future up for debate in Petaluma? There should be no question as to what should happen to the fairgrounds. Since the 1800s the fairgrounds has been a place for community gatherings that rival any others throughout the year. It is an emergency evacuation center, a location of two schools, a community center, a park, a multi-county fair, a speedway, and the one place in Petaluma that continues to be a source of enjoyment throughout the summer every weekend. I urge the city council to do what is right for the community and keep the fairgrounds as it is; and as it has been for so many successful years. The parade downtown brought joy to my eyes when I saw it, but later while looking into the issue it really saddened me that it takes this much effort for the city to recognize how important this place is to the community. From that looks of it; the community is starting to speak up, so please listen.
Discussing the fair
EDITOR: Last Saturday a caravan of vehicles choked the downtown streets with pollution. Noise, exhaust and mis-information spewed from this “parade” (un-permitted) received a lot of attention while it lasted and endured on social media. My aunt from Alameda was having lunch and later asked, “why does the city want to get rid of the fair?” I feel this simplistic representation about what is actually going on in regards to the lease negotiations between the City of Petaluma and 4th District Agricultural Association is a false representation of facts and would fuel a fire to lead us into another bad long-term lease. The disruptive Saturday display might have achieved a level of public awareness but at what cost? Outdoor dining and downtown businesses rely on every dollar on weekends, many folks I witnessed were enthusiastic in support however many were not. The noise was excessive, and the black smoke stunk and made me wish I had not been downtown.
Public dialog is the main objective of those who wish to “save the fair.” City council Ad Hoc subcommittee on this topic include Mike Healy, Dave King and Kevin McDonnell, plus three designated representatives of the District Agricultural Association are responsible for setting up the groundwork for these meetings, and I encourage the public to reach out to those elected officials and ask them to return to work on setting the framework for this contract. Their last meeting was January 2020 and it is now time to get back to the table.
Community engagement needed for fair
EDITOR: Why do people get upset when someone speaks up for something they believe in? Double-edged sword. If you speak up and make noise, people get upset and say you’re going about it the wrong way. But if you sit back silent and complacent, others will do what they want without a care for what you think. Your chance to make a difference will slip away. Our city council needs to hold up their end and initiate public outreach regarding the fairgrounds. The community needs to know what is going on. Yes, Covid put a damper on in-person outreach but nothing stopped them from setting up a poll or online survey. The community members voted the council in and expect them to work for the community and not themselves. They need to be involved with the public.
A poem for our times: Water is gold
EDITOR: I’m a visionary or so I’m told, we must save the water, as though it were gold; turn off the faucet when we’re brushing our teeth, doing with less is how it must be; running the sprinkler to keep grass alive, might only be done in the morning and evening at five; washing a vehicle can waste quite a nugget, one can do a more thorough job if they use a sponge and a bucket; wet your hands, turn off the cold, rub them together, rub them bold; turn on the faucet to a moderate drip, hey, this is a pretty good tip; a new idea that is really quite old, is to lather up using a pitcher and bowl; a drought soon comes to a drying nation, so, everyone in earnest must begin to ration; lakes and rivers are starting to shrivel, the rains are coming less frequently, even the drizzles; the water we use or even we drink, will one day come to your door instead the sink; when we go to a restaurant to have a meal, let’s ask for water only if we plan to drink it for real; don’t get a new refill unless you plan to swallow, otherwise, it will just get thrown away, and this is a poor plan to follow; think. What will we do if we’re battling a fire? Let things burn down? Lose our lack of desire? The water may be gone one day, so we must conserve it now, for there may not be another way; in nourishing the people as they thirst for more gold, moving from place to place in search of water, to sustain their hold; our stewardship must be consistent and bold; imagine a world were gold just gets thrown away; who is to care? Someday our water may be more precious than air! SAVE THE WATER! It is our new GOLD! Not just a fad; an idea that is sold, but a new way of thinking for the generation to come; SAVE THE WATER now, so that one day we’ll have some.