Jose Ramirez was somebody's son, somebody's friend. His death days ago from a bullet fired into a car off Guerneville Road was a tragedy.
But Jose, 16, was not what some of his friends have described him as: a regular kid who "liked blue" but wasn't a gang member and never looked for trouble.
Police disgusted and alarmed by the shooting of Jose recognized him as a gang member. Nobody's saying that means he deserved to die.
But as we try to understand and do more to counteract the gang problem, we need to deal with it straight on. In the long run, pretending that Jose was a complete innocent in the wrong place at the wrong time won't help anything.
CARLOS SANTANA nodded proudly from a table in back at Railroad Square's Last Day Saloon as the Latin/jazz/rap band led by his son, Salvador, played a strong set Tuesday night.
"I'm just grateful to God that the musical river keeps moving along," Santana said during a smoke break.
"He doesn't want to sound like me," he said of his son, who's 23 and whose band opened for Santana's European tour earlier this year. "They're developing their fingerprint, their identity."
READERS SMIRKED at one of our Community Events listings, not because of the issue at hand. There's nothing funny about the methamphetamine epidemic in Sonoma County or the Sept. 12 forum on the treatable tragedy.
It was just that the headline read, "Demystifying Addition."
Should have read "Addiction." The trouble's with meth, not math.
HOME ICE: Skater Kim Navarro will be back where she started when she and partner Brent Bommentre (www.navarro-bommentre.org) perform Saturday afternoon at Redwood Empire Ice Arena.
Kim was 10 or 11 and Charles Schulz's rink was her favorite place on Earth when Schulz asked her to appear as Woodstock in his holiday ice show. Kim, a graduate of El Molino and Columbia University, can tell you how it feels to now be coming home for a show to benefit her quest for the 2010 Olympics.
It gives her the chills.
HEAVENLY HAMBURGER is going to, well, it's going to shut down after more than 50 years as one of Santa Rosa's favorite mom 'n' pop burger joints.
Mick Powner and his family will close the Rincon Valley walk-in Sept.30. The building's owner is making changes that will more than double the size of the eatery, and that won't work for the Powners.
"It's too much," said Mick. "That place is meant to be just a little hamburger stand, not a full-sized restaurant."
Might Heavenly be reborn elsewhere in town? Miracles do happen.
WHY, IT'S PINK: The Santa Rosa Hydramatic transmission shop at College and Cleveland avenues has worn pink paint since 1959, for good reason.
When mechanic and war vet Bob Price had the shop built that year, it was state of the art. The plans came direct from Ford Motor Co. The heating came (and still does) from 1.1miles of copper tubing embedded in the concrete foundation.
Bob's wife, Bernice, didn't tell him how to build the shop, but she thought that, as his life partner, she ought to have some say. Bob agreed, and Bernice went to a paint store to mix the exterior color.