<b>Who is spoiled?</b>

EDITOR: Oh my gosh, where to begin responding to Gail Watkins ("Spoiled-child president," Letters, Oct. 8), it's up to Congress to debate, amend and pass the budget and approve spending. When the two houses disagree, a conference committee is created to hammer out a compromise budget. Once passed, it is signed or vetoed by the president.

Republicans in the House passed the Ryan budget on a strictly partisan basis, knowing it couldn't pass the Democrat-controlled Senate. After vilifying the Senate for not passing its own budget, the Senate finally did, but the House refused to negotiate in conference. The speaker even refused to name representatives to a conference committee. So the Senate passed a continuing resolution to keep the government operating, with the spending cuts created by sequester at their present levels.

This is exactly what the Republicans said they wanted. But the House, led by the Tea Party Caucus, refused to pass this continuing resolution, demanding in addition a complete defunding of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare.) Thus the government is shut down, and the full faith and credit of the U.S. is threatened.

You tell me, who's the spoiled child, and who's the adult here?



<b>Fall festivities</b>

EDITOR: On Oct. 5, I attended the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. It was a shadow of previous years, a sentiment echoed by numerous fair-goers. On Saturday, I drove to Santa Rosa Junior College's Shone Farm Fall Festival. Families were enjoying you-pick produce and sales, demonstrations, animals, tours, farm stand sales and yes, even wine.

Which event should be called the Harvest Fair?


Santa Rosa

<b>Blame to share</b>

EDITOR: The administration accusing the House Representatives of extortion in the budget standoff recalls the cornhusker kickback and the Louisiana purchase, which were used to pass the Affordable Care Act. Sounds hypocritical to me. A pox on both of our political parties.



<b>Left to guess</b>

EDITOR: Have drivers suddenly become telepathic and they didn't tell me? Because without turn signals, I just don't know where they are going.



<b>Winning music center</b>

EDITOR: As a Santa Rosa Symphony subscriber, I disagree with many of Ron Paris's opinions ("Symphony 'Shoebox,'" Letters, Thursday). The Green Music Center is well-designed and follows the architectural parameters of classic concert halls such as Tanglewood. The center is acoustically brilliant.

It is true that tickets are not cheap, but compare them to tickets at major pop music concerts where one can drop hundreds of dollars for one Rolling Stones shindig. The symphony ticket prices don't fully support the fine musicians showcased in the hall. Major donors must take up most of the deficit. And at the Monday opening I attended, the hall was filled to 90 percent of capacity.

But Paris' letter brought up another issue. The symphony's audience is a sea of gray-heads. There are very few younger patrons. Most seem to be in their 60s and 70s. Where will the symphony's audience come from going forward? The symphony should make a greater effort to attract a younger audience.

In the meantime, I'd suggest that Paris bring a cushion to ease the discomfort of those $850 wooden seats.