EDITOR: I would like to correct the Tuesday letter headlined "Anti-Catholic Democrats." The new health care law does not provide direct federal funding for abortion, except in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother — the same rules that currently apply to Medicaid.

In fact, the new law states specifically that federal funds are not to be used for coverage of any other kinds of abortions and that only premium dollars paid by individuals out of their own pockets may be used to pay for coverage of other kinds of abortions.

Personally, I believe the decision to have an abortion or not is a woman's choice, and the government should not be involved in that decision.

The new law does give women greater control over their health care. For two examples: maternity benefits will be mandated, which are currently not typically covered by insurance plans in the individual market; and it prohibits insurance companies from charging more because of gender.

I would hope that all women (Catholics included) would appreciate the health care reform law's intent to provide accessible, quality of care to all.



This summer offers a social mixer of sorts to become acquainted with the people of Petaluma, those long gone as well as residents currently living in the local zip codes.

An exhibition at the Petaluma Arts Center, a companion exhibit at the Petaluma Museum and an unofficial piggyback exhibit at the IceHouse Gallery all pay tribute to those who’ve made their home in Petaluma.

“Face of Petaluma: Portraits of Our Town” is a photographic portrayal highlighting the works of photographers Paige Green, Michael Woolsey, Jude Mooney, Michael Garlington and Ramin Rahimian.

Their portraits focus on local personalities from all walks of life. Co-curated by Mooney and Stefan Kirkeby, the exhibit runs through Aug. 5.

The center, at 230 Lakeville St., is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is $3-$5.

For more information, call 707-762-5600 or visit petalumaartscenter.org.

A companion exhibit, “Portraits of Petaluma Pioneers: Personal Images & Public Stories of a California River Town,” is presented by the Petaluma Museum Association.

The exhibit offers photographs from the Petaluma Historical Library and Museum and the Sonoma County Library. Art historian Paula Freund curated the exhibit.

The town’s booming history of the 1850s and 1860s coincided with the popularity of camera portraiture, preserving pioneers’ accomplishments and experiences.

The exhibit runs through Aug. 5. Admission is free.

The museum, at 20 Fourth St., is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, noon-3 p.m. Sunday and by appointment.

For more information, call 707-778-4398 or visit petalumamuseum.com.

In conjunction with the exhibits, IceHouse Gallery presents “(Mostly) Petaluma Portraits,” larger-than-life-sized portraits in charcoal of local women by Petaluma fine artist Kathryn Keller.

The portraits feature women Keller admires for their quiet heroism and reflect the artist’s references to art history, feminist issues, pop culture and contemporary events.

IceHouse Gallery, at 405 E. D St. (in the Burdell Building) is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday by appointment.

The exhibit runs through July 30. Admission is free.

For more information, call 707-778-2238 or visit icehousegallery.org.