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Smith: Santa Rosa cartoonist, author Stephan Pastis takes the stage

When it's Q&A time at Wednesday's 7 p.m. talk by wildly famous cartoonist Steve Pastis at Santa Rosa High, someone could reasonably ask, "Why are you here?"

Pastis, creator of the "Pearls Before Swine" strip and the books starring kid detective Timmy Failure, certainly is not a Panther.

But his son, Thomas, is a junior at SRHS and his wife, Staci, is an alumna. And Staci's uncle, Mike Daniels, is a giant in the Santa Rosa High Foundation, which is sponsoring his appearance.

Pastis will bare his soul about drawing and writing "Pearls" and he'll say what he can about prospects for a film based on his bestselling kids' book, "Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made."

The second Timmy book debuts in February and Pastis is about finished with the third.

Who'll ask him why he's so paunchy and unattractive in the self-portraits in his strip?

IF YOUR AROSE EARLY Saturday to see the "Today" show segment on blind Sonoma County artist Ken Rossi, I need not tell you it didn't appear.

NBC tells Ken and the Sonoma County Museum, which had him in to draw with oil pastels and answer the questions of a group of Windsor fourth-graders, that the violence at Los Angeles International Airport pushed back the airing of the piece shot at the museum.

It could be broadcast on "Today" Sunday morning, or next Saturday morning. It should be worth the wait.

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