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Williams’ first venue

EDITOR: In Staff Writer Julie Johnson’s article about Robin Williams (“A frequent presence in North Bay,” Tuesday”), she mentioned that “lore has it that the Lark Creek Inn didn’t allow Williams to work as a busboy on weekends.” I can assure you that was more than “lore.”

When I opened Lark Creek in 1972, I hired a bright, hardworking 21-year-old named Robin to be one of our busboys. He was working his way through drama classes at College of Marin, and Lark Creek was very successful. It was a rare night that we didn’t have a half-hour wait for dinner.

Robin’s antics became a problem when he continued to disrupt the flow of the dining experience. He considered our 150 seated patrons as his audience, and his humor was just as wacky then as the public has gotten to love over the years.

I asked Robin to just let his humor overflow when he was off-duty, but that didn’t work with Robin Williams. When he was on, he was on. So I had to restrict his hours to daytime, weekdays, when we weren’t so packed. He took it well.

No one could ever have guessed that our funny young busboy would make the cover of Time magazine just three years later. Good memories.

SKIP SOMMER

Petaluma

Immigration debate

EDITOR: For those who want to allow these illegal immigrants entering our southern border, I ask will you take them into your household? Or better yet allow a refugee camp to be built in Sonoma County for a few years?

The Obama administration has allowed the border to be kept open, which is a slap in the face to the thousands of people trying to enter the United States legally or become U.S. citizens, as the immigration system is so backed up. It sends a terrible message to those trying to work within the legal system.

The 2008 law signed by a Republican president to deal with human trafficking from Central America has worked until now and is being abused by these illegal immigrants.

ANDREW SMITH

Santa Rosa

What kind of security?

EDITOR: Daniel Vrooman (“Peace and security,” Letters, Saturday) poses an offensive comparison of the tunnels of Jewish partisans resisting the Nazi holocaust with the tunnels of Hamas, positioned to bring terrorists into Israel to kill its citizens and abduct them for ransom of fellow terrorists or worse.

Vrooman ignores crucial facts. Does he know that Israel has not occupied Gaza since September 12, 2005? Does he know that the 1988 charter of Hamas, viciously anti-Semitic and anti-West, calls for the destruction of the state of Israel and, as the “duty of every Muslim,” “jihad” (read eradication) of Jewish people? Does he wonder about placards displayed in Europe predicting “your 9/11”? Why haven’t we seen more media coverage about anti-Semitism in Europe being the worst since the Nazi period? Hamas is only one manifestation of the alarming spread of anti-Semitism and anti-Western vitriol throughout Europe.

Yes, as Vrooman said, peace and security for Israelis depends on peace and security for Palestinians. That will happen when Hamas is disarmed, and there is economic and social development in Palestinian communities, a task for Israelis and Arabs alike.

JOY DANZIG

Santa Rosa

A lawyer’s job

EDITOR: Criticisms of Santa Rosa City Attorney Caroline Fowler’s closed-meeting advice miss the point (“Trial by fire,” Sunday). There is no question that a City Council member has a legal duty to keep mum about what happens in closed session. The only issue is whether violation of that duty is a crime, about which qualified lawyers differ. Do Councilman Gary Wysocky and Councilwoman Julie Combs believe that they need not observe their legal duties to the city unless doing so will send them to jail? We all have obligations that are not backed by criminal sanctions, but we are nevertheless bound to perform them. A lawyer’s job is to remind her clients of their legal rights and duties, and that’s just what Fowler did.

CLAY CLEMENT

Santa Rosa

Buying secondhand info

EDITOR: Gee, the district attorney paid $63,000 for something that most people know already — cops can kill civilians and not pay a price for it (“Review of Lopez shooting cost $63,000,” Friday). Cops are almost never punished for killing civilians. Why pay more money for that old info?

HANS BEERBAUM

Petaluma

Ending domestic violence

EDITOR: The recent ad by the YWCA about domestic violence was excellent. They are to be commended and supported for the life-saving work they do for the victims. It prompted me to write about Men Evolving Non-violently, or MEN, a local volunteer organization that strives to get at the root cause of domestic violence by working directly with the men perpetrators.

In the three weekly support groups, men, who voluntarily attend, learn how to control their destructive anger behavior, be it physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, controlling or just withdrawing. The resulting increased happiness and connectedness that they experience puts them on a lifelong path of learning how to be in a successful, connected and intimate relationship.

The tools and teaching techniques that MEN has developed over 36 years are effective. The lives of countless men have been turned around by this work. To apply for one of the groups, volunteer for the work, receive a brochure or request a speaker, call 528-2636 or see sonomacountymen.org.

TOMAS HAKANSON

Sebastopol