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FRAN LEVY

Monte Rio

Listen to the audience

EDITOR: I was surprised and more than a little put off by the dismissive, almost snarky, letter from the Santa Rosa Symphony president (“Symphony programs,” Tuesday). His defensiveness could not mask how he glided over some of the valid points made in another letter (“Playing the masters,” Sept. 23).

In fact, one part of his cursory response actually confirmed what the writer had questioned about symphony programming: “the orchestra presented a separate chamber orchestra concert series from 2003 to 2014.” So, it turns out that for the past three years there have not been such performances; the kind he claims indicate a repertoire not so clearly dominated by later classical French and Russian composers.

It’s news to me that the “vocation” of the orchestra is to play the “larger orchestra repertoire” Consistent with his tone throughout, the president avoids actually saying what he means. Why not say it clearly, Mr. President, “If we’re going to pay all the musicians, we’re going to make certain we get our money’s worth.”

I think a better course would be to listen, rather than reflexively dismiss genuine concerns from the paying audience members.

DEAN DIZIKES

Petaluma

Guns and suicide

EDITOR: I want to remind everyone that 3.5 of 10 gun deaths are attributed to homicides. Our overwhelmingly underreported problem is the 6.1 of 10 gun deaths that are suicides.

It seems that all of the usually proposed methods to reduce homicide deaths would have been ineffective with the Las Vegas killer. Stephen Paddock had no criminal record, even less a violent past.

The elephant in the living room is that each and every one of us is a potential murderer and suicide victim, given the right circumstances. Making it more difficult for anyone to purchase a firearm is — I’m afraid to admit — the only truly effective way to substantially lessen the occurrence of either.

CHRISTOPHER SORK

Santa Rosa

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