Out of respect for our readers, we won't hold that last sentence against you: As a back-to-back winner of the "Best State Legislator" in the 2001 Readers' Poll ("Best of San Francisco 2001," May 23), I am delighted and appreciative in being granted such an honor. The city of San Francisco is a special place to me, and I strive to make it a better environment for us all. I have always thought of SF Weekly as a voice of the people. It makes me very thankful knowing the residents of this city recognize my hard work. San Franciscans have shown that by working together on the issues that are important to us, we can make this an ideal place to live.
Assemblywoman, 13th District
The new kick-ass-less Herald: Thank you so much for choosing us as "Best Neighborhood Newspaper." It's an honor, and all of us at the SF Herald sincerely appreciate it. I would like to point out, however, that as the current music critic for the last four or five issues, I have not, nor would ever, "trumpet "KICK-ASS ROCK AND ROLL!!!'" The term "kick-ass" is not in my vocabulary; "kiss my ass," however, most definitely is! Hey, just living up to the "pissed and proud" medal you bestowed upon us, and I will continue to try to live up to it whenever possible. Thanks again!
Another pollutant -- killjoys: So "an evening of indoor shooting at Jackson Arms is nothing but good fun" ("Best Place to Shoot Guns")? Sure, if you consider endangering your health, your family, and the environment fun.
Shooting ranges are one of the major sources of lead pollution in the U.S. A typical outdoor range can become contaminated to Superfund level in just a few years. As for indoor ranges, employees and regular patrons of shooting galleries have been found to have extremely high levels of blood lead poisoning, and they take that lead home on their clothes, shoes, and bodies. There is no known safe level of exposure to lead, and the most recent studies suggest a tragic cycle: Exposure to lead through "recreational" shooting makes you more prone to violence, increasing the chances that you'll end up using a gun to commit a crime.
If people want to play Russian roulette with their IQ, that's their business. But before you send them merrily off to have fun in a highly toxic environment, maybe you should warn them of the danger.
California Director, Environmental Working Group
Great. Any ideas on world hunger?: I was amused by Matt Smith's wry commentary on sidewalk-automobile steeplechase ("Sporting News," May 23). Indeed, lovely cities like ours belong to their humans, and cars parked on the sidewalk are an intolerable affront to basic sensibilities. Of course, it's too much to expect the Department of Parking and Traffic to actually do something about this, but nonetheless two solutions come to mind. First, the DPT can deputize citizens to rove about and tag illegally parked cars, and then split the proceeds with them. This scheme will bring more money into the city coffers without the need for more DPT employees, and the financial incentive will ensure that the sidewalks are thoroughly scoured for cars daily. Since this idea won't fly at the DPT, here's another: In the spirit of civil disobedience, if cars can park their metallic asses on my sidewalk and force me to skirt around them into traffic (with my 4-year-old in tow), then why can't I block off an entire street, place lawn chairs thereon, and enjoy a good game of street stickball with my neighbors? Perhaps what's needed is a "Critical Mass for Pedestrians" movement. And for those people who really like living nose-to-nose with automobiles, there is relief. I suggest they move on down to the auto-lovin' shithole known as L.A.
At 20 bucks a seat, we want yapping: Karen McKevitt may have seen Liebe Wetzel's Snake in the Basement on a different night than me ("Snake in the Basement: The Prosecution of Reverend Bill Pruitt," Stage, May 23). The night I saw it it was far from "eerily silent" -- it was liberally peppered with a witty score by Loren Linnard. Just because characters aren't yapping incessantly doesn't mean there's nothing to listen to .