Thanks, you irresponsible mistake-makers: I am a supporter of low-power FM in San Francisco and often wish there was more coverage in the local media of these stations -- before they are in crisis. So kudos for you to run a simply human-interest story on this particular station ["Meow Mix," Music, Jan. 5]. Aspects of the reporting, however, were a little irresponsible and merit reply and in some cases correction.
The reporter, Dan Strachota, seemed so enamored with Pirate Cat Radio that he took everything said by the main guy, Monkey Man, as unexamined fact. I have been involved with S.F. Liberation Radio for years and was there when our station was seized by the feds. Since then we have worked to change the policy of the federal government through the courts by stopping the FCC's use of a sort of back-door seizure warrant.
It is our view that in any situation involving instruments of expression of the freedom of speech, there should be a whole lot of legal process to take those instruments, be they a printing press, a loudspeaker, or small community radio station. We at SFLR are taking the long, long legal road to change the process the feds use (currently they employ maritime law, meant for ships at port full of illegal booty that could sail away in the night).
In these proceedings, I have gone through all documented evidence against us. There was no evidence that we were interfering with any airport signals. So for Strachota to simply print "'As much as San Francisco Liberation Radio liked to say they were shut down for saying dangerous things [last year], they were actually interfering with the Oakland airport,' [Monkey Man] says" is not only irresponsible but also inaccurate.
Also interesting was the use of the moniker "pirate radio version of NPR." Not only has there been in the Bay Area an unlicensed station that called itself Neighborhood Public Radio and ran almost exclusively local, public affairs programming, but also of note is the fact that National Public Radio was one of the most effective lobbying groups against legalizing low-power FM. Basically because of them and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) we have unnecessarily strict regulations on radio stations of 100 watts or less.
Please help S.F. Liberation Radio in our goal to end the tyranny of the FCC, NPR, and the NAB by coming down to the Federal Building on Feb. 11 at 9 a.m., 450 Golden Gate, in the 19th-floor courtroom of the Hon. Susan Illston.
A Canadian for religious cinema: I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading your article about the church that makes the movies in San Francisco ["Lights, Camera, Gospel!," Jan. 5]. I personally know the church and quite a few of the people involved there, as I attend that church whenever I come down to San Francisco from Canada. Thank you for presenting such a positive view of what they are doing. I really think they are doing a great job in what they are attempting to do, and it will be great to see this project come out.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Fake Arnold likes column on fake Arnold: Great article ["Imposter Impersonator," Infiltrator, Jan. 5]. I was there and met your undercover reporter. I am originally from the Bay Area. I am also the Schwarzenegger impersonator who was married at the convention. I recently moved to Sacramento, as I also work for the Sac Convention & Visitors Bureau as Arnold.
To plug a Web site?: Thank you for your [story] about contaminants in S.F. bay fish ["Fishing on the Dock of the Bay," News, Dec. 15]. I wanted to alert readers to the fact that some fish purchased in grocery stores also contain high levels of mercury and other contaminants. Swordfish, shark, and king mackerel are among the highest in mercury, but fish such as albacore tuna contain high levels as well. Fish consumers can gauge their mercury exposure by visiting www.gotmercury.org. Using FDA data, this site allows fish consumers to avoid fish that are highest in mercury, while allowing them to design a fish diet that is low in mercury and therefore safe to eat.