Without going into specifics, no one unfamiliar with the area should be walking around certain parts of the Tenderloin without a guide. It is so dangerous that major hotels have chosen to locate there because no other self-respecting neighborhood would have them. The many fine ethnic restaurants should be ignored by timid nonresidents because we don't want to discourage any preconceptions of a grim, unrelenting reality.
Ask residents how they feel about living here, and they will probably tell you that despite the harmonic ideals of the Rainbow Coalition put to the test, life is still tough. Knowing this, can white-bread America sleep well tonight?
By the way, $50 might get you 15 minutes, if you're lucky.
Re the item "Typeface Trauma" (Slap Shots, June 11): If you're going to make fun of others' punctuation choices, you should make sure the story is spelled correctly. The city in The Crying of Lot 49 is San Narciso, not San Narcisco. It's still funny.
According to George Cothran and Chuck Finnie ("Honest Shaft", The Grid, June 4), "[T]he activities of politicolobbyists, as sleazy as they may seem, do not appear likely to threaten the overall health of the San Francisco political system."
"Seem"? "Appear"? "Likely"? "Threaten"?
Fact: The activities of politicolobbyists have destroyed the overall health of the San Francisco political system.
Darkness Out of Tunes
Why, when I read Michael Batty's creepy music reviews, do I get the distinct feeling that he's writing for the dumbed-down, glue-sniffing goth geeks, who need to think something is either burnt-out, way past it, rotting, or "creepy" to be of value ("Americana Gothic," Music, June 11)?
Maybe Batty needs to spend some time with Silke Tudor and crawl among humanity.
Fire Burning Bright
As a volunteer with the Auxiliary Communications Service, a part of the Office of Emergency Services, next door to Fire Radio, I take exception with much of Tara Shioya's "Dream Job" (June 4).
Firefighters who are ill or injured are well-prepared to render service as knowledgeable dispatchers, instead of sitting at home on benefits. If they were replaced by civilians, what would the injured or ill firefighters do? Sit at home on full pay, doing nothing?
As far as sleeping, shopping, cooking, betting, and the other asides, that's what firefighters do -- awaiting the next call.
The only substantive issue -- that perhaps the overtime pay needs a closer look -- was lost in the lambasting of a fire dispatching system that has worked well for a century. However, the fact that the major incident of "abuse" cited in the article occurred six years ago hardly puts the article on the cutting edge of news reporting.