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Starry Eyed
Congratulations on publishing one of the best articles on science I have ever read in a general-purpose publication ("Planet Wars," Matt Smith, July 2). It not only taught its readers about the possible discovery of new planets, but it clearly illustrated how science works. Thank you for publishing such a well-done article.

Peter G. Morrissey
Pacific Heights

On a Different Waves Length
Your columnist Sam Prestianni goes to some trouble to trash Making Waves ("Barely a Ripple," Music, July 2). He says that the event is promoted by the "San Francisco Art Commission and their art house and corporate allies." In fact, Making Waves is sponsored only by the Art Commission (I might add, the best use they ever make of that money -- free music for everyone) and Alliance Française, Goethe-Institut, and Istituto Italiano di Cultura. What a surprise that these institutions might seek to present, free, musicians from or in the traditions of their home countries.

Perhaps it was not promoted enough [but] criticizing a lack of advance publicity is ironic in a paper that the week prior gave the event only one sentence of notice buried in a paragraph of other events that day. More schedules would have been nice, but sometimes the fun of Making Waves is seeing someone you wouldn't have picked out of the schedule.

Eric Carlson

Finally we got a one-page article in SF Weekly on Making Waves ("Barely a Ripple"). Wow! But it came after the fact and was surprisingly negative. Sam Prestianni should have done his homework better [before] complaining about the booking policies of the festival management. He would then have understood immediately from the press release that Making Waves ... is about inviting as many musicians of any kind as possible out into the open to play music and to make the day into a community event. Amateurs or "pop-star wannabes," as Prestianni prefers to call them, are particularly welcome.

With over 200 bands and a thousand musicians on 23 stages, a ridiculous budget of $60,000, a wonderful and tireless crew of 10 barely paid staff members, and a lot of volunteers, you naturally run into some problems. But 50,000 printed program guides should have been ample for the 30,000-some people who attended the festival. However, if you obviously only cover one stage as Prestianni did, you don't have the energy to get to the nearest other stage and pick a program up there.

Instead of ranting against Making Waves and complaining about missing Fillmore style-ads in SF Weekly, Prestianni should have helped the festival with showcasing the festival, musician, stages, and show times in a similarly long article before the event. Maybe next year, and we promise to get the JCDecaux toilet working for him!

Ulrich Sacker, Director
San Francisco

Head Games
Voter fraud! Ballot manipulation! Ouch! ("Best of San Francisco -- Readers' Poll Winners," June 25) Please save those harsh words for stadamall-buildin', ballot-soakin', microwavin' politicos.

As there was not a category my project fit into, and there was an "other" write-in category, I chose to create a category that I felt was both in keeping with the fun and spirit of your poll (and my project), while hopefully adding to your unearthing of the "less obvious joys and oddities" of San Francisco.

I suggested the category, but everyone that voted for my place filled out their ballot at home, put it in an envelope, paid for the postage, and mailed it by themselves. I just encouraged people to participate in your process. As to them all saying the same thing, "Best Stairwell for Art: Head, 547 Valencia," well they just stated the category, the place, and the address. What was it supposed to say? You say it looks fishy -- I say the people want "HEAD." GIVE THE PEOPLE HEAD!

John Bovio

Straight Talk
Just finished reading Silke Tudor's Night Crawler column in the July 2 issue. Her comments on the impending anemia of the SFLGBTP Parade set me to musing. As one of those "tedious heterosexuals" who attended, I couldn't decide whether to laugh or cringe.

Has the rainbow parade really turned into beige burlap? I wouldn't know what to compare it to, since it was the first time I attended. But it seemed to me that at least the large majority of the spectators were gay/lesbian. So at least as of 1997, the infiltration and dilution by STR8s hasn't seemed to reach critical yet.

Which leads me to your law, "look fabulous and dance, or just stay at home and watch it on KOFY TV 20." Maybe you should consider a way to help along us swank-challenged folks. Maybe you and your kin should create an adopt-a-heterosexual program or something. If you find a STR8 who would like to attend the Gay Pride events, but lacks the look, drag them to Wasteland or some such, and outfit them. Get them drunk. Teach them to dance. If someone did that for me, hell, I'd be grateful! I might scream as soon as I saw myself in the mirror, but I'd still be grateful. And if the experiment is a dismal failure, well at least you can be pretty sure that that'll be one straight who won't try and be part of the scene again.

Name withheld upon request

Stern's the Rule
Thanks for your insightful article on Howard Stern ("More Howard Stern," Unspun, July 2). I enjoyed it very much. I am somewhat dismayed at the fact that TCI, the right-wing monopoly people, have decided to remove the E! Entertainment Channel from our evening television. Now we have the Home Shopping Network instead. Let's not forget the sneaky way they have added Praise!, another religious show, to annoy people further with Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker look-alikes. Barf.

When I called TCI to ask how I could get back E! at night, they told me, "You can't." And that was it. Nice people.

Jim Piechota


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