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OK, Then -- Susie Warmed the Pacific Too
Matt Smith's uneven account of Susie Tompkins Buell's tenure at Esprit ("Esprit de Court," Oct. 8) was very selective and sparing in its use of factual information. I regret that he didn't mention the $4.1 million that Susie gave to local nonprofits and civic institutions in the company's name, using her own money. An amount, coincidentally, greater than that currently under dispute over tax payments. Its mention would have offered some balance to his gaseous reiteration of very old news and tired gossip. Since he was so intent on blaming Ms. Tompkins Buell for circumstances out of her control, why not also hold her responsible for El Nino?

Michel Boynton, Executive Director
Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation
San Francisco

Generation Excess? Nah
I am writing in response to Matt Smith's article on Susie Tompkins Buell ("Esprit de Court"). I sense that you have been used by the men currently running Esprit. I'm sure that Esprit threatened to smear Ms. Buell's name if she pursued the case. Perhaps it seems you were merely reporting the truth out of journalistic integrity and the public's right to know, but instead you have pled Esprit's case for them in the court of public opinion. You have insinuated that Ms. Buell has no case without even stating the actual facts of the case and what issue is in dispute. You have labeled Ms. Buell as a cultural icon, representative of her idealistic "baby boomer" generation. In seeking to bring her down off the pedestal that the media originally elevated her onto, you have indicted her entire generation as well.

Once again, a cynical "Generation X" slacker seeks to invalidate the values of the "baby boomers," claiming that they were eroded in the profit-hungry '80s, and, ultimately, all came to naught. Sure, Ms. Buell has a lot of money and may spend it on lavish parties. But upon investigation, I'm certain one would discover a very generous philanthropist who "puts her money where her mouth is" by giving to the causes she is passionate about. She cares and she is proactive about creating a better world. The legacy of the '60s goes on, and so does the woman we know as one of its pioneers.

Lisa Le Beau
Mission Dolores

Matt Smith replies: For the record, I was born in what was considered to be the last year of the "Baby Boom."

Lowe Opinion
What can you say for the full-page Camel, Marlboro, and Johnnie Walker ads? Like their ads, stressing the past, they are a dying breed. You have to feel sorry for them as they carry on their desperate tries to entice people to use their worn-out products.

But, then again, from a positive point of view the revenue is good for the paper. I wonder if it's true that editors don't publish material that is conflicting to major advertisers?

Ron Lowe
Santa Cruz

Editor's note: At least as regards SF Weekly, I think you can quit wondering.


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