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Letters to the Editor 

Week of May 29, 2002

The Best Letters in San Francisco

Readers' pol: I want to thank the loyal readers of SF Weekly for choosing me as the Best State Legislator of 2002 ("Best of San Francisco," May 15). It has been my pleasure and an honor to serve my San Francisco constituents over the past few years. Once again SF Weekly has proved that it attracts a bright and savvy audience with excellent taste.

Carole Migden
Assemblywoman, 13th District

Busted: In regard to "Best Place to Catch Sexy Dancing" in the Best of S.F. issue, although I'm flattered that you selected my dance company, Caminos Flamencos, to highlight and even more flattered that you noticed my footwork, did you have to mention my breast size? I'm a dancer, not a stripper. The dancing may have been sexy to you, which is fine, but flamenco is a dance form that requires much discipline and years of training. That you had to specifically point me out for my chest ("tiny, busty Rina Orellana Rall") is offensive and negates my years of hard work. It also does a disservice to the dance community as a whole. So, thanks for the mention, but next time keep your eyes on the dancing and not on my bust.

Rina Orellana Rall
Cole Valley

Crime Without Punishment

Robbed of a job: I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you how much I liked and appreciated Peter Byrne's article "The Perfect Crime" (May 8). As a former jewelry sales rep, I too was the victim of an armed robbery. I learned a lot more than I thought I knew about the modus operandi of these gangs -- even more than the trade publications in the jewelry industry wrote about. The article is a chilling reminder to me as to why I have chosen to follow another career path.

Name Withheld
Mill Valley

Jazz Sings the Blues

There's still hope: Thanks for the thought piece on the current state of jazz ("Kind of Code Blue," Music, May 8). I was just remarking the other day that jazz must be in danger of fading away and being relegated to vinyl bins at record fairs and BMG CD club compilations. But this article highlighted some positive things that newcomers to jazz (like myself) and seasoned veterans (like Wynton [Marsalis]) can do to help bring jazz to a healthier and more vital place.

I've just discovered the beautiful Yoshi's in Oakland, but I'd love to explore more venues that support this historically important and uniquely American art form. Hopefully, this article will inspire promoters and radio stations to help the cause. Keep up the great work.

Name Withheld

A sin of omission: How could you write an article on whether jazz is dead and not mention the Broun Fellinis? You mentioned Charlie Hunter (who came after the Fellinis to the Elbo Room). You mentioned Marcus Shelby, who moved to San Francisco in part because he heard of the success of the Fellinis and other bands in the city.

So what gives? They played here longer than Charlie and more successfully than Marcus and have been awarded by your publication and others for doing so, yet get no mention in an article purporting to be about jazz. The article's already been published, and like poorly researched journalism everywhere, the damage is done, while the one who made the error is off working on another project. So there is nothing much to be done about this particular error. You were simply wrong.

Michael Wharton

We're turned off by its call letters: You forgot to mention KPOO-FM (89.5) as a superb station for jazz music, local and beyond. They tirelessly promote jazz music through announcements, free ticket giveaways, and interviews. It's a shame KPOO doesn't get the recognition they deserve. They are the only station that regularly plays the artists cited in [the] article. Are ya listenin'?

Matt Thayer
Cathedral Hill

A few sour notes: Leaving out Jazz at Pearl's, which presents jazz pretty much daily, is a big oversight. KCSM-FM (91.1) does a much better job than 99 percent of other stations in connecting with local artists, playing them, interviewing them, and telling people how to buy their recordings even if they aren't available through traditional distribution. The fact that most people can't pronounce Taylor Eigsti's last name is not unusual!

Janice Mancuso
Portland, Ore.

Money and Politics

We pick "It's the electorate, stupid": I have a question for John Mecklin: Why would public financing, which he loves, give us anything different from (in his view) offensive nonentities spouting things we don't want and don't believe ("Whore vs. Bore," Mecklin, May 8)?

Mecklin can't understand why we get offensive nonentities. It's a hard choice, but the answer is either "It's the media, stupid" or "It's the electorate, stupid."

The women of California, as a group, vote against anyone who questions the moral value of abortion, never mind his or her other values and experience. The Hispanic voters, as a group, vote against anyone who wants our laws and borders enforced and protected, never mind her or his other values and abilities. Media guys like Mecklin believe that if you're rich, you're clueless and callous about what Californians need and want (only the media know for sure). Lots of folks buy it.

What decent candidate wanting to tell the truths about the issues would stand a chance? Who would listen [to], and who would report, the facts and principles he or she brought forward?

How would public financing of campaigns reduce the power of slogans and special interest lies? Will we have a Truth Commission evaluating the claims of our publicly financed campaigns? Will each media outlet give equal time and space to each candidate? Shall I hold my breath?

Or will the proposed "reforms" simply remove from the public the ability to offer or deny candidates support with our money, individually or in groups?

Of course, the voices of the media will not be stilled or muted. They will have the full freedom of the press as guaranteed by our beloved Constitution. They will protect us.

Jeff Levinger
Glen Park


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