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Letters to the Editor 

Week of July 10, 2002

And You, Too

And how often does a political consultant hear that?: God bless you.

"It was like dropping a cow in a lake full of piranhas."

That's the best thing I've read all week ("Read It and Weep," Dog Bites, June 26, a response to the Chronicle's pandering to its readers by asking them for letters on what works of art make them cry).

Nice work.

Alex Clemens
Telegraph Hill

Slam slamming: Mark Athitakis included, in a list of things that make him cry, hearing, "Poetry slam tonight!" As a writer and performer, poetry slams bring wrinkles to my face, too ... The MTVing of an expression, Spoken Word, is becoming synonymous with Slam, which sucks for the art form.

Name withheld
Western Addition

Hey, wait a second -- one story to a letter: Mark Athitakis entertained us with his list of things that make you want to cry. Missing from the list: "This is going to be a painful budget -- we have already eliminated all the fat." These words must be comforting to those city laundry workers who will shortly have their jobs eliminated. Or maybe not so comforting if they read Peter Byrne's "Sleeping With the Auditor" (June 26). Here we have a merry band of outside [accountants] who have collected $19 million over the last seven years by creating the problem and then pretending to fix it.

Imagine the lowly city laundry worker, soon out of a job. Meanwhile, tax dollars are spent on long-term contractors who bill at $350 an hour, while expecting the city to cover expenses that include dry cleaning, cab fare, grocery delivery, and dining at Scott's, Stars, and Postrio.

For what these contractors have finagled for themselves, further down the ladder a city employee who used to do the hospital laundry is now out of a job. ... It's enough to make Chris Daly and the Marxists [seem like] pretty boys.

Paul Burton
Bernal Heights

Because We're Not Shills

But we're not above letting you be one: Isn't there some way the public could show support for [Wayne] MacDonald ("Race for Space," Bay View, June 26, on the director of an unorthodox school for dropout risks that is having trouble finding a site). If so, why not say so in the article or otherwise indicate what the public can do to help [get] the Urban Pioneer Experiential Academy off the ground? This is an excellent alternative to Jerry Brown's Cannon Fodder Academy. I believe old men should fight wars, and young men should learn the arts of peace-making.

Nancy Lyon

We're Often Cordial to Ectoplasm

But the ghouls better watch out: Thank you so much for your excellent article ("The Spectre Inspectors," June 19, on a group that investigates paranormal phenomena). As a therapist, researcher, and president of OPUS -- Organization for Paranormal Understanding and Support, [which] has been in the Bay Area since the early '90s -- I found your article a refreshing and grounded report of a subject that is of interest to a great many people. Those reading your article now have a place to call for help and to have their unusual experiences heard without judgment. ... I appreciate the sensitivity and respect you gave to the subject.

June Steiner
Los Gatos


A restaurant review of Julia ("The McClaskey Touch," Eat, June 26) misspelled the name of the Quivira Estates Vineyards and Winery.


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