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Letters to the Editor 

Week of August 13, 2003

Recalling the Recall

Let's get rid of this scary instrument of political chaos: Adriel Hampton attacks Matt Smith ["Flush the System," Examiner, Aug. 4] for rightly pointing out that California desperately needs to reform its initiative and recall provisions, and for shining some long-needed light on the legacy of the Republican demagogue Hiram Johnson ["Recalling a Historical Mistake," July 30].

Hampton defends Johnson mainly by citing that his political career began in San Francisco, thus equating his political agenda with other great San Francisco inventions, such as Rice-A-Roni and the Murphy bed. Well, at least it reads that way. If Hampton wished to position himself as such a booster of all things invented in San Francisco, why does he live in Walnut Creek?

It seems, however, that even based on his own standard Hampton is a little out of whack: A few years ago San Francisco, under the leadership of Supervisor Barbara Kaufman, did in fact reform its own recall provisions so if we ever had another one, it would avoid the chaos that the coming statewide vote will certainly bring.

And our own local Democratic Party chair, Jane Morrison, has rightly pointed out that the $60 million to be spent on the recall would be better spent shoring up our educational system -- a system which, as all informed observers agree and which Smith rightly points out, has been ravaged by the abuse of the very institutions Hampton defends.

The state of California schools is such that we have created a generation of adults who are in the main incapable of critical thinking, let alone spelling. Is Hampton one of these unfortunate souls? Perhaps that's why he thinks he's such an expert on California history.

Sounds to me like Hampton is full of something that is best dealt with by a good colonic. I trust his health plan will cover it?

Mike Ege
North Beach

Fruits and nuts: I totally agree with Smith's suggestion that the state constitution be changed to do away with recalls and propositions. The situation in California is absolutely nuts. I hope Smith continues to work this issue in future columns.

Terry Limpert
San Francisco

The Toast of Forbidden City

Nice job on Larry Ching: I really enjoyed the "They Called Me Frank" article written by Kimberlye Gold [Music, July 16]. I was not aware that Larry Ching even existed prior to reading this article. It's a shame that he passed away prior to receiving the well-deserved recognition that this article would have surely brought him.

An article chronicling the life of such an important person in the history of the San Francisco community deserved a place in the feature article section of the Weekly; nonetheless, I am glad that you found a place for this man in your publication.

John Reafleng

Tribute to a crooner: Really enjoyed the Larry Ching article and anything pertaining to Forbidden City. Excellent, straightforward journalism by Kim Gold. Thanks for presenting interesting local topics.

Lee Vilensky
Via the Internet

A sad passing: Just wanted to drop you a line about the Larry Ching piece. I book shows locally and was excited about Ching's newfound publicity and CD. I was preparing to have him showcased at various venues in the city and was sad to learn of his recent passing.

I am very impressed with the obvious research done around this great talent. Thanks so much for a great piece!

Anje Vela
Via the Internet

Stupid by Association

We union folks aren't!: I don't want James Robinson's letter to the editor to leave readers with the impression that other members of his union, Local 250A of the Transport Workers Union, which represents Muni drivers, are as stupid as he is ["Of Pimps and Politics," Letters, July 2]. Obviously, Mr. Robinson is an illiterate jackass. But I'm sure readers will understand that the opinions expressed in his rather embarrassing letter are strictly his own, including his laughable assertion that he has a First Amendment right to be a union representative.

Vince Canter

Porked Out

Puh-leeze, give me a break from Brody: These are hard times. Our president is a pinheaded sociopath, the economy is somewhere south of the subbasement, and an overinflated Arnold looms Macy's parade-like on the Sacramento horizon. Laughs don't come easy. Thank God for Meredith Brody's weekly "Eat" column and, in particular, her seemingly endless, turgid, and meandering climb up the big "pork candy" mountain in "Absinthe Friends" [July 9]!

Thank you, SF Weekly. "It's pork candy!" is my new motto, but I suspect that somewhere, alone, in the dark, Mrs. See is screaming.

Michael Garto
San Francisco


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