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Letters to the Editor 

Week of December 10, 2003

We Printed These BeforeWe Knew Who Won

Just to hear the roar of the crowd: Thank you for slamming the Chronicle when they sooo desperately deserve it ("A Pair of Aces," Mecklin, Dec. 3). I can live with an openly biased weekly like the Bay Guardian, but a powerful daily like the Chronicle running a homeless series in the last week of the runoff just reeks of sneaky biased bull.

S Loetterle

Even when the crowd turns ugly: What namby-pamby tripe. You seem to be on retainer to the same objective editor who sponsored that good-Samaritan homeless series the Chronicle polished just in time for Gavin's crowning.

Newsom is a droid living on soft cash from every greasy corner of the country. I'm sure you caught last night's "debate." He spews "21 policy papers" as if they tied him down and force-fed him The Manchurian Candidate with electrodes tied to his lids.

Gore should be drawn and quartered and left out at Land's End to be recycled by red ants and turkey vultures.

Identifying Gonzalez as the more imaginative candidate isn't hard. Describing Newsom as anything other than an ambitious tool of the special interests that feed him is doublespeak. He's Brown's little white boy. Or was Andrew Lee Newsom's idea of a new approach?

B. Wajchman

Or really ugly: John Mecklin's "A Pair of Aces" is the most ludicrous SF Weekly piece I've ever read (though the competition is stiff). The contrast between the mayoral candidates could not be more profound: Matt Gonzalez is a self-made man who channeled his ambition into defending the indigent and serving the public interest, while Gavin Newsom is but a suckling on the Getty teat who has repeatedly scapegoated the poorest among us to further a political career in which City Hall would be just a pit stop. While Matt Gonzalez, a shared rental tenant, has been a vigorous protector of working-class tenants, Newsom, owner of a million-dollar home in Pacific Heights, lent an enthusiastic endorsement to fliers for Proposition R, which could have subjected tens of thousands of tenants to eviction in service to the crass profiteering of condo converters.

Mayor Gonzalez would push public power; Mayor Newsom would continue to force San Francisco ratepayers to subsidize a corrupt, possibly illegal corporate middleman (PG&E). This populist/elitist polarity carries over to many vital areas of city government, including tax progressivity, city contracting, Planning Commission appointments, government openness, neighborhood development, and police oversight.

John Mecklin's biggest mistake was taking two political candidates at their word. A much more reliable gauge is their voting records, which show Gonzalez to be the unflinching populist he claims to be, while Gavin is revealed as a Willie Brown clone minus the life experience and entertainment value. This election is not a win-win proposition but a fight for the city's soul.

Dan Benbow
Lower Haight

A Rapper Raps a Rapper Wrap-Up

Ode to the Unidentified Misquote: I was glad to do the interview with Peter Byrne in the "Capital Rap" cover story (Dec. 3), although I was disappointed with his need to ignore the political conversations we had and focus on what he obviously would like to believe are contradictions in my viewpoints – which is exactly why I suggested we tape the interview from the onset. The article was full of misquotes and observations that were inconsistent with the dialogue that Peter and I actually had. His whole "split personality" angle seemed to me to be a pretty weak attempt to diffuse the potency of what I say in my records – trying to find fault where none exists. I believe in economic empowerment, adjusting political perceptions, and providing an alternative to the negative, demeaning entertainment that permeates and influences our communities. Why weren't these topics addressed? God knows we spent enough time covering them in the interview (over three days). Twisting our conversation around to make me a capitalist contradiction was a bullshit cheap-shot – the title alone was misleading. And he says I'm the one "lost in the morality forest." But that's the media for you.


Bad Cat

Thanks for a nice evisceration: "Hats" off to Gregory Weinkauf for his engaging swipe at The Cat in the Hat, Universal's big holiday film ["Kitty Litter," Film, Nov. 19]. As someone who works in the film industry and has friends associated with the film, I enjoyed his intense, witty, and focused criticisms of the project.

One of the aforementioned friends, when asked about working on Cat, described it as a "train wreck." I'm glad Weinkauf felt the same visceral impact. He doesn't write screenplays, by any chance? Can't wait for his review of Green Eggs and Ham.

Marc Manus
Via Internet

Hearty har har: Weinkauf just made my weekend. I haven't laughed that hard since George Bush stuffed a sock in his pants on that aircraft carrier.

What a shame to take a classic and turn it into one vulgar, unfunny gag (accent on the gag) after another. I would like to see a headline: "Dr. Seuss Sues!"

Chris Leonard
Via Internet

The good, the bad, and the hysterical: That was the most hilarious film review I ever read in my life! Bad reviews are my favorites. Good thing there's no shortage of bad movies. Keep up the great work!

Mark Theriault
Via Internet

Windy City

Vancouver-style high-rises may not be suitable for this gusty place: Nice Matt Smith piece about Rincon Hill and the Planning Department ["According to Plan," Nov. 26]. I worked for the Planning Department for about a decade (I left three years ago), and I think his characterizations are fair and accurate. I still have a lot of friends there with whom I communicate regularly.

I'm not certain residential high-rises in Rincon Hill will be as successful as in Vancouver, mainly because of the winds we experience here (not sure about Vancouver, and I haven't been there in about 15 years). As Smith may know, high-rises in S.F. can cause very unpleasant and sometimes even hazardous wind conditions at the street level that will make open spaces and plazas very uncomfortable for pedestrians. But that remains to be seen, once that environmental impact report is done (if there is ever a rezoning plan to study).

Thanks for the interesting read.

Diane Wong
Richmond District

Treachery! Villainy! Willie!

Just wanted your attention – this is really about Chris Daly: I find it interesting how Matt Smith rags endlessly on Mayor Brown and his appointees ["Lee Way," Nov. 5]. Everything they do is flogged as being "high crimes and misdemeanors."

Where we see unbelievable dishonesty and treachery, as executed by Supervisor Chris Daly and his Public Utilities Commission appointee, Adam Werbach, and then endorsed by Supervisor Matt Gonzalez – that is glossed over and accepted as somehow OK, because it produced a "better appointee" for the PUC.

If I steal from you, it's OK, if I do "good" with what I stole? That is what Daly, Werbach, and Gonzalez say, and what Matt Smith validates.


Jack Barry
Inner Sunset

P.S. Werbach wrote the script for all the manure they all executed. He called it "Act Now, Apologize Later."

P.P.S. Daly's caper will soon be canceled by the court. He was clearly acting beyond the limits of the powers that the mayor conferred on him by making him "mayor for a day." He knew it. They all knew it.

Giveaway at Hunters Point

But this one is no bargain for future homeowners: Mayor Willie Brown wants to fast track the Disposition and Development Agreement for Hunters Point Shipyard ["Arrested Development," by Lisa Davis, Nov. 19]. He should fast track his exit from the City and County of San Francisco.

Lennar Corp. will build homes on toxic land at Hunters Point. Sixteen hundred homes are planned in an environment that is toxic and next to an aging, toxin-spewing power plant. Willie is all about money and special interest, and Lennar is his partner in political crime. So is Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, who should be recalled.

Francisco Da Costa
Potrero Hill

Beer Buddy

Urp: Great article on Greg Miller of San Francisco Brewcraft ["King of Beer," Dog Bites, Nov. 12]. I've known Miller since his days in San Mateo and his shop down there. Your writer, M.J.F. Stewart, hit the true essence of Greg.


Mike Winslow
Via Internet


In "Words Into Type" (Books, Nov. 26), Karen Zuercher wrote that Jim Parkinson designed the first logo for Rolling Stone magazine. In fact, Parkinson redesigned a logo originally drawn by Rick Griffin. We regret the error.


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