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Letters to the Editor 

Week of Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Janet Reilly on the Issues

The tone-changing thing ... have you run it by Jack Davis yet?: In a day and age when women in San Francisco government are under attack for being pregnant, I was shocked to read a column that talked about my candidacy for Assembly in terms of my weight, hair color, and husband ["The Politics of Cynicism," Matt Smith, April 27]. I hope that SF Weekly takes the time to report on my ideas for California. I invite your readers to find out for themselves at my Web site,

I don't think we can heal California until we change the tone of our political campaigns. I hope that SF Weekly covers this important Assembly race based on the serious issues and challenges facing our state -- not on superficial gender stereotypes and name-calling.

Janet Reilly
Golden Gate Bridge board director
Democratic candidate for Assembly

To Kill a Mocking Tone

Leah, dear Leah; we were born to mock: I am writing to let you know that I am extremely disappointed in your journalism as displayed in the animal rights protest piece you ran this week ["Save the Cute Animals!," Infiltrator, April 27]. Not only is there absolutely nothing of informative value in the entire piece, but the piece takes a mocking tone and makes light of what is actually a serious issue; even if your journalist and/or editors don't take a personal interest in the issue, I find it ridiculous to waste two pages of space in your weekly making fun of people who are taking the time to stand up for a cause they believe in.

Your journalist spends more time thinking about how to hit on the protesters than learning about the arguments and facts on either side of the issue. You bill the article as "The inside story on protests against dog-eating, foie gras-enjoying, and fur-wearing," but there is no story here to speak of ... only a pathetic display of poor research, poor writing, and poor taste.

Leah [last name withheld]

Shrill Note

Daniel, dear Daniel; we were born to scorn: As a student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, I was thrilled to see an article about my school in the Weekly -- not just in it, but on the cover ["The World on a String," April 20]! For the most part, I was pretty pleased with the article; aside from anything else, it's good publicity.

My main problem was that Mr. Cavalieri constantly tells readers that the career outlook of a student going into the music industry is all but hopeless and that conservatories in general are an outdated concept because they "[send students] into a working world for which they are woefully underequipped." He claims that we don't really know what we're getting ourselves into.

We aren't at the conservatory to get a job. We're here to get an education. We are educated primarily in music; many of us choose to pursue a career in music, often in less publicized areas of the industry. Mr. Cavalieri seemed to want to convey the idea that we are overspecialized, and that we aren't given a chance to become "well-rounded individuals." He may not know it, but we have up to four times as many required general studies classes as schools like Juilliard and Curtis. He offers no actual evidence, in fact, that we are less well-equipped to survive in the working world than other college students (much less that we don't "understand [our] plight"). All he says is that we may not all make it to our dreams, and that those few of us who do will have to work hard for it. What else is new? I knew exactly how hard it would be before I chose this life. I made a fully informed decision to attend a conservatory instead of a college or university.

Basically, Mr. Cavalieri spent the entire article making excuses for himself and spewing bitterness: What he did not mention is that he formerly attended the Oberlin Conservatory. Just because he couldn't make it in the music world, he thinks that the system is wrong, and that no one else can possibly succeed where he failed.

Thanks for the write-up, Weekly, but tell Mr. Cavalieri to stay away from a pen and paper until he can get over his bitterness.

Daniel Forman

To Be Perfectly Clear

To protect and restore: In the article "The 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Public Relations" [April 13], Matt Smith rightfully points out that reporters often take the credit for savvy outreach campaigns. Where Smith's insight isn't as clear is in his description of drain Hetch Hetchy advocates. I believe we should keep an open mind and examine all possibilities when it comes to the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. That's not only good for the environment, it's good for the interests of San Franciscans.

But I could only support the draining of Hetch Hetchy if three conditions were met: 1) San Francisco is held harmless financially (both in terms of restoration costs and lost power revenue); 2) A comparably green source of electricity is created; and 3) A permanent and high-quality water supply and storage alternative is found.

After this nation has spent a century destroying the natural environment, we're moving into an age of restoration. It's likely that one day in the future Hetch Hetchy Valley will be restored. Let's be smart about protecting San Francisco and the Bay Area in the process.

Adam Werbach
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission


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