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Letters to the Editor 

Week of Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Scored Card

Infiltrator drops the ball: What a letdown ["Abstinence a Go-Go!," Sept. 28]. I read the whole fucking (or nonfucking) column, only to find out that you got laid by someone you picked up at the Shanghai bar. Now if you had scored with one of the "old white ladies" (I assume no ageism or racism is intended) or teens (past their 18th birthday, of course), that would have been interesting.

Robert Webster
San Francisco

Fillmore or Less

We'd pay to see Maya Angelou versus the Redevelopment Agency: Having grown up in S.F. public schools, operated a bike repair shop for local kids at Fillmore and Turk in the '90s, and lived in the Western Addition for 20 years, I was fascinated with Cristi Hegranes' Lower Fillmore story ["What's Really Wrong With the Lower Fillmore," Sept. 21]. I know many of the characters she described, have served on boards with some, and attended meetings much like the ones she described. It can be surreal.

The sad thing is that the deep wounds that resulted from urban renewal and redevelopment have never properly healed. Indeed, they have festered, scabbed over, and become infected again as each incompetent committee leader and agency operative plods through the wreckage of the old Fillmore. The leaders that could have been were dispatched to bigger and better opportunities, leaving the neighborhood to shrill activists, some of whom made a living on the area's chaos.

Imagine if local lights such as Maya Angelou, Danny Glover, and Johnny Mathis had spent a few years leading the charge; the place might have saved its soul and avoided such catastrophic failures as the Fillmore Center. And if the Redevelopment Agency had planned its last 20 years with a little more creativity, integrity, and forethought, we might have more than blank walls and empty stores at the base of ugly concrete towers.

Bravo to SF Weekly for taking on a thorny, dysfunctional place and excavating some of the issues that need to be addressed. I hope you will follow up with a deeper look at the racist policies that brought about the whole mess in the first place (the laws in the late '40s) and examine what the neighborhood was and who was there when African-Americans arrived during World War II.

There is more to the story and everyone needs to hear it.

Name withheld
San Francisco

And the Best Columnist Award Goes to ...

Who else?: Matt Smith delivers more hard data and analysis, line for line, than all the others who opine about our fair city. It is a shame that he is not "double assigned" to radio/TV to further his reach ... whereas we have "M & R" [Matier & Ross] everywhere, with their obscure and lightweight fluff!


Jack Barry
San Francisco

Truth through altered typography: Just wanted to compliment Matt Smith about his article ["Stupid White Tricks," Sept. 14]. Hey, if only 9 percent of the students in public schooling are "Caucasian" anymore, does that really come as any surprise? San Francisco "traditionally" meant going to a private school (or a select few public schools) if you could afford it. I am a native Bay Area person who just recently gave up on the insane real estate prices the Bay Area is now asking, and I bought a simple house for $60K in southern Oregon.

All those million-dollar condos South of Market should be "enriching" the public school. San Francisco is myopic, at best, and the wealthy only care about themselves (clearly!).

Peter White
Chiloquin, Ore.


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