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Week of 3-14-2007

Lights Out in the 'Loin

Official neglect: If Chris Daly had received one complaint about a situation like this in SOMA ["Power Failure," March 7], he would have worked nonstop to solve it. He and every S.F. politician have always ignored the Tenderloin, allowing slumlords to prey on the people who need the most defense from their elected officials.

Allyson Eddy Bravmann

San Francisco

Tender lovin': Thanks for the story on the Polk-and-Post building. That place was down for a while, and I was wondering what was going on there. Great piece of reporting, very informative. Interesting that Sucka Free City ["Open-air Crack Market"] that week also included info on the 'Loin — albeit frustrating info about the open drug sales on the street, but coverage nonetheless.

This was originally going to be a rant letter about District 6 — lack of resources, inept supervisor, housing issues, unkempt streets/sidewalks, etc. — but what's the point? Just wanted to let you know that while some "Tenderloin merchants and residents sound resigned to living with an ambient level of lawlessness," there are still a bunch of us who live in the community who don't agree that drugs, homelessness, and public drunkenness/defecation/ sex/etc. should be socially accepted, especially when the shit's done right in front of families (immigrant and native) trying to raise their kids.

Or maybe it's just me. Am I not "progressive" now?

Manuel Rodriguez

San Francisco

Ah, the kindness of crack-dealing strangers: I read "Open-air Crack Market" by Scot Bishop and had to laugh. A couple of weeks ago, my drag-queen friend was performing at the Deco Lounge in the Tenderloin. I debated about whether or not to take a cab, but it was a nice evening and I had been in a cubicle all day, so I decided to walk there from my place in Pacific Heights. I thought I was supposed to go to the corner of Ellis and Larkin, but when I arrived, it wasn't there. I looked around. One local was rolling out his sleeping bag, and another was making a drunken, crazed beeline for the gutter. I was starting to panic when a guy walked by and said, "How's it going?" I took a good look at him. He was clean and sober, drinking a Monster Energy Drink. I gave myself a split-second lecture about how not everyone in the TL is on crack (or selling crack) and blurted out: "I'm lost." He asked where I wanted to go. I told him. He couldn't recall the place, so he offered to call information on his cell. As he was getting the number, a lady with no teeth walked up to him and mumbled something about a $20 rock. He pulled a little bag out of his cheek and took her 20, then gave me my number. Stunned, I called and got the cross streets while he waited. I hung up and said, "Turk Street?" Then the nice crack dealer navigated me the rest of the way.

Christina Ferguson

San Francisco

Veltman the Wise

Voltaire us a new one: One of the major functions of the Enlightenment was virtually to invent and then to promulgate tolerance, for which we are all greatly in debt. It's bizarre then to read in Chloe Veltman's theater review of Nathan the Wise [March 7] something about "the intolerant Enlightenment period." It's bad enough not to know any history. It's worse to make it up.

David Looman

San Francisco

Pretty Vacant

And they did it all without a building!: I was appalled by the quality and tone of your all-too-short article about the Living Classroom Project in Bayview-Hunters Point ["Unbroken Ground," March 7]. Community development, especially in a place riddled by all sorts of environmental problems, takes time to do right. While the project has suffered delays, better journalism would have found that thousands of citizens — from young to old — have been educated about the environment in the process. That two years of this work was dedicated to community engagement, involving the exploration of more than 30 sites in the community. That, in total, hundreds of low-income youth and residents have provided ongoing public testimony of the project with full knowledge of the running costs. And, that much of this work was done on a nearly volunteer basis by the extraordinarily dedicated staff and youth at Literacy for Environmental Justice. The Weekly should be ashamed at this sort of yellow journalism. Bad form, Weekly!

Dana Lanza

New York, N.Y.


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