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Letters to the Editor 

Week of 4-25-2007

ACTing the Fool

Take a bow, Perloff: Thanks to Chloe Veltman for finally talking about the "elephant in the corner of the room" in the recent review ["After the War," April 11]. ACT under the artistic direction of Carey Perloff is absolutely awful. As Veltman also states, I can't remember a production there in recent history that actually drew me in, instead of (literally, in at least one case) putting me to sleep. I don't know how she does it, but every production is flat, dull, and eminently forgettable. While Berkeley Rep is far from perfect, at least there are some productions where one can walk out of the theater having felt and learned something. I don't know why everything at ACT is dull, dull, dull, but I have finally learned my lesson, voted with my feet, and don't intend to waste my time and money (and expectations) any more on this sad attempt at producing drama.

I know that everyone I have talked to about this matter feels the same way, but I don't see any hope in the future of anything being done about it. I appreciate your courage in finally putting into print what has been so painfully evident for so many years.

Ken Odell

San Francisco

Nursing Grudges

Smith vs. Stern: It's always unfortunate when a writer's personal bias gets in the way of objective reporting. Matt Smith's tasteless SF Weekly article ["Union Disunity," April 11] concerning SEIU and the California Alliance to Advance Nursing Home Care revealed little except his personal animosity toward SEIU President Andy Stern.

Within SEIU, we all share a common mission — we are dedicated to helping workers and their families improve their lives, deliver high-quality health care and other services to our communities, and create a more just and humane society. Andy Stern's leadership has brought us closer to achieving this mission than ever before — and that inevitably makes him a target for some in the news media.

Several years ago SEIU members embarked on an effort to improve nursing homes in California and improve the jobs of those who deliver care to seniors. Part of that effort was forming an alliance with some nursing home owners to work together to improve funding, lower employee turnover, and ensure quality care. SEIU members voted to approve the Alliance plan, and subsequently bargained and voted on contracts that contained pay raises and other improvements. We also coordinate with seniors' organizations and consumer groups as part of this work.

The effort has borne some important results. For example, approximately 6,300 workers won raises of $2.25 to $3 an hour — the biggest increases ever — along with improvements in health care. This will lower employee turnover, one of the biggest impediments to consistent, quality care. In addition, we established a training fund with annual employer contributions to provide classes and certifications for nursing home employees.

Like any other new initiative or experiment, the members and elected leaders of our union are taking stock of how this Alliance approach is working, and continue seeking new ways to achieve our mission for nursing home residents and workers.

It is regrettable that the Weekly's writer would choose to sensationalize and misrepresent this ongoing evaluation in his zeal to paint SEIU members and leaders in a negative light.

Gerald Hudson

Executive Vice President

Service Employees International Union

Washington, D.C.

Matt crosses the line: I am a registered nurse and 20-year member of SEIU. I alternately have admired and been maddened by the decisions, behaviors, and strategies of both Sal Rosselli and Andy Stern. I know very little about the agreement with the nursing home industry.

But I do know that using the name and memory of Andy Stern's deceased 13-year-old daughter was a disgusting, maudlin, tasteless maneuver on the part of Matt Smith, whom I have never thought of as a champion of labor rights. How dare he claim to care about my rights as a worker and use such a manipulative manner of reporting to do so?

A sick piece of faux journalism. I'm disgusted.

Mary Magee, R.N.

Member, SEIU Local 1021

San Francisco

From the Internet

Announcing the winner of "Web Comment of the Week": Leave it to wealthy white yuppies to ignore and neglect the decaying community around them in order to pay eight grand a week to fuck each other all the time ["Sex and Sensuality," April 11].

Leave it to the same culprits to self-proclaim their status upon these streets as sensual revolutionaries or, I'm sorry, "urban monks." How did you publish this without being interrupted by intense vomiting? I never thought something "revolutionary," especially sexually, and in such a wonderfully open-minded city, could make one so disgusted. And I thought it was poor journalism, anyhow. I would laugh this off and think it all a funny joke, "you crazy new-agers," except that I have to live in the same neighborhood. Yesterday an elderly man was shooting up outside of One Taste in the afternoon, all alone. He could use a few orgasms. That being said, I just wanted to say as an avid SF Weekly reader and SOMA resident, "This place sucks."



In last week's feature, "Future Games," we misspelled the name of Ken Eklund. SF Weekly regrets the error.


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