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SFPD Power Trip?
This story is a perfect example of the well-known theory that cops have the most closely matched personality profiles to criminals than any other profession ("The Mission District Squeeze," Feb. 24). If this type of situation had occurred outside a police department that literally has only high school education requirements for its personnel, you probably would not have had an article to write. Unfortunately, we have a bunch of less educated S.F. cops harassing a legitimate businessman because they've decided to "side" with some total loser with a long rap sheet. What's wrong with this picture?

There was a time when I was a little girl that I thought the police were the pillars of the community, and I would like to think there are still some of those "pillars" out there. Instead, we get a police department hiring a bunch of guys with little to no higher education background, who quite clearly are on some sort of power trip. Case in point: When the one officer actually had the gall to leave a message on the Elysium owner's home number. I can't imagine for a minute this is in the SFPD's protocol book.

With all the bad press the SFPD has been getting in the past two years, you'd think someone in command would have done something to curtail certain officers' overly aggressive behavior. I think reprimanding rogue police officers obviously misusing their power would be a good starting point. Until there are serious repercussions for this sort of police harassment, we can expect a lot more fodder for articles like this in the future.

Peggy Skilling
Via Internet

Crimes and Indiscretions
I'm appalled by the smear campaign launched in your article about Jose Najar and his business dealings with Elysium Cafe ("The Mission District Squeeze"). I hardly find Jose's past indiscretions relevant to what has transpired in his current business life, or to his work in the community for that matter. As a board member of a Mission District arts organization I've seen Jose accomplish some good things for our community -- which your article fails to mention. Your bias against Jose Najar is hysterical, shrill, and most disturbing. You've accused him of using political contacts to get his way -- an accusation that is suspect given most recent court actions. Yet it seems to me Mr. Brigham of Elysium Cafe is employing SF Weekly in a strategy to elicit sympathy, win his case, and ultimately get his way. Please do the Mission District a favor: Pack up your "reporter," George Cothran, and send him to the National Enquirer.

Bill Moreno
Via Internet

It's Back to Kicking Ass!
Thank you for one of the best exposes of political corruption I have ever read in SF Weekly, "The Mission District Squeeze." This minority community is best advised to distance itself from Jose Najar, whose kiss-ass-bully behavior belies his failure to kick his drug-induced past, and the city's failure to account for it, till now.

Gays, Latinos, and Mission merchants take heed. Your associations will be held accountable for him, and every politician and police officer you choose to schmooze. Clark Brigham and his family deserve better than ruination for faithfully extending their olive branches, and you have the power to save the Elysium.

You can start by telling Dr. Ceniceros, Brigham's slumlord, to get over his own restaurant's failure and do the right thing: Fix the goddamn leaks!

Oh, and by the way, stop hammering my poor SUV. I didn't live-work my butt off for 13 years at 24th and Mission to suffer this kind of bigotry. Try hitting me instead. I'll kick your ass.

John Zane
Former Mission merchant

Hey! Wow! For Once We Were Politically Correct!
It was with disgust that I read about the American Front's attempt to reach out to San Francisco by inserting the notorious white supremacist hate paper The Bay Aryan in copies of SF Weekly ("They're Baa-ack," Dog Bites, March 3). Exploiting the popularity of SF Weekly, the perpetrator placed The Bay Aryan in copies of the paper in hopes of persuading San Francisco residents that white, non-Jewish, heterosexual people are the only people who deserve to live. In fact, according to the members of American Front, they are the only people who are actually human. In the collective mind of the American Front all others are subhuman and satanic.

Founded by Robert Heick in San Francisco in 1987, the American Front has worked with hatemonger Tom Metzger of the White Aryan Resistance in organizing Aryan gatherings. Members have been involved in various thefts, beatings, and at least one synagogue desecration around the country. In 1990, a member named Michael Gilbert Ortiz was sentenced to nine years in prison after he and other members attacked two anti-racist skinheads, one of whom died from stab wounds. Heick himself participated in the Idaho standoff between white separatist Randy Weaver and federal agents in the summer of 1992.

This method of distributing hate papers and fliers through popular newspapers has been utilized recently by Ku Klux Klan groups across the nation. The Anti-Defamation League was so outraged by these incidents that we helped draft a hate crime bill in response. On Jan. 1, 1999, Bill AB 417 went into effect and Section 538c was added to the Penal Code relating to newspapers. This bill prohibits the attachment or insertion of any unauthorized written material into a newspaper that is distributed without charge, except with the consent of the publisher or authorized distributor. If there is any doubt in your mind, I have been assured that SF Weekly did not give the American Front permission to put their hate-filled rhetoric in last week's paper.

Eden Mendel
Assistant Director
Central Pacific Region
Anti-Defamation League

Ferrets Do Smell, Damn It.
Your article "Laissez Ferret" (Bay View, Feb. 24) had several problems with it, in addition to leaving key questions unanswered. Your "reporters" failed to ask exactly why California and Hawaii are the only states that have laws banning ferrets. You also inaccurately attribute the breeding of ferrets to the British, when nobody really knows exactly who first domesticated them 3,000 years ago. Today's domesticated ferret is actually less capable than a dog or a cat of living in the wild. Also, the extremely lurid language your "writers" used was akin to mere yellow journalism practiced by the larger papers in this town way back when.

There are several points on which the article was accurate -- ferrets do smell, for one. This isn't something to ban an animal for, however -- it's a matter of making sure the pet has a responsible owner. You're in more danger from a pit bull than a ferret. A program of legalization and licensing would be more appropriate than the persecution the state of California and your newspaper seem to be pushing on the uneducated public.

Darren Mckeeman
Via Internet

Such a Nitwit!
Well! It is obvious to anyone who read your Bay View ("Laissez Ferret") that the writers are of a much higher order of intelligence than the common man. Such prose! Such witty turns of phrase!

As is common among the Yber-intelligent, they have the ability to take the Big View that we lesser folk can't. But that Big View doesn't include details. So let me fill in a few details to make the article more understandable to those not as intelligent as Matt Smith and Lelania Sperrazza.

"Razor-clawed critters": Ferret claws are actually made for digging. Razor sharp they are not. And, golly gee, they are also very easily cut, which is something most ferret owners do every two to three weeks. In their wittiness, Smith and Sperrazza must have gotten "ferret" mixed up with "cat."

"Furniture eaters": Sorry, ferrets don't destroy furniture. Again, this must be a mix-up with cats.

Ferrets "stink": There's this thing called a bath. Every other week, you give a ferret one, and change its bedding. Voilà! No more stink! Isn't that amazing, folks!

Ferrets will "take up residency" in the wild: See if you can follow this train of thought. In order for ferrets to be legal in California, a law needs to be passed. So, simply make it illegal to sell an unfixed ferret to anyone who doesn't have a State of California Ferret Breeders license. As Jeanne Carley says, "no bits, no residency." It should also be said that, in the 48 states where ferrets are legal, there has never been a case of the animals getting loose and going feral. Period.

The "mouse test" for viciousness: Let's see, what other pets fail that test? Every cat, most dogs (many smaller breeds were bred for vermin hunting), and large snakes such as boas and pythons, just to name a few. Boy the Department of Fish and Game is going to be mighty busy rounding up all those vicious animals!

How do I know all this? Am I one of those paranoid, underground ferret owners? Nope. But in Wisconsin, the backward, uncouth, uneducated, redneck state I grew up in, ferrets aren't illegal. I had five of them (yes, at one time) from high school through college.

How did we survive having five vicious, razor-clawed predators in our house for nine years? The best example I can give is the trials of our dog. While Maggie slept, the ferrets would stealthily sneak up, and with the extreme nastiness they are known for they would fall asleep on her! The shock! The horror! In protest to this undue treatment, Maggie would sound an alarm heard round the world. She snored. Like I do when I read Bay View articles by Smith and Sperrazza.

Have a lovely day.
Erik Mathy
Via Internet


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