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Cothran Lies Down With Bigots
Let's get out the old "fairness scale," shall we ("Sisters of Perpetual Conspiracy," Cothran, April 7)? Let's see, on one side of the scale, we have a harmless bunch of bearded men in nuns' habits and makeup dissing the Catholic Church on Easter Sunday at a community street party that is also a fund-raiser for AIDS- and youth-oriented charities.

On the other side of the scale, we have the Catholic Church, with its history of centuries of persecuting gay men and lesbians, burning us at the stake when it was convenient, preaching that we should be stoned to death for butt-fucking, denying us (and women, by the way) full participation in their (to me) hogwash beliefs and ceremonies, pouring millions of dollars into lobbying against our basic rights to work and housing and relationships, and generally being the most abrasive, destructive, and effective hatemongering anti-gay force in the world.

Hmmm. Fairness scale tips toward the Sisters this time! One "holy day" party seems pretty petty to me compared to that history. So the Catholics are pissed. I'm sure as they count the money that filled their coffers they'll get over it. As far as I'm concerned, the only thing the Sisters got wrong was they neglected to burn William J. Levada at the stake, either in effigy or in reality. One bigoted archbishop in exchange for millions of ruined lives seems quite fair to me.

Hank Trout
Via Internet

All We Are Saying Is Give Queens a Chance
This isn't the first time I've been incensed by your paper and probably not the last ("Sisters of Perpetual Conspiracy"). I don't know what backward place that George Cothran hails from (Uranus, maybe) but what I do know is that when people in this town get shit on in such biblical proportions by the likes of the Catholic Church, certain not-so-innocents shouldn't be surprised if a little gets thrown back at 'em.

Were the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence mocking in their actions? Yes. Were they callous with their conduct? Hopefully. Did they tread heavily upon the so-called sanctity of millions of people's beliefs? With ease, and why shouldn't they? As long as snakes like Archbishop William J. Levada continue to spew their homophobic venom, then our saintly sisters will be there to handle them. One crucial detail that Cothran seems to forget is that Christianity, after all, is a choice.

Andy Starkweather
Via Internet

Naive and Pendantic?
It's not that I'm surprised that journalists and publishers use sex to sell, it just seems like the style of your March 31 cover is such a childish and outdated style ("Web Rouser"). Covers like that have been done thousands of times before, and it still comes off as stupid, desperate, and immature to me. It reeks of a naive and pedantic art director.

I love women and women's bodies, but there's something so grotesque about the placement of this "twisted" ass of a woman on the cover. I mean, can I really bring this home and put it on the coffee table so my daughter can see it and say, "Mommy, I didn't know SF Weekly was a sex magazine"? Can we all grow up and just have our intellects stimulated by something more than some worn-out image of woman? It's not even sexy, it's just stupid. Although the picture is related to a story, it still doesn't make me want to read it. In fact, I can't even look beyond the cover without feeling silly. So now that it made its way into my home, I think I'll just put it at the bottom of my rat's cage to soak up its excrement. Thanks for the rat contribution.

Wendy Lees
Santa Cruz

Five Brown Noses, All in a Row
Regarding "A Night at the Webbys" by Jack Boulware (Bay View, March 24), as staff members of the Webby Awards, we would like to note that we use the term "control freak" among ourselves as a compliment. Boulware should have flattered all of us, not just Tiffany Shlain, with that term.

We are a small team, and we call each other "perfectionists" as a term of endearment. An event on the scale of the Webbies requires a strong vision and attention to everything; had we a sign at our threshold, it would read "God is in the details."

Of course, not everyone can handle or appreciate this approach. The "assistant" Boulware quoted was a short-term temporary hire on his last night, adolescently slamming the door behind himself. We full-time Webby staffers have worked together in some capacity for years and will continue to do so as we prepare for the fourth annual Webby Awards (perfectionistically, like the three Capricorns, three Virgos, and an Aries that we are). Perhaps Boulware should also have sought our comments.

The Webby Awards Staff:
Maya Draisin
Claudia Smukler
Randy Levine
Dave Skaff
John Caron

The Aioli Debate Rages
Isn't it interesting that every time someone insists on pedantically attempting to show they know more than everyone else, they end up proving the exact opposite ("Aioli as We Wanna Be," Letters, March 24)?

Is there really anyone who dines out in the city more than once a year who doesn't know what "aioli" is? That "ahi grade" tuna is darker than yellowtail? Thank god we have worldly individuals like Mr. Tom Erikson to enlighten the rest of us provincial, simple-minded folk who never knew that a "reduction" is actually made by boiling liquids to thicken their consistency. Who woulda thunk? Silly me, I thought a sage reduction was made by trimming the sage leaves to make them smaller.

I also welcome Mr. Erikson's superb translation skills, obviously gleaned from years of immersion in the Gallic tongue: "Au jus" means "with juice." Damn! I always thought it meant "with Jews," you know, some sort of kosher thing. Perhaps Mr. Erikson can help me and other philistines with other commonly encountered, confusing French phrases, such as "au revoir" and "soup du jour." One important question: Why did Ms. Naomi Wise (whose reviews I enjoy, although I wish just one food writer could write a restaurant review without describing something as "toothsome") bother to respond? Surely she should know she is just wasting time competing with Mr. Erikson's dazzling display of culinary and gastronomic knowledge. Well, I'm off to enjoy a glass of wine, though I use the term "glass" in the metaphoric sense only; any kind of vessel is simply too ostentatious for me, I just drink it out of the bottle.

I suspect you printed Mr. Erikson's letter just so people would make fun of him, but I couldn't resist anyway.

Matt Goodin

BayKeeper's Defense
Now that the dust has begun to settle from the Giants' dirt disposal debate, we cannot let pass several accusations made in George Cothran's March 17 column ("Toxic Rats"): that Richard Goldman expected or received special treatment for the Giants by making a contribution to BayKeeper; that BayKeeper would go soft or look the other way on a water pollution issue due to a contribution; and that Michael Lozeau, BayKeeper's executive director, left town to dodge having to take a stand on removal of the dirt.

Richard and his late wife, Rhoda Goldman, have made outstanding contributions to our community in general, and supported environmental organizations and causes around the world for years, efforts for which Mr. Goldman has earned and deserves great respect. The Goldmans' ongoing support of BayKeeper predates Mr. Goldman's ownership interest in the Giants and was, in fact, instrumental in funding our inception. To imply that Mr. Goldman hoped his support would influence BayKeeper's actions towards the Giants is wrong, insulting, and frankly, deserving of an apology, though given the intemperance of the accusation, unlikely. We are honored and proud of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund's support of BayKeeper.

The implication that BayKeeper went soft on the giants due to Mr. Goldman's support is also false. In fact, BayKeeper was the only environmental group willing to sue the Giants over the environmental impact report for the new ballpark. The board of directors authorized such action, if necessary, based on the facts. Mr. Goldman's support was never a consideration. BayKeeper's primary mission is to monitor and enforce environmental regulations that affect the waters of the bay and delta. That we work within the facts and the law, without wild accusations and histrionics, is one of the keys to our success, and the respect we believe we enjoy. We stand by our work on the Giants ballpark and its final outcome.

As to Mr. Lozeau leaving town to duck taking a position on the removal of the dirt, he was on a long-planned and much-deserved vacation with the complete support of his board. Prior to leaving, he made BayKeeper's position clear to both our Clean Waterfront Coalition partners and the Giants. The dirt had to be removed to an appropriate disposal site. Which it has been.

Mr. Lozeau's tenure at BayKeeper is one of great accomplishment of which his board is truly appreciative and proud.

Mark Jordan
Chairman of the Board
Steve Castleman
Legal Committee Head
San Francisco BayKeeper


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