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It Moved People and Papers

She's a hero, not a snitch: Kudos to Ashley Harrell for a well-written, well-researched, and brave story on a brave person ["Snitch," Feature, 5/21]. Considering how honorable Deanna Johnson's deed was, though, is "snitch" really a fair label to slap upon her legacy after she showed the Bay Area a David (as in David vs. Goliath) level of courage?

Sure, the word (literally defined as "informer") is in many ways an apt headline — and is, I'm sure, plenty juicy from a sensationalist "move some weeklies" standpoint. But to most people, the word means, at best, tattletale, traitor, stool pigeon, or any other number of despicable descriptives, none of which befit a person who has performed an act as noble as Johnson's.

If risking life, limb, dog, town, home, son, and everything else in your world for justice is a sign of true heroism, then Deanna Johnson deserves no less than the word "hero."

Jude Gold

San Francisco

A+ for Harrell: That was a very powerful piece about an issue that goes to the heart of the seemingly intractable problem of the relationship between the larger urban community and the impoverished communities forced to live in the projects. I'll be assigning this article to my students in my Introduction to Urban Studies course next year.

Frederic Stout

Lecturer, Program on Urban Studies

Stanford University

The Wheel Debate Rolls On

We smell an exaggeration: In response to Patrick Carroll's diatribe against bicyclists [Letters, 5/21], I have to agree with him. As someone who bikes to work daily, I smell terrible. I've lost two jobs because of my odor. I don't know of any bicyclist who does not smell bad. All of us stink. I don't think we shower, either. At least, I don't. We piss on ourselves because we are too lazy to go to the bathroom and because we like to wallow in our own piss.

Whenever I ride Mount Tam, I consider myself a failure if I don't knock over at minimum 10 hikers. My friends and I like to count how many we have sent to the hospital. I spit on every car and pedestrian I see (takes a lot of water to get anywhere). If they are too far away for spit, I scream at them because they deserve it.

When I take BART with my bike, I don't just block the aisle, I lie down on one side and lay my bike down on the other. Then I piss all over the place. I know Valencia Bicyclery won't even sell you a bike unless you sign a statement agreeing to a 50-point bulletin on how to be an asshole bicyclist.

Yes, we may all be assholes, Patrick, but you are obviously just a piece of shit.

Richard DeWilde

San Francisco

Bridge Over Troubled Whiners

Pay up or shut up: It's situations like this that remind us that Marin County is really just another suburban community ["For Whom the Bridge Tolls", Matt Smith, 5/14], where "environmentalists" drive Range Rovers and think like other sprawl-inhabitants.

While the Golden Gate Bridge is a regional facility, commuters to and from Marin as well as Sonoma make up the bulk of the traffic. The great thing about the "pay-as-you-go" proposition is that it's very simple and nondiscriminatory: You drive, you pay. Period. If all the bridges ramped up the tolls to European levels, we could afford more congestion-relieving amenities such as rapid buses and bike lanes. Meanwhile, Marin people: Quit whining or quit driving.



It Flies in the Face of Reason

Big outrage for small business: It's absolutely outrageous what's happening to small businesses ["SuperHustle," News, 5/14]. San Francisco has always prided itself on being an advocate and voice for the minorities, and this country was founded on free trade. Of all the cities in the country, I would think that San Francisco would be the last to support the corporation at the expense of the hard-working small businesses who provide a viable alternative for airport patrons like me.

Norma Sayage



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