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A Pair of "Cute" Rebuts
Infestation explanation: Just to fill in the blanks on a few thoughts provoked by "Too Cute to Shoot" [Ashley Harrell, Feature, 10/7]. The sea lion population is high, not because of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, nor because of organizations like the Marine Mammal Center. It is because commercial and recreational fishermen have and continue to injudiciously kill off predators such as sharks (nearly 100 million a year), thereby disrupting ocean ecosystems and throwing populations off balance. Organizations like the center, aside from providing an example of compassion for other living things, strive to discover and disseminate knowledge of our otherwise misunderstood oceans and life therein.

My heart goes out to individual fishermen who have been victimized by sea lions, but the practice has dug its own grave. The recent die-off of marine mammals that we're seeing on our coasts is a result of many factors. For one, El Niño is disrupting normal coastal upwelling, causing a nutrient-poor ocean surface, fewer phytoplankton (which are at the base of the oceanic food chain), and fewer fish as a whole for sea lions and humans to snack on. Higher ocean temperatures beget higher rates of marine algae proliferation that contains a natural compound known as domoic acid, which bioaccumulates up the food chain. By the time sea lions (or humans) get to it, it is a powerful excitatory neurotoxin.

Hedley Prince, harbormaster — work with nature, not against it, homie! And you may want to take a look at the world's 6.7 billion humans spread out across every single region of Earth before you start throwing the word "infestation" around.


Web comment

Humans, especially from out of town, are the problem: So this is the arc of Ashley Harrell's (presumably) young career in journalism — instead of dealing with the difficult questions of how to restore as much of the San Francisco Bay ecosystem as is practical, and assure adequate freshwater flow from the delta, SF Weekly (or its editor) takes the easy path of setting up bay wildlife: "Bombs and bullets may be the answer."

Human overpopulation is the problem, not too many sea lions — but that would be too complex and fundamental an issue to confront for this paper, whatever it purports to represent. SF Weekly is despicable, it truly is, and I'm guessing Harrell didn't grow up in San Francisco — she couldn't have and then presented the sad image of bombing and shooting sea lions. 

Anything to get ahead. This represents death, not life.

Tony Gantner

San Francisco

Hanging from a Thread
Untangling reasons behind rope lawsuit: With respect to both parties, this is just unbelievable ["
Legally Binding," Peter Jamison, Sucka Free City, 10/7]. I realize that a lawyer can talk someone into filing a lawsuit over just about anything, but please consider the following:

1. It was your choice to be suspended [by ropes for sexual excitement]. Therefore, you take complete responsibility for what happens. Not your partner. Not the club. You.

2. Unless they (i.e., the club, security, or another responsible party) give you permission, stringing yourself up to the nearest ledge on the ceiling at a venue, or anywhere for that matter, where you personally have not tested it first to see if it is weight-bearing, is ignorant at best.

3. Finally, not using some sort of padding to break your fall was incredibly stupid and would have kept you from breaking your jaw.

In sum, leave the rope bondage and suspension to people like Midori, who actually know what they're doing and how to do it safely. I hope Reina Nevraumont spends this time re-evaluating her suspension techniques, why her partner wasn't there to break her fall, and, more importantly, getting a goddamn manual before seriously injuring someone else. It is obvious that she couldn't and didn't abide by the most basic safety rules.


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