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Bush League
Before Larry Bush ("The Dark Prince of City Hall," March 8) slithers back under his rock, let's not grant him too much credit for exposing Annemarie Conroy as last November's "Republican menace." Wasn't it, after all, the ineptitude of Clint Reilly, Conroy's campaign manager, that allowed for such exposure?

Accordingly, doesn't Mayor Jordan, who recently hired Reilly on the cheap from the trash heap of political has-beens, realize that Reilly's not a bargain?

Virginia Newhall
Greenbrae

A Guild-Edged Victory
Bill Mandel's argument for killing one of San Francisco's newspapers ("The Case for One Daily," March 1) seriously mangles what resulted from the recent strike and contract talks. He claims that "the agreement that emerged at strike's end allows management to pick an all-star team irrespective of seniority while giving unwanted employees one-shot severance pay." Citing this alleged "negotiated management victory," Mandel says management therefore "won the strike."

Neither the Chronicle nor the Examiner has the right to pick and choose layoff victims among its own employees, whether or not the other paper closes down. Layoffs for economic reasons must be in inverse order of seniority. Neither paper is formally obligated to hire any of the other paper's employees -- "unwanted" or otherwise -- but that's always been the case. Nothing changed on that score as a result of the strike.

If one of the S.F. papers closes, all its newsroom employees become job seekers. Some of them may get hired across the street; many others will be left unemployed. So we negotiated a special severance entitlement for these unfortunates. This money would have to be paid anyhow, but in the past, it would have gone to overfunding our pension plan. Now, it will go to those handed pink slips.

To be sure, that was a compromise. We would prefer that nobody be laid off. But taking the best deal we could get in this round -- a genuine, if modest, improvement from the standpoint of our newsroom members -- hardly constitutes a "management victory."

Carl Hall, Administrative Officer
Northern California Newspaper Guild

Guns Don't Kill People
"The anti-gun club" (March 1) was disturbing in its apparent uncritical acceptance of Handgun Control Incorporated and Michelle Scully's agenda of more laws, more cops and more taxes.

The tragedy that befell Scully (her husband was shot to death in front of her) is heart-rending, but even if HCI's fondest dreams had been made law in California, the shootings at 101 California that widowed her would not have been averted; the gunman, Gian Luigi Ferri, bought his weapons in Nevada.

Even if gun control were imposed nationwide, does anyone believe it would have saved the late John Scully? Clearly, Ferri was not averse to committing felonies (like murder); he would not cavil at a misdemeanor gun buy.

And what is Scully's solution? "I honestly feel that had [the SFPD] come sooner, my husband or others could have been saved," she is quoted as saying. She may honestly feel that way, but would most prefer to live in a city in which the police are everywhere?

And do your readers find that the government's track record with, for example, drug laws, inspires confidence that gun laws will apply equally to Latino gang bangers like those in the article and well-heeled white psychotics like Ferri? Or instead, does the leniency of sentences for possession of powdered cocaine (well beloved by Caucasians) compared to those for similar quantities of crack (preferred by their African American cousins) suggest that gun laws will be similarly skewed so that minorities and other outsiders can be more effectively repressed? Michael Lorton

San Francisco

Boy No Wonder
In regard to why Preacher Boy is "so often snubbed and ignored" ("White-boy blues," March 1), may I offer my opinion? Having seen him and his lame band perform, I would have to say that (despite the best intentions in the world) he simply does not cut it even among the practitioners of the highly diluted modern "blues" genre. Both his singing and playing are wooden and redolent of the worst aspects of pseudo-folk music.

Essentially, his performance struck me as being much closer to some dreck like the rooftop singers or Joan Baez rather than any of the worthy names he invokes. Sometimes the truth hurts.

Michael Lucas
San Francisco

To the Stars With Brezsny
Re: all the flak you have been receiving in the letters to the editor column recently.

Do what you like with the front page, back page, most all the stuff in between. Headline any hack comedy writer that you please. Fire the whole damn staff, institute a sub-minimum wage, turn the editorial control over to BofA, sell out to Rupert Murdoch, I don't care.

But, if you drop Rob Brezsny's column, though, you have committed the unpardonable sin. Not only is he the wittiest (and the best) astrologer in the universe, but do you and your readers know that Rob wrote one of the highest-energy rock-and-roll songs ever: "(You Can Have) Anything You Want"? How about doing a piece on Rob?

Jay Bones
Oakland

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    Ramen fans turned out in droves at the annual Japantown J-Pop Festival, which, in part, featured a delicious ramen festival. Photography by Beth LaBerge.

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