Happy With Trigger
Kudos to Lisa Davis for addressing the need for personal protection measures beyond mere reliance on calling 911 for help ("What's Best -- Pistol or Pit Bull?" Bay View, April 9). Both federal case law and state statute have established that the heroic men and women in law enforcement are, like it or don't, not responsible for protecting individuals from violence and not liable for any failure to do so.

There is one element of Davis' comparison which seems inadvertently misleading, having to do with relative costs. With the dog, one should also consider feeding, possible obedience or protection training, and veterinary examination/treatment fees. As for the pistol, most quality handguns purchased legally begin at $300 or so and go up from there. For a fine piece like the Colt .45 pistol illustrated, figure on a minimum of "$500, plus $14 fee." To that, one should also add the costs of marksmanship training and practice ammunition, since a firearm is not a magic talisman which confers protection by its mere presence in a night-stand drawer -- even though most of the (up to 4 million) defensive uses of firearms annually in the United States do not involve shots actually being fired.

As a friend of ours who is a Berkeley police officer told us recently, many people today don't want to take responsibility for their own lives; and as a result, she has a job. Her own recommendations for personal protection are: a dog and a gun.

Dale and Teri Seago

Angela's Angel
My God, Phyllis Orrick, are you bitter or what? Your extremely emotional article I assume was supposed to be a review of Angela Alioto's new book ("Execrable Behavior," Unspun, April 9).

Instead, it was mostly a hysterical diatribe against Jane Ganahl. Your issues with Ganahl appear to be personally motivated and something that needs to be dealt with between the two of you, not in print.

Your issues with Angela Alioto, and her book, should be between you and your therapist.

To attack the entire book as "sloppy in thinking and execution" because of a misspelled word on the dust cover is absurd.

Split some hairs, why don't you?
Additionally, the quote from Kandace Bender was made while she was the political editor for the Examiner. Bender's quote was featured in an article she wrote regarding the '95 mayoral debates, and Angela's contributions to those debates. To try to construe that Bender is now an enemy of Angela's is a bit far-fetched and delusional on your part.

I have worked with Angela Alioto for over four years, primarily as one of her aides during her time on the Board of Supervisors. I take great exception to your unfounded comment that the book is "whining revisionism." Perhaps if you read the book ....

Finally, it's interesting how you selectively used part of Patricia Holt's review to belittle Angela. Funny how you failed to mention that Holt also stated, "Yet every time Alioto generalizes ... she launches into an enlightened, hard-hitting examination of politics-as-usual." Perhaps if you read the entire review ....

You belittle yourself, your publication, and your readers by using your column to vent whatever anger you hold against Angela Alioto and Jane Ganahl.

Objectivity appears to be missing from your column, while pettiness runs rampant. It would seem your attack on Jane Ganahl is a bit like the kettle calling the pot black.

Jerry Windley

The Wheel Keeps Turning
After reading your article about Jerry Roberts' and Linda Kiefer's heinous treatment of their neighbors the Chans ("Un-Welcome to Mr. Roberts' Neighborhood," April 9), I find myself appalled and nauseated. If only 1 percent of your article is near the truth, it is clear that Roberts/Kiefer have subjected the Chans to something akin to a brutal beating and a salting of the wounds.

Kiefer shows her true colors by mercilessly delaying the Chans' home-building efforts every step of the way, and most of it after the individual steps were a done deal.

And Roberts is a spineless powermonger who unethically uses his influence with the "right people" to harass and torment the Chans to their wits' end. I couldn't believe that they got a new law drafted specifically to prevent the Chans from finishing their building plans. A one-off ad-hoc law! And this was after the Chans had already revised their plans twice and spent a huge sum of money to try to appease the evil brutes.

Roberts' neighbor William Wara also reveals himself to be a toady. All the involved politicians and Planning Commission big shots should be ashamed of themselves. They have betrayed the public trust in favor of special favors and kickbacks to their fellow cronies. Such horrible karma cannot be kept at bay for long, and they will reap the whirlwind soon enough.

Glen Gerod
Union Square

Literary Sitting Ducks
I feel compelled to write you about the story you published about the San Francisco Literary Society ("Bankers Book Bucks," Bay View, April 2). Those of us who extended the courtesy of talking to your reporter Matt Smith were shocked and baffled by the huge divergence between what was said and what was written. It was as if a pitifully narrow and negative mind became a badly warped and muddied lens which distorted everything seen and heard into a maladroit parody.

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