As I told Smith on the phone, I was a young journalist well before he was born, and we were taught to "get it first, but first get it right," and by all means to set aside any personal bias. I further told him that the arrogance and cynicism in the piece was exceeded only by the obvious lack of understanding and fair play. If journalism's role is to inform and enlighten, this story has failed to do so in every way.

I am very sorry to have been one of several members who welcomed your reporter with openness and courtesy, and I am surprised that you published such a slanted piece -- suitable at best for the level of a supermarket tabloid.

Dr. Erich A. Helfert
San Mateo

A Deer
It must be said that your paper is so infinitely better than the Bay Guardian, it borders on sadness. Each week, I pick up both papers and am astounded at the rantings and ravings of the editors at the Guardian. They are against every project brought up. If people don't like growth and development, why do they live here? People like this think that since they live here, they can now espouse a no-growth mentality and keep everyone else out.

In contrast, SF Weekly has improved so much in the past year, it is amazing. Your recent cover story on the Chans ("Un-Welcome to Mr. Roberts' Neighborhood," April 9) and their struggle to build a house for their son was great.

Secondly, I need to comment on a letter to the editor complaining that your writers denigrated the Noe Valley merchants by calling them names ("Weenie Roast," Letters, April 9). Again, your paper has shown the common sense that is lacking at that other weekly paper.

It is due to people like these that hardly any project can ever get off the ground in San Francisco. The city that knows how? It may have been true years ago, but with these naysayers now, I think not.

Michael Wykoff
Nob Hill

An Offer We Can Refuse
While I was really pleased to see that one of your reviewers found out about Sukpatch's Haulin' Grass and Smokin' Ass LP, the review itself (Recordings, April 2) really pissed me off. How much did Jeff Stark get paid for that drivel? He spends the first two (long) 'graphs setting the review up with a comparison between the undeserved obscurity of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Van Gogh. He then carries the point into Sukpatch and rock 'n' roll. He wonders how a talented artist in such a commercial medium can suffer an indifference equal to "the French painter." What fucking French painter? Basquiat was Haitian-American, and Van Gogh Dutch. Do you guys employ copy editors for your Recordings section?

But on to the review itself. Aside from a fairly astute comparison with Beck, the guy knows nothing about Sukpatch. He even states that the facts are sparse. Well, did he even bother to write to Slabco (their label)? It seems he would have mentioned it if he did, given the other filler he included in his lame-ass review. How about the obvious Jesus and Mary Chain influence? Why wasn't that included? Also, why isn't there a critique of at least one or two individual songs in the review?

To review for you guys does one simply need to discover a cool band, and not bother about writing ability? Sukpatch is some of the best shit I've heard in months. They deserve better. If you guys need a stringer or another free-lance reviewer, you know where to find me.

Kenneth J. Kohlmyer
Lower Haight

Jeff Stark replies: Kohlmyer's right on one point: Van Gogh was Dutch. My apologies.

An editing error skewed the meaning in the last sentence of Carol Lloyd's review of the play Skyscraper ("Desk Job," Stage, April 16): She was referring to "casual hypocrisy," not "causal hypocrisy.

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