Letters

Hear, Hear
I would like to thank SF Weekly and Sam Prestianni for the hot tips in the Hear This review feature of your entertainment listings section. I went to see Uum Kulthum: A Voice Like Egypt (Film Listings, April 1) and left so exhilarated that the effects of the film and the importance of Kulthum's life work have greatly helped my appreciation of Arabic music and culture.

Also on your recommendation, I went to hear Gianni Gebbia at the Luggage Store (Music Listings, April 15). I met and spoke with Gianni, a very nice man, and stayed to hear some very adventurous music. (Garth Powell was also very impressive.) And I discovered a new venue for improvised music.

I'm definitely going to check out Chris Speed at the Sweat Shop this weekend (Music Listings, April 29).

Keep up the excellent work and again thanks to the folks responsible for doing the research and for spotlighting artists who deserve the publicity.

Milo Francis
Via Internet

Rack 'Em Up
Guys, read your "Newsrack Non-Problem" (The Grid, April 22), and have some issues with your opinions. I manage facilities for a nonprofit corporation South of Market and can assure you that the newsracks indeed are a problem. My arguments:

1) Your dismissal of the issue based on a hypothetical top 20 list of city problems is a bit cavalier. I doubt that many of the legitimate issues which detract from downtown's "livability" -- including graffiti, pigeons, trash, and public urination -- would make this hypothetical list either. Yet all of these things are real problems which assault the general public and add significant cost to those organizations who choose to do business in the city.

2) Speaking of trash, I wonder if you have ever seen Market or Mission Street at 6 a.m. prior to daily cleaning. If so, you have seen that there is a copious amount of trash, of which the majority is free publications. I support your right to publish 100 percent, but resent that my custodial staff has to clean up after you on a daily basis. I understand that centralizing newsracks, thereby limiting circulation, is a big hammer to wield to avoid some trash, but wonder what other solutions there are.

3) The commando placement of the bins is also problematic. I have seen numerous racks appear overnight, chained to private property and/or blocking public passage. These bins are often abandoned shortly after the first issue, and left for the property owner to dispose of.

4) The delivery staff, in their distribution frenzy, will often place a pile of publications in lobbies of private property. How about if I stop by your lobby once a week and leave a pile of promotional literature? I doubt you would tolerate it in the interest of free expression.

Overall, perhaps the mayor's proposed plan is unworkable and unfair. I believe you have some legitimate issues with fees and placement. However, I assure you that newsrack placement is indeed a problem of at least a scale equal to many of the issues you choose to cover.

Ryan Van Ommeren
Via Internet

For the Last Time, No Butt Kicking
There you go again, bashing the Giants ("Baseball's Orphans," April 15). They seem to be a favorite target of the new management at the Weekly. I can picture it: The carpetbagging new owners come into town, the News Corp of the weeklies, looking for easy targets. Why not the local major league baseball team? That'll grab some readers! Especially in San Francisco, with its festering population of NIMBYs and assorted nattering nabobs.

George Cothran's article was well-researched and newsworthy. But the article certainly did not single out the Giants as the evildoers in this matter. In fact, the only former Giants player mentioned is Willie Mays, and he's currently employed by the team. But what does the Weekly do? You come up with a cheesy rendition of what is supposed to be an elderly ex-Giant for your cover, so you can portray the Giants as the heinous abusers of these poor old codgers.

I suppose that, as long as the current regime at the Weekly endures, we will be treated to annual displays of this kind of low-ball sleaze. The Giants will continue to build their organization, provide quality, wholesome, and affordable entertainment, and be an invaluable part of our community. And you annoying gits will be right there behind them, trying to kick them in the butt.

Gary Moody
Potrero Hill

Cynical Canadian Lowlifes
Hey, did you know there's a phony paper floating around town? It looks like SF Weekly, it pretends it has some of the real SF Weekly's writers, and it signs its checks SF Weekly. But it's not SF Weekly! It's actually a brazen hustler by the name of New Times, led by people from Canada and other assorted lowlifes, and orchestrated by an evil corporation from Phoenix, Ariz., that yanks the chains of those chilly people from Vancouver and other assorted places. So if this paper named SF Weekly walks into your store and asks you to advertise, don't do it! They suffer from such grinding cynicism that eventually they will have their downfall, though.

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