Letters

SFPD Power Trip?
This story is a perfect example of the well-known theory that cops have the most closely matched personality profiles to criminals than any other profession ("The Mission District Squeeze," Feb. 24). If this type of situation had occurred outside a police department that literally has only high school education requirements for its personnel, you probably would not have had an article to write. Unfortunately, we have a bunch of less educated S.F. cops harassing a legitimate businessman because they've decided to "side" with some total loser with a long rap sheet. What's wrong with this picture?

There was a time when I was a little girl that I thought the police were the pillars of the community, and I would like to think there are still some of those "pillars" out there. Instead, we get a police department hiring a bunch of guys with little to no higher education background, who quite clearly are on some sort of power trip. Case in point: When the one officer actually had the gall to leave a message on the Elysium owner's home number. I can't imagine for a minute this is in the SFPD's protocol book.

With all the bad press the SFPD has been getting in the past two years, you'd think someone in command would have done something to curtail certain officers' overly aggressive behavior. I think reprimanding rogue police officers obviously misusing their power would be a good starting point. Until there are serious repercussions for this sort of police harassment, we can expect a lot more fodder for articles like this in the future.

Peggy Skilling
Via Internet

Crimes and Indiscretions
I'm appalled by the smear campaign launched in your article about Jose Najar and his business dealings with Elysium Cafe ("The Mission District Squeeze"). I hardly find Jose's past indiscretions relevant to what has transpired in his current business life, or to his work in the community for that matter. As a board member of a Mission District arts organization I've seen Jose accomplish some good things for our community -- which your article fails to mention. Your bias against Jose Najar is hysterical, shrill, and most disturbing. You've accused him of using political contacts to get his way -- an accusation that is suspect given most recent court actions. Yet it seems to me Mr. Brigham of Elysium Cafe is employing SF Weekly in a strategy to elicit sympathy, win his case, and ultimately get his way. Please do the Mission District a favor: Pack up your "reporter," George Cothran, and send him to the National Enquirer.

Bill Moreno
Via Internet

It's Back to Kicking Ass!
Thank you for one of the best exposes of political corruption I have ever read in SF Weekly, "The Mission District Squeeze." This minority community is best advised to distance itself from Jose Najar, whose kiss-ass-bully behavior belies his failure to kick his drug-induced past, and the city's failure to account for it, till now.

Gays, Latinos, and Mission merchants take heed. Your associations will be held accountable for him, and every politician and police officer you choose to schmooze. Clark Brigham and his family deserve better than ruination for faithfully extending their olive branches, and you have the power to save the Elysium.

You can start by telling Dr. Ceniceros, Brigham's slumlord, to get over his own restaurant's failure and do the right thing: Fix the goddamn leaks!

Oh, and by the way, stop hammering my poor SUV. I didn't live-work my butt off for 13 years at 24th and Mission to suffer this kind of bigotry. Try hitting me instead. I'll kick your ass.

John Zane
Former Mission merchant

Hey! Wow! For Once We Were Politically Correct!
It was with disgust that I read about the American Front's attempt to reach out to San Francisco by inserting the notorious white supremacist hate paper The Bay Aryan in copies of SF Weekly ("They're Baa-ack," Dog Bites, March 3). Exploiting the popularity of SF Weekly, the perpetrator placed The Bay Aryan in copies of the paper in hopes of persuading San Francisco residents that white, non-Jewish, heterosexual people are the only people who deserve to live. In fact, according to the members of American Front, they are the only people who are actually human. In the collective mind of the American Front all others are subhuman and satanic.

Founded by Robert Heick in San Francisco in 1987, the American Front has worked with hatemonger Tom Metzger of the White Aryan Resistance in organizing Aryan gatherings. Members have been involved in various thefts, beatings, and at least one synagogue desecration around the country. In 1990, a member named Michael Gilbert Ortiz was sentenced to nine years in prison after he and other members attacked two anti-racist skinheads, one of whom died from stab wounds. Heick himself participated in the Idaho standoff between white separatist Randy Weaver and federal agents in the summer of 1992.

This method of distributing hate papers and fliers through popular newspapers has been utilized recently by Ku Klux Klan groups across the nation. The Anti-Defamation League was so outraged by these incidents that we helped draft a hate crime bill in response. On Jan. 1, 1999, Bill AB 417 went into effect and Section 538c was added to the Penal Code relating to newspapers. This bill prohibits the attachment or insertion of any unauthorized written material into a newspaper that is distributed without charge, except with the consent of the publisher or authorized distributor. If there is any doubt in your mind, I have been assured that SF Weekly did not give the American Front permission to put their hate-filled rhetoric in last week's paper.

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