Letters

Welcome to Newark, Calif.; Apparently, Ali, We Didn't Hit You Hard Enough; Natural Selection; Invasion of the Dot-Com Parasites; They Aren't All Millionaires; So, You Think We Should Start Paying Silke?; Cursing Those Who Curse the Morg

While the computer industry provides jobs, until there is a real sense of stability and real wealth associated with Internet services, these jobs are a precarious investment. Hence, giving precious space to dot-commers is an investment that could cause a major recession. What would Smith tell the people he cites as career changers, if the industry becomes competitive, downsizes, or stabilizes to the point that a good waitress can make more money on a Tuesday night? Talk about a housing crisis ... can you imagine what would happen in San Francisco if middle-class people lose their homes because of speculative career choices?

Finally, real international cities do not give everything to the latest economic flavor of the month. New York, Toronto, etc. have been forced to create housing for people associated with all industries. San Francisco cannot afford to give away too much housing stock because there is a very finite degree of urban development that can take place here without threatening natural resources. Ultimately San Francisco should learn from the successes and failures of European and American cities which have gone through similar problems. A balance must prevail where space is meted out sparingly to dot-commers ... a group of cultural parasites who might not be economically empowered in the distant future. A young group who will move out of the city upon nesting and leave inflation for the rest of us to deal with.

Darrell Simon
Lower Haight

They Aren't All Millionaires
Thank you, thank you, for publishing Matt Smith's smart and extremely well-written take on the state of multimedia business development in S.F. ("Make Room for Dot-Coms"). I do not work for a dot-com, but many of my friends my age -- I'm 25 -- do, and I've seen firsthand how the new industry has created a raft of midrange-paying jobs which cater to a diverse group of young people looking for unconventional careers. Dot-com companies are not solely defined by newly made twentysomething millionaires; the entry-level positions which pay decent (though not exorbitant) wages do seem to be doing a service to this city by allowing a diverse group of young people -- who may not have found work in the older, more conservative, financial service-based job market -- to live here.

Smith's point that a significant percentage of Web developers do not have a college education (much less a graduate business degree) is rarely made. Smith also has the temerity and common sense to question some of the anti-growth activism which may not have kept pace with the realities of San Francisco's economy or its social mix. His conclusion that anti-growth legislation on multimedia companies could actually hurt the city's ability to offer midrange jobs for less highly trained workers is one worth repeating to some of this city's older, proscriptively liberal ex-hippie population who insist that San Francisco's only prayer for surviving prosperity is by rejecting it.

Taylor Antrim
Noe Valley

So, You Think We Should Start Paying Silke?
This city native thoroughly enjoys Silke Tudor's writing (Night Crawler, The House of Tudor). Her sharp eye, concision, and fluidity suggest the makings of a columnist which the town sorely needs.

With Art Hoppe's death, the illustrious Chronicle pantheon is history: Caen, Koltanowski, Delaplane, O'Flaherty, Steger, McCabe ... and fellow journalists.

Perhaps they still make 'em as they used to: writers capable of a thousand words daily, six times a week, weaving the color, fabric, and souls of a metropolitan community.

One wouldn't wish her loss to the Weekly. But among the city's five rags, Tudor stands out with rhythm, a fresh wrap on everything she notes, and a well-humored muscularity. I hope the editors of the uncertain dailies are noticing. Once a week ain't enough of a writer, a columnist, who can leg and limn San Francisco for its hungry readers.

John Diamante
Alamo Square

Cursing Those Who Curse the Morgan Curse
Rather jarring coda to your otherwise interesting Camper Van Beethoven feature ("Happier Campers," Music, Feb. 9) -- "And if that girl Morgan shows up," adds Segel, "I'm gonna kick her ass." I'm sure it was taken out of context and meant as a joke, but it's a rather ugly and unfunny one.

Morgan Fichter is a total sweetheart without an ounce of malice in her, and she doesn't deserve to be on the receiving end of Jonathan Segel's adolescent pissing contest. (I believe the so-called "Morgan Curse" actually has resulted from bands already on their last legs finding her easygoing personality and prodigious musical talents to be a shot in the arm that helps them get through their final days.) At any rate, I know Morgan to be a sensitive, sincere person with an intense desire to do the right thing, and this gratuitous little snipe has only succeeded in making Segel appear a little smaller. Just because he's chosen to make nice with David Lowery (the one who actually tossed him out of the band), this doesn't give him the right to blame someone who came after the fact and tried to make the best of a bad situation.

John Neo Marvin
Fillmore

Rave Snobs
This was a well-done piece that accurately represents the trials and tribulations of getting together a successful party ("Rave On?" Music, Jan. 26). Props to Susan Derby for doing her homework on the scene. Many journalists covering the more obscure components of American subculture all too often take shortcuts by filling information gaps with complete blanks.

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