Vipassana -- it works for non-felons too!: Thank you for publishing the article "Solitary Refinement" (Dec. 20, on experimental programs to teach Vipassana meditation to prisoners). As a practitioner of Vipassana, I can attest to the benefits of this practice. It is encouraging to see such a progressive approach being taken in law enforcement. I hope we will hear more about the program in San Bruno after its implementation. I think if it provides positive results in San Bruno, it would be worthy of some national attention.
We're hoping for a movie deal: Excellent article. I found it interesting and informative. I am moved to visit old [County Jail] No. 3 and see what they are doing there for myself. Thanks for your thoughtfulness and careful attention to detail. It reads like a short story featuring interesting characters: the warden, the sheriff, the researchers, the inmates, the guru, the teachers, etc., and, of course, the drama of crime and drugs. Thanks again.
George A. Parks, Ph.D.
Support through thick and thin: [Regarding a mother's complaint against the San Francisco Ballet, alleging discrimination against her daughter because of the girl's body type ("The Hard Nut," Stage, Dec. 20),] I have seen the young dancer in performance, and she has a genuine gift for movement and a clear projection of her pleasure in it. I mentioned to [the mother] Krissy Keefer that other schools in San Francisco have competent training and teachers.
This does not beg the question of the Human Rights Commission. Nor does it speak to the anomaly of the shapes of dancers like Anna Pavlova, Olga Preobrajenska, and Vaslav Nijinsky, all of whom enjoyed Imperial Russian training because someone saw something in them worth cultivating, all of whom had marked influence on classical ballet and its teaching.
It might be worthwhile to see if you can obtain coverage of the S.F. Ballet School's point of view to balance out your reportage.
Sharing the road: I would like to thank Matt Smith for his great article on bicycling in San Francisco ("Breaking the Cycle," Dec. 13). It is encouraging to hear Police Chief Lau acknowledge that there is a need to protect cyclists on our congested streets and make them safer. Hopefully he will listen to his beat cops on bikes for additional input. Bicycle lanes across the city are one way to help separate bikes from other traffic. There is a growing body of evidence that car drivers approve of bike lanes because they then know where to expect bicyclists to be riding, improving safety for all road users.
A crash course in bike riding: I just got back on my bike this weekend after an accident on Market three months ago. A limo driver opened his door smack into my path, sending me over the bars.
Your piece resonated with me. It's about time a journalist in our fair city took up the matter of Chris Robinson's death. All the better that it's a fellow cyclist, and one who understands that a motorist acting maliciously is not an isolated incident.
For the record: We appreciated the positive review that Matthew Stafford provided ("A Temple to High Living," Eat, Dec. 13) and wanted to clarify several points. Restaurant Elisabeth Daniel opened in January 2000 and not in the summer. Also, William Putnam has not been the sommelier at our restaurant for some time. Peter Birmingham has been our general manager/sommelier for several months.
Director of Public Relations
Restaurant Elisabeth Daniel