Letters to the Editor

The Fallout From "Fallout";Where There's Smoke ...;Charity Case

The Fallout From "Fallout"

Happily, some jellyfish babies have since become successful politicians:I rather enjoyed reading about the Navy's mishandling of nuclear substances at Hunters Point, and I applaud SF Weeklyfor bringing this story to our attention ("Fallout," May 2 and 9). I can only imagine how much time and effort Lisa Davis put into this story. She has performed a vital public service by alerting us to the radioactive health hazards in our community and right off our coast.

If the information Davis dredged up was what the government allows us to know, it frightens me to think what we aren't allowed to know about what went on at the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory.

I have heard tales about "jellyfish babies" and other mutant horror stories from the Marshall Islands, as a result of radiation poisoning from Operation Crossroads. Yet the Navy thinks it can put a cap on a nuclear waste dump and build a community there.

Thank you for bringing this story to light. I'll never fully enjoy eating seafood in the Bay Area again.

Tony Daquipa
San Francisco

Scarier than a Bush family reunion:Thank you, thank you, thank you. The concept that one sliver of the nuclear crap they dumped in the ocean off of the Farallon Islands could kill me frightens me almost as much as the W. presidency (I said almost). I've been surfing regularly at Ocean Beach for 15 years and, having grown up in the Bay Area, I'm sure I've eaten fish that swim in this cesspool.

One related item that the scientific community realized ex post facto on this debacle was the true nature of ocean currents. Specifically, they dumped all of these barrels with the stated intention of having them disintegrate in 50 to 100 years (hey, that's right now) by calculating the contamination from the waste against the vast hugeness of the entire ocean. The conclusion was that the huge ocean would dilute the waste so much that it would basically disappear. Well, the ocean was found to behave quite differently from this "one ocean" theory. That is, the ocean behaves as a number of micro-oceans with currents that keep waters isolated in a significantly smaller area. That means the Farallon Islands radioactive waste is diluting in a much smaller portion of the Pacific Ocean. Neat-o! Could somebody put a damn Geiger counter in the water and in a few of the salmon from this area?

Thanks again (like I didn't have enough problems sleeping at night).

Sean OReilly
Sunset District

Where There's Smoke ...

... there's ire: I was grateful to hear [staff writer Joel Engardio] on the KFOG morning show discussing the article "Smoking Gun" (Bay View, May 2, on a marketing campaign by tobacco company R.J. Reynolds, called Project SCUM, targeting San Francisco gays and homeless people). I went back to the SF WeeklyWeb site and read the article. I found it both disturbing and informative. Thank you for making public this ugly prejudice that exists against gays and poor people of color in San Francisco.

Name Withheld
Dolores Park

Charity Case

If he learned to control his emotions, we'd have to find another columnist: I cannot argue with Mr. Smith's assertions about the AIDS Ride, but I can certainly defend Pallotta Team Works concerning the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day ("Rides and Wrongs," May 2). This is my second year participating, and I can assure Mr. Smith's readers that we topped well over a two-thirds return rate on donations (we raised over $8 million, and of that $6.2 million went directly to breast cancer research and outreach groups).

I would also object to Mr. Smith's characterization of AIDS Riders as "San Francisco's seasonal equivalent of airport Hare Krishnas. They endlessly panhandle friends and acquaintances." Quite frankly, I've known a lot of AIDS Riders, and their hearts are most definitely in the right place. In addition, they have not bothered me for donations more than once.

Mr. Smith seems to have an ax to grind and no grinder, so he takes it out on his readers. If people like Mr. Smith would learn to control their emotions a little better, the petty anger and negativity he expresses might be less of a problem for all of us.

Paul Baker
Chinatown

Season's greetings: Hello? Who could believe that blocking streets every month and causing people to become angry to the point of screaming at each other is good (Critical Mass), but creating an event that rallies people to give money and change their lifestyles to embrace physical challenge is bad (Pallotta events). Seems like this writer suffers from "coal-in-your-Christmas-stocking syndrome." How sad.

Lynne Killey
Pacific Heights

 
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