Letters to the Editor

Week of January 16, 2002

What's New Since 9/11

Yep, and we're sure this whole Enron thing will be old news by next week:I couldn't have been more thrilled after reading Matt Smith's "Chump Changes" article (Jan. 2). I am tickled at how apoplectic he is that the Democratic grip on media coverage has loosened during the war. Finally, those of us who believe in smaller government, tax cuts, and a large dose of patriotism (and no, Mr. Smith, despite your need to unfavorably stereotype those who disagree with you, we are not all "hostile ... misogynists who ply America's back roads") are seeing our opinions reflected in the news. I doubt it will last long, but it is quite refreshing. Mr. Smith is right about one thing, however: I haven't changed at all since Sept. 11. Pre- and post-Sept. 11, I was proud to have voted for our president, a man of honor and integrity who vowed to unite the country and did just that. For the first time since 1992 we can be proud of our commander in chief. Now thatis a change for which the country should be very thankful.

Kristen Garcia Dumont
Lower Pacific Heights

Personally, we have no such bias. We enjoy the bashing for its own sake.: I just wanted to drop a little note about [Matt Smith's] editorial. I enjoyed it. And while I agree with a good deal of what you were saying, I also wish to add one "tired subject" to your list [of journalists' overused news hooks]: bashing wealthy conservatives. Not that some don't need a good bashing once in a while, but it seems to me sometimes that the world's ills are blamed on wealthy conservatives. There are wealthy liberals who also wish to mold the population in their own way, which may not be good for everyone.

Joe Horner
Los Altos

The law of averages says that eventually you'd have to agree on something:After being appalled for so long at what I considered to be [Matt Smith's] completely mistaken views on the S.F. housing situation, I'm very happy to write you to say how much I agree with [his] recent article on the Bush-9/11 situation. Please keep spreading that extremely important message.

Dudley Brooks
Mission District

A Sound Idea

San Francisco needs an organ transplant:I was disturbed upon reading your recent article on the Waterfront Pavilion Organ project ("Organ Failure," Dec. 26, 2001). As a former supervisor, I spent more than five years working with members of the San Francisco chapter of the American Guild of Organists to save the venerable Exposition Organ, as well as to find a suitable new home for it. The pavilion's location on the Embarcadero is the most logical and optimal site for the great American tradition of town concerts because of its visibility, accessibility, and historical significance. However, before any commitment was made to this location, extensive consultations were made to ensure the suitability of the site not only as an outdoor venue but as a permanent home for this historic instrument. Leading organ authorities were consulted, including Austin Organs, the manufacturer of the Exposition Organ, and Lyle Blackinton, the curator of the outdoor Spreckels Organ in Balboa Park in San Diego, both of whom enthusiastically endorse the project.

It is a privilege for me to be a part of this noble project. It will ensure that this magnificent organ will be heard once again by generations to come. I urge my fellow citizens to take part in this great American tradition.

Sue Bierman

Policing the Police

Still looking for answers:Well done ("Death and Access," Matt Smith, Dec. 12, on the Police Department's unwillingness to release records on some cases involving the death of suspects)! Almost seven months after my only child, Idriss Stelley, was gunned down by SFPD at the Metreon, I am still denied access to what exactly happened that night of June 13, [2001]. I am still barred from getting my son's belongings [or] the names of any witnesses. Not unusual, as incredible as it seems.

I went twice to the Board of Supervisors, urging them to ratify an increase of SFPD's budget to ensure that 25 percent (vs. the current 2 percent) of the force in each precinct will receive mandatory training in crisis intervention with people in mental distress. I constructed a Web support group for families and loved ones of people disabled or killed by law enforcement. We deeply appreciate your efforts to rally community support around the issue of excessive and lethal force by SFPD.

Mesha Monge-Irizarry
Bayview-Hunters Point

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