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Letters to the Editor 

Week of June 5, 2002

Religious Differences

Fringe elements: Mark Athitakis' May 22 article, "Un-Orthodox Behavior" (Bay View), is a curious piece of journalism. It seems to focus on the efforts of three women who formed a watchdog group that monitors sex abuse in the Orthodox Church. The inspiration for the group stems from their own personal tragedies that occurred in a mainline Orthodox church. Unfortunately the article dissipates into an attack on all so-called unaffiliated Orthodox churches that have separated themselves from the mainstream groups. Perhaps Mr. Athitakis has some hidden agenda.

It must be carefully noted that many of these "unaffiliated" groups broke off from the Patriarchate of Constantinople for reasons of conscience. I am surprised and disappointed that a news service in San Francisco, a city that prides itself on diversity and fair treatment, would print an article that contains a general smear against those who do not agree with "mainstream" Orthodoxy.

I agree with [Cappy] Larson [a member of the watchdog group] that the law should decide these matters, but she forgets one thing: The difference between the government of this country and regimes of tyranny is that, here, a person is innocent until proven guilty. Sex abuse needs to be eliminated and perpetrators brought to justice without her efforts becoming a witch hunt or a tool of slander. How can this be done? Only if she limits her "abuser postings" to those who had a fair trial and were convicted, and/or those that had a court settlement.

Alexander Buterbaugh
Exeter, N.H.

A Fan's Notes

Music to her ears: Nancy Einhart is great ("Same Old Brand-New," Music, May 22, on a company that creates cheesy store-branded music compilations)! Her style is refreshing, incisive, and thorough, without being overly verbose. You should have her write more articles!

Mark York
Pensacola, Fla.

Worst of the Best

Skin and bones to pick: Hmm ... I don't get it. You are supposed to be a liberal paper, correct? I mean, you guys are trying to do something different with journalism than the slanted media that surrounds us on a daily basis, right? You're supposed to be encouraging a more expansive, unbiased look at the world, n'est-ce pas? Then why, oh why, do you feel the need to put a scantily clad woman spread-eagled on your "Best of San Francisco 2002" issue (May 15)? Do you not think we expect a bit more from our "open-minded" rag than the equivalent of an ad in Maxim? Why, just for a change, couldn't it be a scantily clad male? Or maybe a regular-looking chick? What message are you trying to send with that kind of cover? Whatever it is, I can assure you it's been sent ... ad nauseam.

Beth Mann
Noe Valley

Bad Taste

Pummeled by Pomelo: The owners and fan of Pomelo who wrote in to SF Weekly (Letters, May 8) in response to the paper's review did more to sour me on going to Pomelo than did the review itself ("Slim Pickins," Eat, May 1). I have been to excellent restaurants that have received poor reviews, and I know that I won't always agree with a reviewer.

However, the bitterness and bile with which the owners responded left a bad taste in my mouth. If any of the three had chosen to dispute your review with class and humor, that might have made me want to give the restaurant a try. But if [they] are that nasty, it makes me think perhaps Pomelo was not so unfairly maligned.

Kara Sjoblom
Palo Alto

We're Honored

In a nationwide competition, SF Weekly won three awards last week from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies for its investigative reporting, arts coverage, and music criticism.

First-place honors for investigative reporting went to staff writer Lisa Davis and Editor John Mecklin for their work on "Fallout," a yearlong investigation into the use and misuse of nuclear material by military researchers at the former Hunters Point Shipyard in San Francisco. The two-part series has won several national awards, including a prestigious George Polk Award from Long Island University.

Staff writer Matt Palmquist won second place in the Arts Feature category for "Sound of Success," a story about the Oakland Youth Chorus and the positive effects it has on the lives of its teenage singers.

In Music Criticism, SF Weekly contributor Chris Baty won third place for his coverage of and commentary on Bay Area musicians.

In each category, SF Weekly competed against newsweeklies with circulations above 54,000.


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