Letters to the Editor

Week of July 3,2002

Dirk Burns
Corona Heights

Prose and Cons

Prison is hard: I felt sad for the inmate [Eddy] Zheng who went in front of the [parole] board and asked for forgiveness and seems to have done his time and really done good for himself ("Throwing Away the Key," June 5). Why do they keep him there? He seems to be ready for the outside. Prison never does anyone any good. All it does if you have served your time is make you harder, and you get down on yourself. Why do they do this? Pray for him.

Donna Will
Garden Grove

Prison is easy: The unimaginable fear and degradation felt by the family victimized by Eddy Zheng and his cohorts is far more heinous than Zheng realizes; in his own words, he feels more unjustly treated by the legal system, far from properly contrite.

For what the trio did, they deserve to lose at least their youth, not returning to society until well into middle age -- at least another decade -- and for what was done to the mother, charges of sex crimes are also appropriate. In light of their foreign-born status and the criminal severity, deportation should be seriously considered.

Zheng's positive behavior in prison isn't so surprising; I know personally of many who have done far more contributing to society who don't get or expect praise, so why should he get bonus points? Quite simply, part of his being your cause célèbre is based on Zheng being Asian and an immigrant.

Why are prisoners allowed to obtain college degrees? College educations for convicts, like elaborate gym equipment, are, in effect, rewards for landing behind bars, and when you add conjugal visits, special diets, telephone access, etc., there is less incentive to avoid a return engagement.

George Warren
Alameda

More Meat

A simple solution:Please ignore Gregory Wu ("Cartoon Corner," Letters, June 12). Red Meatis good. It almost always makes me smile. I'm sorry Greg and his friends don't get it, OK? But if Greg don't like it, Greg don't gotta read it. So there!

Forest Huggins
Inner Sunset

We're Honored

SF Weeklywas awarded five first-place honors and one second-place award in the California Newspaper Publishers Association Better Newspapers Contest June 29 in San Diego. The paper took first place among California weeklies for its arts and lifestyle coverage and for page design. Weeklystaff writer Peter Byrne won first place in investigative reporting for "Dirty Pool" (Aug. 8, 2001), a story about how the city's revitalization of a Bayview community pool was fraught with cost overruns. Silke Tudor won first place in the writing category for "Railroaded" (Oct. 31, 2001), a Night Crawler column about modern-day hobos. And Lisa Davis, also a staff writer, took first in the public service category for "Fallout" (May 2 and 9, 2001), a series documenting how the Navy underreported the amount of nuclear waste generated at Hunters Point Shipyard. (All of these stories can be read online at www.sfweekly.com.)

The San Francisco Bay Guardianwon two first-place and four second-place awards in the weekly category. Among large daily newspapers, the San Francisco Chroniclewas awarded three first-place awards, including one for feature writing, and five second-place awards.

Contest winners were chosen from more than 3,000 entries submitted in various categories by 228 newspapers in California.

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