Letters to the Editor

Week of Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Scary Good

This guy's a machine: Thank you for Lessley Anderson's excellent profile of endurance runner Dean Karnazes, including her accomplished homework on a fairly obscure sport ["Ultra Marathon Man," Jan. 14]. However, I think it's a stretch to claim linkage between fat metabolism and a reduced level of joint damage. Fat metabolism, which endurance athletes can cultivate through proper diet and training, certainly increases endurance, but deterring overuse injuries is more a matter of the type of running one does, where one does it, and superior biomechanics.

Dean is scary-good. Those who attended the post-race ceremony at Western States last year will never forget the sight of him fairly bounding across the floor to accept his award, while everyone else, winners included, limped, minced, and shuffled in the customary manner of those who have just run 100 miles through the Sierra.

Anderson's profile exemplified what makes Dean not just an extraordinary athlete, but also an exemplar of a lifestyle that California embraces but which horrifies the American heartland and its Eastern establishment. "Why do something that's already been done?" he asks. The cultural disinclination to honor precedent, the compulsive quest for innovation -- these are hallmarks of left-coast living that affront the tamer sensibilities of those elsewhere who embrace tradition as a mandate rather than merely an option. Those who are comforted by the crutch of complacency might consider Dean Karnazes to be whacked, but he's really a creative artist whose medium is athletics, whose platform is our landscape.

Hollis Lenderking
Palo Alto

Displaying Diego

We're not keeping Rivera's great mural under wraps -- swear! Ron Russell's fine article gave a good overview of the history of the Diego Rivera mural at City College of San Francisco ["Secret Rivera," Dec. 17]. It would appear from subsequent letters to the editor that some readers might not have understood the significance of the college's current efforts with the mural.

The mural is now staffed with knowledgeable student docents and open to the public about 40 hours a week most of the year. Tours are available upon request. The signage situation is currently being rectified as a part of a larger College Facilities Master Plan.

As Diego Rivera's daughter told me in a 1999 Mexico City interview, her father believed in the ability of education to empower underrepresented peoples. Diego Rivera specifically created this mural to be at City College, not in a museum. For the last several years many of our classes have utilized the mural as part of their curriculum. We have made overtures to 75 schools in the SFUSD, many of which are taking us up on the offer to expose their students to this world-class piece of art.

After World War II, San Francisco was not immune to the climate created by the Cold War. Couple this with the untimely loss of Timothy Pflueger's leadership in 1946 and the pressing priority to construct classrooms and labs and it's easier to see the delay in placing the mural in a college building. For the last eight years the Diego Rivera Steering Committee has worked hard to exercise our stewardship of the mural and correct lamentable past deficiencies.

Future plans, though not immediate, are not "pie-in-the-sky." The mural site simply awaits the move of the college's theater and music functions to a new performing arts center, which is currently being designed and has already been partially funded by the citizens of S.F. The Diego Rivera Theater building will be reconfigured to showcase the mural. Our Latin American Studies department will move to the site and international scholars will be invited to work with our students, utilizing the extensive archives to which Russell referred. The Getty Conservation Institute, which assessed our mural in 1999, told us to think about conserving the mural for the next 200 years. We take our stewardship seriously. Come and check us out. Mural hours/tours: 239-3127; www.riveramural.org

Will Maynez
Mission

Correction

A recent Matt Smith column ("Same as the Old Boss," Jan. 14) incorrectly asserted that Andy Hasse (aka Andrew Hasse) had cybersquatted on Internet domain names and owned the domain names ClintReilly.com, WillieBrown.com, and WillieBrownSucks.com. The column's contentions that Hasse hoped to become a political operative and offered his services to Willie Brown were also incorrect. SF Weeklyregrets the errors.

 
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