The Party Police
There's no need to be rude: For those of you saying, "Hooray! Bust those hipster punks!" don't make the mistake of tarring everyone with the same brush ["Turning the Tables," Lois Beckett, Feature, 3/17]. Enterprises that cross the legal line should get spanked. My problem with this article is that it mentions a reputable club like the DNA Lounge next to Caliente, where a stabbing happened and the owner took the cavalier attitude of "Well, I didn't get sued."
Larry Bertrand and Michelle Ott consistently operate at the line of what is acceptable behavior, and anecdotal evidence is stacking up that they frequently cross it. Even if one makes the assumption that they're operating fully within the law and adhering to guidelines, they always seem to act in the most heavy-handed fashion possible, regardless of the level of cooperation shown by staff, the reputation of the club, or the decorum shown by patrons. There's no reason to consistently use the harshest tactics possible, instead of cooperation and working with owners to highlight problems and suggest solutions prior to citation. Then there's the question about the consistent intimidation of patrons and staff even when full cooperation is being shown. There's simply no reason for this sort of behavior from any law enforcement agency that actually wants to engage the community, and practice the credo of innocent until proven guilty.
Get low: Cops who get in the spotlight because of problems, whether it's their fault or not, need to be re-assigned to alternative beats. The appearance of impropriety hurts good cops trying to do their everyday jobs. Like it or not, good police work depends on trust from the community. When a couple of high-profile cops get a bad reputation and start causing trouble for the rest of the force, they need lower-profile jobs.
A huge leap: In Lauren Smiley's article about my business, Venga Empanadas, ["Holy Taco!," Sucka Free City, 3/17] she reached her own conclusions, which I do not share. I have not accused Andres Franklin, the owner of Mas Empanadas, of stealing anything, and I specifically told her so. I did point out suspicious similarities between our two products and our two logos, and I also told her about our past business negotiations, including his refusal to sign a nondisclosure agreement. I do believe that Franklin has copied my business model and learned a great deal about commercial empanada production from me. But to say that "Godino claims Franklin ripped off his business" is a huge leap, and I made no such accusations.
Smiley is correct in pointing out that the empanada market did not even exist in San Francisco two years ago. Now, our city has not only Venga but also Chile Lindo and El Porteño. More empanada businesses will only expand the market for this wonderful food item that is so popular throughout Latin America. We welcome more empanada makers — as long as they play fair.
Lauren Smiley responds: It's splitting hairs to say someone "copied" your business model (the word Godino uses) yet didn't "steal" it or "rip it off." Would you tell a student he shouldn't "steal" his classmate's test answers, but to go ahead and "copy" all the answers he wants? The words communicate the same idea, and I certainly didn't think this distorted Godino's accusations.
In a March 17 cover story, "Turning the Tables," the writer mistakenly attributed a statement to Robbie Kowal of Mojito about a rumored meeting between Police Chief George Gascón and Entertainment Commissioner Terrance Alan. Mr. Kowal's last name was also misspelled. We regret the errors.