Creating a New Paths
Don't forget the artists' solo projects: Really nice overview of their [Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn] career progress as Pomplamoose, but it would be good to point people to their alter egos in their far edgier solo works ["The Pomplamoose Revolution," Ian Port, Feature, 2/23]. Their originals are much more substantial than what is hinted at here.
Stepping away from mainstream music allows for a different sound: Jack and Nataly are a refreshing change from the steady diet of manufactured music by major labels that all sounds the same. That's why I listen to them. And they are who they are; the other big reason I like them.
The Hot Seat
Something doesn't add up: Let me get this straight: By Battalion Chief Kevin Taylor's "reckoning," Assistant Fire Chief Art Kenney was asking Deputy Chief Patrick Gardener "for information to unfairly pass along to lower-ranking white officers" and only to white officers, according to race-card-player Kevin Taylor ["Black Firefighters Make Explosive Charges," Matt Smith, Column, 2/16]. How Taylor can assume this, only he knows. So far, so good. But here's the rub.
Patrick Gardener is already chief of department 2, and as the deputy chief of operations, he is already higher ranked than an assistant chief, and therefore ineligible to take the test. As the only sitting civil service assistant chief, Art Kenney is required to advise both the administration and test developers on the test, and is also ineligible to take the test since he already holds the rank.
Gardener and Kenney discussed the test because it was their job. They are required to do so. Neither of them could profit from "cheating," because both were at that rank or higher already.
On some level Taylor knows this, but that doesn't stop him from playing the race card once again to paint successful whites as racists, even though every firefighter and fire department officer has equal access to all study material. Whose fault is it, then, when black test-takers cannot pass fire department promotional exams in the same percentages as Asian, Hispanic, and white candidates do?
Blog Comment of the Week
In response to a blog post about a new pastry chef upgrading La Victoria's Pan Dulce: I hear old time Missionistas cuss and fuss all the time about the changes, but the fact is many of them no longer live or shop here ["Pastry Chef Luis Villavelazquez Joins La Victoria for Pan Dulce Upgrade," John Birdsall, SFoodie, 2/22]. I was born and raised in the Mission, but I realize the neighborhood is not a living museum here to satisfy the nostalgia of people who now reside in the East Bay or Sacramento.
I'm not a huge fan of gentrification, but it's a fact of life that cities all across America are coping with it. Yes, they are experimenting with new techniques, but Jaime Maldonado is clear about sticking with the core Latin flavor. If someone wants to criticize, at least try the new pan dulce product first, rather than arguing about the notions of what is "authentic." The man is running a business that's been around 60 years, and who can criticize him for trying to stick around for another 60 more?