Hiring Larry Bush as political writer is the best thing that's happened to SF Weekly — and Bay Area political reporting — in years. His “Making of the Mayor 1995” (June 7) was a perfect example of why. No one else could've written as good a piece. He's funny and insightful. He knows the politics of this town cold. And he's got one thing going for him that none of the other “insiders” types do — he actually stands for something. He hasn't retreated into the cynicism that characterizes most political commentators and reporters.
Finally, the city has a political reporter — and perhaps a paper — that reflects what's really great about San Francisco — we're the savviest, most progressive, politicized, and active city in the nation. He's one insider who hasn't lost touch with the grass roots of San Francisco and our progressive vision of politics as a vehicle for social change.
I'm glad you've given Bush a page up front. Hell, give him the whole paper. He'll fill it with commentary worth reading, and, more importantly, worth acting on.
Larry Bush's comprehensive, in-depth article about the movers and the shakers behind the coming election (“The Making of the Mayor 1995,” June 7) made for some exciting and lively reading for those who follow closely the political scene in San Francisco.
With such a formidable selection of candidates in the mayor's race, the revealing article is a must-read to every voter who will make an informed and intelligent choice come Election Day.
Bush's “tell all” article gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the character of the candidates as well as that of their campaign managers. As many of us know, the game of politics can indeed be one of mudslinging, backstabbing, insidious manipulation, character assassination, and cutthroat tactics (ad nauseam). The upcoming election campaign promises to be, without a doubt, one of the meanest and nastiest in this city's history.
I intend to read Larry Bush's revealing article over and over, clip it, save it, and use it as a ready reference guide at the voting booth.
Again, kudos to Larry Bush for an inside look at the machinations and theatrics that make up San Francisco's political landscape.
Frankly, My Dear …
Paper Trails is dynamite, notwithstanding its meager coverage of the mayoral race, of which here are 10 highlights, all overlooked by the weasel … I mean, Larry Bush:
10. Mayor Jordan pledges to bring back Channel 20's Saturday night “Dance Party”
9. Uproar in lesbian community when Roberta Achtenberg is overheard saying she finds Warren Hinckle “strangely attractive”
8. Angela Alioto is arrested for emptying her kitty-litter box in Frank Jordan's front yard
7. Things get tense when Chief Ribera learns that Willie Brown refers to him as “Fats”
6. Terrence Hallinan promises to municipalize PG&E, certain McDonald's, and all movie theaters
5. When Jesse Helms comes to town, Brown and Achtenberg pinch his butt
4. Angela Alioto is caught having a cozy dinner with former KSFO jock J. Paul Emerson
3. Morgan Fairchild gets really steamed when Willie Brown declines her offer to campaign for him
2. While appearing on Larry King, Alioto and Hallinan engage in fisticuffs
1. Three words: franks with Frank!
Lorenz Hart wrote bitter, brilliantly witty lyrics for Richard Rodgers' melodies. Oscar Hammerstein II wrote reactionary, sappy lyrics for Richard Rodgers' melodies. A Connecticut Yankee is a Rodgers & Hart show. There is no such thing as a “Hammerstein & Hart” show (Aisle Seat, June 7). This is a delicious irony the author of “Glad to Be Unhappy” and “My Funny Valentine” would surely have appreciated.
SF Weekly responds: The irony is that our Aisle Seat columnist did not get her facts wrong; her editor did. Swift is correct on all counts.
I was deeply saddened to hear of the demise of Michael Fox's column (Reel World, June 7). It's the only thing that sets SF Weekly apart from its competition in terms of local coverage, and I've always considered it the most essential read of the week. As a hot spot of independent film production, exhibition, and distribution, San Francisco needs this kind of film coverage. I hope that you'll reconsider your decision, or that Fox will showcase his inside scoops and tidbits somewhere else.
In Lalo Alcaraz's recent La Cucaracha (May 17), the cartoonist became a critic of Hispanic films, praising Mi Familia as authentic and lambasting The Perez Family for, among other things, having non-Hispanic performers. I wondered who appointed Lalo the authority on what is Hispanic and what isn't. I doubt Mexicans and Chicanos elected him, but even if they were so stupid to do so, “Hispanic” covers a wide variety of Cubans (like myself), Puerto Ricans, Panamanians, El Salvadorans, and many others.
Even as a Cubano, or Cuban-American, I would never have the audacity to say what defines my group, but I'm certainly more qualified than Lalito. Also, The Perez Family is about Cuban-Americans, so your cartoonist-cum-critic is way out of line.
Cubans range from blacks to tall, blond types. Many look like Italians — Al Pacino, Sly Stallone, and Perez Family cast members Marisa Tomei, Al Molino, and Chazz Palminteri would fit right in, just as Cubanos Desi Arnaz, Xavier Cugat, Cesar Romero, and, yes, even Fidel Castro could pass as Italianos; Cubans with Italian and other non-Spanish surnames are no novelty. Gilbert Roland, Jose Ferrer, Cesar Romero, Rita Moreno, Leo Carillo, Ricardo Montalban, and Anthony Quinn have played all types in their careers (which I doubt bothers Lalito).
Cubanos in many ways are as distant from Mexicans as from Anglo-Americans, as proven by Alcaraz's ignorance.
What Price Paraphernalia?
Your article on the attempt certain parties are making to censor the sale of drug paraphernalia by Haight Street merchants (“Bongs Away,” May 3) ignored a crucial point in the matter.
Drug-related violence in the Haight, like drug-related violence elsewhere, is not caused by the drugs themselves, but by the fact that they are the object of state prohibition, like booze in the 1920s and '30s.
This being the case, the problem will not be solved but rather exacerbated by adding more restrictions. Removing head pipes and bongs from the stores or making it difficult to obtain them will merely cause the equipment to be sold on the street, along with the drugs. This will increase the health risks as well as the profits of drug dealers, who will naturally charge a good markup to cover their cost and risk of doing business. The greater the amount of money involved in black-market activity will in turn attract more violence and crime.
There are ways to reduce violence, and cooperative community action by concerned citizens is one of the best. Unfortunately, the neighborhood group advocating censorship is apparently too full of its NIMBY mentality and too intent on vilifying nonviolent drug users to play any constructive role in the situation.