Thanks for the mo' better anti-war coverage: I was pleasantly surprised to read your feature "Not Your Mother's Peace Movement" [Nov. 6]. You approached the topic with objectivity and probed intelligently. Could this be a trend toward less anti-progressive diatribes and more intelligent reporting on issues the majority of San Franciscans care about?
Outta my comfort zone: Regarding "Not Your Mother's Peace Movement," I am not a great expert on movements, but I attended both demonstrations in San Francisco, the one on Oct. 6, and the other on Oct. 26. The Oct. 6 demo was sponsored primarily by the coalition Not in Our Name, the Oct. 26 by ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism). ANSWER is quite a bit more strident than Not in Our Name. I feel much more comfortable with Not in Our Name.
ANSWER has facets I disagree with, but I attended both demonstrations because I am against war in Iraq, as were all of the many thousands of others in San Francisco. Being against the war is the point.
Ardys De Lu
More, more!: Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the feature article "Not Your Mother's Peace Movement." Please have more articles like this (and possibly one on why there's not more media coverage of pro-peace events).
The man's a prophet, you dolts!: While it's expected that the religiously flippant SF Weekly would take every opportunity to mock its rigidly principled competitor, Len Albin's tacit dismissal of public power is shortsighted and anti-consumer ["Municipalizing Bruce," Postscript, Nov. 13].
However one interprets the Raker Act, San Francisco could hardly do worse than to continue a relationship with an arrogant, parasitic monopoly. In 1996, PG&E pushed hard for deregulation, claiming that it would lower rates. Yet when the initial profits from deregulation came in, PG&E kicked the money upstairs to its parent company, rather than lower the cost for ratepayers.
In 2001, when deregulation failed miserably, instead of recouping these monies from the highly profitable parent company, PG&E had the gall to pass the costs on to consumers, who were never hot about deregulation to begin with. Millions of dollars in distorted attack ads and no small amount of help from the stunningly inept San Francisco Department of Elections have helped PG&E survive two elections by the skin of their teeth, but their days are numbered.
Eventually 51 percent of the voters will wake up and eject PG&E, and Bruce Brugmann's zealous crusade will be seen as nothing more than a natural evolution long overdue.
Berkeley's infected, too: I always enjoy Matt Smith's articles on housing and NIMBYs, which is why I'm surprised he hasn't talked about what's been going on over in Berkeley ["Life Is Change," Matt Smith, Nov. 6].
The NIMBYs here had put on the ballot a Measure P, which would have restricted buildings to just two stories along major transit corridors (i.e., it would have discouraged development in the places it makes the most sense).
Anyway, the measure lost big time (it only got 20 percent of the vote). But something that hasn't really been mentioned is how the NIMBYs have infiltrated the Northern Alameda chapter of the Sierra Club.
It is very telling that a major environmental organization refused to take a position on Measure P. That is because there are a lot of NIMBYs on the club's executive committee who are in favor of the measure.
And in case you think this was just a one-time fluke, consider the executive committee's 4-3 vote in 1999 to oppose striping bike lanes on Marin Avenue in Albany because (I swear I am not making this up) they said bike lanes would cause pollution. They said it was essential to maintain Marin Avenue as a "high-speed arterial for cars" and nothing (not bikes or pedestrians) should get in their way.
The Sierra Club is now having elections for the executive committee, and the NIMBYs are running a full slate of candidates.
Watch out, Ma: I'm astounded that self-infatuated Matt Smith could find someone to love other than himself. I'm horrified that he will continue writing for SF Weekly. Now that he is married, I expect his mother-in-law to become the victim of one of his smug, know-it-all, ineptly researched yellow-journalism hit pieces.
We enjoyed it, too: I wanted to thank you for your coverage of the "Russian River Massacre" ["Massacre Under the Redwoods," Night Crawler, Oct. 30]. It was a blast. Thank you for your contribution.
Love and rockets,
The article "Not Your Mother's Peace Movement" (Nov. 6) inadvertently -- and wrongly -- suggested that the group International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), which helped arrange several recent and quite peaceful anti-war protests, has ties to violent protest. SF Weekly apologizes for the mischaracterization of the group.