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Gavi-reaction
Dear George ("The Catheter") Cothran, and John ("Hecklin' John") Mecklin,
It was never easy growing up with a name like Gavin. As a child, when I used parliamentary procedure to lobby the winning kickball team to pick me at recess, they call me "Groveling Gavin." Later, when my music career as DJ Gavin G. was taking off, someone pointed out my last initial was actually N. It was all quite Gavi-scarring.

Still, your frat-boy spoken word column ("Gavi-Davi-Pyyeeewwww," Sept. 3) gave me a real chuckle. Unfortunately, the Gavicorrector needs to respond to a couple of glaring Gavinaccuracies which seriously distort the truth about my record.

1) The inspection fee increases of $15 and $38 that I opposed applied to restaurants of 1,000 square feet or less. My restaurant is over 1,000 square feet. The fee exemption would not have applied to my restaurant. The exemption actually benefits my competitors, not me. Look it up on my permit.

2) The push to allow alcohol service at restaurant tables on the sidewalk came from a large number of restaurants -- at the request of customers who were dismayed they could not drink a glass of wine with dinner if seated at sidewalk tables, rather than inside a restaurant. Larger restaurants already have lines for dinner. If this legislation (and I question that it would) increases anyone's business by encouraging lines, it is for smaller restaurants (the same ones who benefit from the fee exemption). Thousands and thousands of San Franciscans depend on restaurants for weekly paychecks to pay rent, phone bills, and other necessities. Helping small, locally owned businesses helps maintain San Francisco's spirit of diversity and independence.

3) I opposed Supervisor Susan Leal's plan to duplicate state regulation of "bad bars" because it was exactly that -- duplicate regulation. It would have incurred more cost to enact and staff, and would have come straight out of the pockets of local business owners at a rate of $50 per establishment. The state is already charged with enforcing alcohol laws. As I understand it, Supervisor Leal is currently working with the state to crack down on these "bad bars." It seems to me a wiser solution to go through existing channels than create a new redundant agency. You get faster solutions working with experienced people who know what they are doing.

Guys, what disappoints me most is that you wasted great comedy material by supplementing it with second-rate research. There is no knife quite as sharp as humor. Next time, don't dull it with inaccuracies and lazy writing.

The Gavivisor (aka Gavin Newsom)
Board of Supervisors
San Francisco

"Hecklin' John" Mecklin and George "The Catheter" Cothran respond: The Gavicorrector has not told the full story about Point No. 1. He initially opposed a package of restaurant inspection fee increases, including those applying to his establishments. Ultimately, he was able to block only a fee increase that did not affect his restaurant. Points 2 and 3 seem, to us, to be matters of interpretation rather than factual accuracy.

Old in Their Way
"The Elderly Problem" (Slap Shots, Aug. 27) should have been headed "Jack Boulware's Problem," for the author's patently ageist attitude. Your editorial desk should have returned this article to him, perhaps with the oatmeal cookie he complains about so bitterly, to settle his obvious anxiety about aging.

His concept of irreverently correct (wink) political incorrectness merely targets a group that is currently being demonized as a gang of greedy geezers, largely by conservative propagandists who would like to see Social Security money poured into the stock market.

Boulware -- and your readers -- could learn a lot about "the best [that] is yet to be" in elderhood by reading Studs Terkel's Coming of Age. It's about lifelong activists aged 70 or older who are still rocking boats for the benefit of everyone.

Paul Kleyman, Editor
Aging Today
San Francisco

Good Gravy
Sad to see your cheap shot at Wavy Gravy ("As Phony as a $3 Bill," Robert Arriaga, Riff Raff, Sept. 10). A pseudo-celebrity? Wavy is more real than SF Weekly will ever be.

George Franklin
Castro

A Curran Affair
Apparently SF Weekly is more interested in inventing stories than reporting them. Phyllis Orrick's latest Unspun column ("Fall of the House of Love," Sept. 10) on our Summer of Love coverage was not only factually inaccurate, she went out of her way to exclude facts I provided at her request.

Orrick hasn't returned my two recent phone calls, and I'm not surprised. During our 20-minute interview she always stopped typing whenever I made a relevant rebuttal point that didn't fit her obvious editorial slant.

One thing Orrick and her editors didn't want readers to know -- even after the interview and my subsequent voice-mail message providing the info she asked for -- was that I told her exactly when I had called her writer (who never returned calls). Perhaps Orrick didn't have time to confirm those dates with him because she waited three weeks after my column ran, before calling me less [sic] a day before her deadline.

I also provided Orrick with names and home phone numbers of sources who told me they were misquoted in the Weekly's original story. No one has contacted them about their complaints, so I guess the Weekly doesn't care about the credibility of its reporting.

Orrick also refused to include any real quotes from her interview with me or my follow-up response. For the record, here's the rebuttal quote Orrick chose not to run:

"Although I respect every editor who sticks up for their [sic] reporters, in this case you'd be irresponsible to run these claims. First and foremost, they're factually inaccurate. Second, you waited nearly three weeks to call me, and then called less than a day before you're going to the press. Since I had no correspondence from you guys since John Mecklin called right after my column came out on August 20 (even though Mecklin, Orrick, and Stark each had both my home and office phone numbers), I can only conclude you're not interested in getting at the truth of either this or your first story. Your time (and your column space) could have been better spent recontacting the angry sources to confirm or correct the facts of a story that was suspect from the start."

I've spoke [sic] with Mecklin about the absolute need to maintain professional standards of reporting between our competing papers. But the first chance Weekly editors and writers had to prove their commitment, they deliberately chose not to.

Ron Curran, Senior Editor
San Francisco Bay Guardian

John Mecklin responds: I have carefully reviewed the Unspun column to which Mr. Curran refers and find no errors or distortions in it.

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