Take a Message
Congratulations on finally exposing Pac Bell's faulty Message Center (“Communication Breakdown,” April 12). I've been warning my friends for years about this problem, but most seemed reluctant to believe me. After all, Pac Bell advertises that calls will never be missed. They get away with lying in their ads because missed calls are hard to prove. But you have the proof in your own tests! This should be good evidence to finally nail Pac Bell as the false advertisers that they are!

Rick Rees
(former telecom engineer)
San FranciscoI

Giving P.R. a Bad Name
Whiler reading the sarcastic little slap at the Grand Hyatt employees' effort to clean up Galileo High School (Dog Bites, April 12), I had to wonder: What, exactly, are you complaining about? Is it that the Hyatt people might get some positive P.R.? Is this intrinsically bad? Because those “gun-toting kids” might be leaving “cigarette butts, condoms …”? (What a clichŽ.) Is this a reason for the business community to do nothing to help? And, after reading gratuitous, ill-informed comments like yours, those who get involved in management/employee projects like this one might just decide it's not worth their time. Ask organizations like Christmas in April or Project Open Hand if they begrudge their volunteers some good P.R. before you print items like this one. I have no link at all either to Galileo or to the Hyatt, but I absolutely support corporate volunteerism — even when they “milk the P.R. mileage” in the process.

Cathy Meyer

Cartoons: Unsafe at Any Speed
It is unfortunate when cartoonists use their forum to attack individuals, the way Smart Feller did April 5. But much more important, Eggers and Leon are busy blaming the victim instead of helping solve the porblem.

San Francisco has a big problem with pedestrian injury and death – mostly the elderly and yound children. Forty-eight of the last 114 pedestrians killed in San Francisco were over 65. Guess they didn't move fast enough for someone in a hurry. Yes, there are rude and thoughtless drivers. But only drivers have two tons of steel with which to enforce their impatience. We need more focus on people and less on moving traffic.

Bob Planthold
S.F. Pedestrian Safety Task Force

Smart Feller Brainwashed?
Smart Feller has been one of the highlights of your paper. What's happened? Another sellout? I'll make this short, just in case E&L think this is going to be one of my most serious concerns of the week. SF Weekly was never that incredible prior to the new ownership, but regarding the last several issues, yeah, I'd say the “Weakly” is sounding more appropriate. Maybe E&L should consider moving to Phoenix. Or take a bit of a vacation. Are these really the same cartoonists?

Anyway, I'm sure y'all know it better than I do — if SF Weekly stays the same as it has been lately, the city will soon be recycling a lot less newsprint. And it won't be due to the demise of the Examiner, but rather a certain lack of competition for the Guardian.

Terry Erickson
San FranciscoCalifornia

Ruffled Feathers
There appears to be some misunderstanding of the Sierra Club's position on birds and wind power (“Whirly Birds,” March 29). The Sierra Club has been the lead advocacy organization in the effort to reduce avian mortality from wind turbines, both in California and nationally. The loss of a single bird from wind turbines or any other human activity is regrettable and to be avoided if at all feasible.

The Sierra Club carefully considers every site proposed for wind development. We have opposed and will continue to oppose developments that would create unacceptable hazards for birds. We oppose further development in the Altamont area.

All energy production damages the environment; our goal must be to reduce consumption by increasing efficiency. In the meantime, global warming caused by fossil-fuel combustion is the single greatest threat to the environment, including birds. So we must also reduce human reliance on fossil and nuclear fuels by developing sustainable energy resources like solar, wind and geo-thermal.

The choices are difficult and limited. If we are to harness the wind, we must put windmills where the wind blows. The Altamont area was developed when the wind industry was in its infancy, before the threat to birds was known. Now we are older and, we hope, wiser and more cautious. Mistakes have been made, but it would be an even greater mistake to kill the wind-power industry until every effort has been made to solve the avian problems. We need nonpolluting energy resources now more than ever.

Rich Ferguson
Energy Chair, Sierra Club

Regarding “Whirly Birds”: If the birds rest on windmills because they are the highest resting point close to their prey, install a bunch of tall poles with perches on them in the field of windmills. It wouldn't cost a million bucks and it would certainly help.

Carolyn Crampton
San Francisco

Get a Grip
First we're subjected to the misogyny and anti-Semitism of your attacks on Linda McCarthy (“Bland on the Run,” Feb. 15); now in Brett Johnson's review of the new Roots CD (March 22), we have him telling us that the music of US3 is “flip-fancy limp-wristednedd.” Is homophobia and hate-mongering part of your “new look”?

The old SF Weekly may have been bland, but it didn't insult me with doltish attacks on women, Jews and gay men. I have to put up with more than enough “white male rage” in the mainstream media. I look to the alternative press for the insight, intelligence and compassion usually lacking in the Chronaminer and their ilk. You're not going to make any friends in this town if you keep printing this kind of petty shit.

Paul Connerly
San Francisco
Brett Johnson replies: I am not a white male, nor am I particularly angry. The adjectives in question were meant as a pun on song lyrics; no homophobia was intended.

Best Things on Life Ain't Free
So is this what we can look forward to? A wannabe gothic/bad jail tattoo of a logo? Cheesy, boring, straight-outta-Radio Shack home computer graphics? Local music coverage regulated to a single page? Press-release fodder movie reviews? When you virtually gutted the entire staff, you took the guts out of SF Weekly. The pagination sucks and the “new” look is already tired. To top it all off, you double the rates to access your Wild Side classifieds. Our city prides itself on sexual diversity, and then along comes your pack of Arizona-based desert rats who figure they can really nail those San Fran “sickos” for the big bucks if they're gonna deviate from the New Times' normest of norms. I expect your audience will evaporate faster than a teardrop in a Phoenix heat wave if you continue to let your guard down.

Tex Adamer, Ron Nickle
San Francisco

In “Cyberpornocopia,” the March 15 cover story on the prosecution of Robert and Carleen Thomas, the caption accompanying the photo of Robert Thomas' lawyer was inaccurate. Nolan did not imply or say that his client was “bad but not evil” and wants us to stress that any good criminal defense lawyer owes his clients his complete loyalty and thorough defense, and does not make judgments like the one attributed in the caption. We regret the error.

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