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February 4-11, 2009

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Letters to the Editor

Beware the Bulghur

IN YOUR article entitled "Amber Waves of Pain" (Cover Story, Jan. 28), it is mentioned that while on the gluten-free diet, you tried couscous and bulghur. Both these items are not gluten-free. I wouldn't want the readers to believe that these items are gluten-free. Those who have to live a gluten-free lifestyle because of celiac disease shouldn't touch those!

 Betty Barfield,
North Richland Hills, Texas


Doughn't Be Foolish

WESTERN civilization thrived on beer and bread. The Glutards should pursue some other more worthwhile hobby.

Kathy Cheer,
Santa Cruz

Trip Down Memory Lane

THANK YOU for "Field Trippin'" (Feature, Jan. 28) by John Moss. I appreciated it for two reasons. First, the candid approach Mr. Moss employs when addressing his students' questions about drugs is a healthy departure from the too common "Do as I say, not as I do" tack, which clearly doesn't work.

Secondly, his story was vividly reminiscent of a fine spring day in 1968 when I, then a student at Sonoma Valley High School, decided it would be a good idea to drop acid at lunch. It wasn't. Turns out high school is not the optimal setting for that type of pursuit. Who knew?

What I did know for sure, though, was that no adult in my entire world at that time had any inkling of what I was experiencing, and it was likely that any adult attempts to "help" would be hysterical and counterproductive. Mr. Moss' students are fortunate in that regard.

Such serious issues aside, I was right there with him, walking those same streets 40 years later! Eerily synchronistic, too, that Mr. Moss sought refuge under the very same giant eucalyptus that was the place we budding hipsters would gather and yes, trip, way back when. Coincidence? Probably.

Jeff Falconer,
Aqua Caliente

Wine: A Necessity

JESSICA FROMM brings up some interesting points about the economy's effect on local wineries ("Over a Barrel," Cover Story, Jan. 21). She then loses her credibility by referring to wine in general as a "luxury good" that no one will buy in a weak economy. On the contrary, there are good and bad wines at all price ranges, including "luxury," and plenty of help available to find good affordable ones.

A glass of wine is not a luxury, it's a way to connect with the people who share it and the ones who made it. Maybe if this country had been settled by fewer Puritans and more Italians, we would have a healthier outlook and remember that wine is food and a source of great pleasure, not just an indulgence of the elite.

Joel Schaefer,
Santa Cruz

RVB is W-A-C-K

I HAVE BEEN ignoring Richard von Busack's off-the-wall film reviews for years, including his recent descent into almost total negativity and sarcasm. His review of Frost/Nixon (Film, Jan. 21) is trivial, almost silly, if he wasn't being paid to write it. Frank Langella's performance as the disgraced president is spot-on, deep, moving and disturbing.

Perhaps Richard failed to view the last 30 minutes of the film, when Nixon was caught red-handed and all but admitted his guilt. Go see this film, and as a general rule, if RvB dislikes a movie, definitely see it.

John Gamman,
Santa Cruz

Last week we mislabeled the photos in our article on the Santa Cruz Chamber Players ('Baroque Masterpiece,' Arts). Jonathan Salzedo, pictured in the upper right-hand corner, directs the SCCP and alto Jerry Hui is pictured at bottom. We regret the error.

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