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Letters to the Editor

The Acid King

The trouble with any review by Richard von Busack is that he is so intent on being acid and witty that the reader will have a difficult time discovering whether the film under review (in this case, "Defiance," MetroFilm, Jan. 14) is worth seeing.

In spite of RvB's gratuitous shots at writer-director Edward Zwick ("exudes humanism like a blintz exudes cheese") and actor ("the bull-calf") Liev Schrieber, I went to see the film.

It is quite a good "true story" film, getting a pretty accurate sense of what life was like for the Bielski brothers and their group of Jewish partisans fighting to keep themselves and hundreds of women and children alive in Belarus for three years following the German invasion and the commencement of mass murders abetted by local collaborators.

Daniel Craig's star turn as Tuvia Bielski should assure a wider audience for the film, shot largely in Lithuania, and getting many of the details of life on the run in the Lipiczanska forest spot on. I hope RvB's review will not keep your readers from seeing a very realistic dramatization of a true story.

Joel Neuberg


A Human Face

Wonderful, wonderful article ("The Great Escape,' Cover Story, Dec. 10). This is the little known or unacknowledged truth for many people in this valley. Thank you for putting a human face on the "illegal immigration problem."

Susan Price

San Jose

Oklahoma Says OK

What a wonderful article from Gary Singh on Paul Zarzyski and Gordon Stevens ("Suburban Cowboy," Cover Story, Jan. 14). Gordo is my cousin's (Judy Stevens) husband, and he deserves all the accolades he can get. He has given a lot of great music and talent to our world over his lifetime, especially in the past 25 years or so. I sure hope to see him in many articles over the years to come. Judy is always so good at keeping me in touch with your articles.

Don Davis

Tulsa, Okla.

Wine Wars

I find it almost offensive that the wine producers in the Santa Cruz region would attempt to assert that we have an ethical responsibility to support boutique wineries that charge upward of $40 per bottle ("The Wine Dilemma," Cover Story, Jan. 7). Why should we feel any ethical responsibility toward producers of luxury goods; they have chosen to build a business model around the willingness of consumers to pay premium prices for premium product.

The responsibility actually lies with the business owner to produce a product that consumers want to buy and charge a price that consumers are willing to pay. Instead of trying to guilt the consumer into purchasing their product on ethical grounds, the wineries should be thinking about introducing lower priced offerings that complement their premium brands.

In an economic downturn consumers will be more focused on value, and producers that provide the best value for the money will win.

Leigh Hunt

Mountain View

Going South

My wife's co-worker showed me Jessica Fromm's book review of South Santa Clara Valley (Books, Sept. 24). It is indeed a nice gesture.

I believe in documenting what I see as we go through our life. The motivation of publishing it is to share it with others about the transformation of the valley.

Arcadia Publishing has asked me to continue sharing with another book, Silicon Valley, for 2009. It is essentially about how the rest of Santa Clara evolved.

Thank you so much.

Sam Shueh


Emissions Control

Interesting paper, thanks. As a resident from very near the Cupertino cement plant (News, Jan. 7), I can tell you that many of us are concerned as much with CO2 emissions as we are with the white, constant small dust that covers our cars and plants and, I assume, slowly fills up our lungs.

That a plan is in place for 2020 is nice—immediate action to prevent us from breathing that would be even better. If the cost is too high for them to be sure we are safe, that's too bad. What's the cost of one life, by the way?

Philippe R. Timothee