Letters to the Editor
Thanks for the article on David Knight ("Knight Dreams," Jan. 14). I met him a couple months back and have really appreciated his collaborations with Panthelion. I think his music captures the distinct spiritual, ethnic and technological dimensions present in our Silicon Valley culture.
I am writing to thank you for your running the This Modern World, (Th)ink and Slowpoke strips each and every week. Their perspectives are fresh, quirky and always thought provoking. In this world of shrinking print news and increasingly lockstep corporate news, it is important to keep this alternative form of cultural and political commentary in the public eye.
I picked up the city auditor's annual report on city government performance after the mayor's recent budget workshop. A couple of interesting observations from thumbing through it quickly.
In general, over the past five years, city service areas have added staff, with the exception of Parks & Rec, which is down 2 percent.
The police department has gone from 1,835 authorized positions in 2003/04 to 1,814 in 2007/08 but increased its spending 27 percent!
"Strategic Support" (the city's euphemism for overhead) has reduced head-count by 18 percent but increased spending by 29 percent over the last five years.
Is it any surprise that we have a budget problem?
Re "Shooting on Second Street" (Mashup, Jan. 21): Shooting an unarmed man in the face is excessive. I hope the family retains the same lawyer representing Oscar Grant's family. That cops are shooting any unarmed person in the wake of that event is sickening. Cops in England don't even have guns, but criminals do, and they still have a lower crime rate.
According to what we have heard, Marco Zuniga was shot in the abdomen, not the face. San Jose Police say that before the shooting he attacked them, while his companions say he pushed an officer away after his wife was disabled with a Taser. To see the story at San Jose Inside, go to tinyurl.com/mzuniga. –Editor
To the family of Marco Zuniga: I have been through a family member getting into trouble with the law, and I know that the media only makes a very difficult situation worse. I also know that there are two sides to every story, and then there's the truth.
I know that there are police officers who need to be removed from the force, and that there are police officers who really care and do a wonderful job. I also know from my own personal experience that family members we never thought could do something unlawful can disappoint us and act badly. I also know that because we love them, we may not be as willing to look at their shortcomings with as much honesty as others will, or do.
The same upstanding citizens that we put on a pedestal that are to keep the peace are the same ones administering the violence to the people they should be protecting. Good officers would have entered peacefully and got the story before reacting.
That corridor with Tres Gringos and the nightclub next to it always has officers ready to pounce on whoever doesn't walk across the street fast enough to the officers' liking. I myself with my wife have gone out for a nice dinner to the Loft or P.F. Chang's and come out of there and there is a wall of officers like a riot is going to occur.
Officers stick together at work, and outside of work they will fabricate among themselves to cover up what really happened. Unless it's on video (as we have seen), we will never know the truth.