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January 31-February 6, 2007

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Letters to the Editor

Hold Feinstein Accountable

Re "Senator Feinstein's Iraq Conflict" (Cover Story, Jan. 24): I am glad to see Peter Byrne unleashed once again on a hunt for evidence of graft and corruption continually squashed by larger papers and most other media far less courageous in the San Francisco Bay Area.

He has yet again done a superb job here, and frankly, we all need to call for the senator's removal, before press coverage across the country forces us to act—if we actually care and know how to remove officials using the system for familial personal gain, as he well proves.

Janet Campbell, San Francisco

Sever the Cord

Any in Congress who have a conflict of interest, questionable behavior, or an ethical problem, should be dismissed from any committee that is related to that problem. Senator Feinstein is only one example. There are probably others with similar problems. The umbilical cord to special interests must be severed. We must elect people who are public servants and not corrupt politicians.

Joseph Rizzuto, Los Gatos

Many Bad Choices in Santiago Death

Congratulations on excellent reporting by Najeeb Hasan regarding the death of Donald Santiago ("Mismanaged Care," MetroNews, Jan. 17). Your story was much more informative than those published in the Oakland Tribune.

Donald died because the group home he was assigned to was negligent, but the court hearing which forced him into that group home was a farce. Donald was non-verbal with a mental age of two and easily manipulated by people charged with moving the residents out of Agnews. The claim that he wanted to move was highly suspect, but the judge refused to hear any evidence to the contrary. The public defender who was supposed to represent Donald failed his duty to his client. Judge and public defender should also be held accountable for this tragedy.

Frank Boxall, Lincoln, Calif.

Your Turn, Heathers

We are writing regarding the Jan. 10 Silicon Alleys by Gary Singh which featured the girls' drinking group, "The Heathers." While we are flattered that your paper has referred to us as a "secret society," we do not by definition act as an organization where the members of which take secret initiation oaths, share secret passwords and rites, etc., although this definition makes us want to go out and get funny hats, build a tree house, and come up with a secret handshake. Really, we don't even qualify for the "secret" part—we're really not that hard to spot in the local Downtown San Jose dive bar scene, as we're not exactly known to quietly sip ladylike cocktails. Instead, it amazes us that we do not bleed whiskey at times. The Heathers are the girls serving you your drinks as well as sitting next to you at the bar.

While it is true that we have been known to imbibe a little too frequently by normal standards, members of this organization have careers and in some cases husbands, children, and the other somewhat outdated social measures for a successful female existence. Whereas the article referred to us as women in our 20s, the actual age range is from the early 20s to the late 30s. We're not always out and not every Heathers night could be filmed for Girls Gone Wild. As a collective, we operate just as any other group of friends in that our relationships continue to function outside of bars. Individually as well, we continue to function outside of bars however, the more sensational story would of course be how we behave in the bars on a night that we're "in it to win it."

For years, drinking organizations populated by men have existed and continue today. It is worth mentioning that this summer marks the 10-year anniversary of the San Jose Drunx. However, if an article was to be published about any of these male drinking organizations, it is unlikely that their dating habits would be mentioned. Our "application" to date a Heather is simply our way of spelling out our propensity to find the biggest loser in the room, fall in love with him, and let him break our heart all before last call and maybe it is a romantic thought to think we're more than a gaggle of drunk girls with horrible taste in men. It can be said of any other of our female peers that at this stage in our lives, Mr. Right has proved to be somewhat elusive but because we put it out there in a blog, it was singled out and used as the basis of the article. In plain English, we are laughing at ourselves and the Mr. No-Where-Near-Rights that each of us have dated along the way.

To make it very clear, we do not take ourselves seriously so we ask that you do not either. If people begin to take us seriously, it limits the amount of fun we can have as the level of seriousness applied is equal to the amount of drama and we'd like to keep drama to a minimum. Thanks. We do not operate under a gang mentality that allows for exclusion and territorial marking; instead we operate under the basic principles of friendship and alcohol. We have even at times intervened when we felt one of our own was drinking too much despite our public persona of being bar bound regulars.

It can be said, you never really know someone until you drink with them—the Heathers can drink and because the Heathers drink, the Heather's friendships began in the bars but will continue for a lifetime.

The Heathers, San Jose

Redwood City Homecoming

Re "Rebirth of Redwood City" (Cover Story, Jan. 10): I am a 65-year-old who attended Lincoln, McKinley and Sequoia schools! Every Saturday we used to stand in a long line just to see the matinee at the Fox Theater. I'd go to the creamery afterwards for a scoop of orange sherbert or a root beer float! My home was on Edgewood Road and the Alameda, not far from where the Hospital was constructed, which I watched happen! It was a wonderful town to grow up in as a child. I left town upon graduation and really have not been back. This article makes me anxious to return to see the new venue.

Carolyn Ball, Encinitas

After AfterDark

Re "Forbidden Flicks" (Cult Leader, Nov. 15): Does Steve Palopoli know if these movies (AfterDark Horrorfest '06) are available for purchase on DVD? If so, where? Thank you!

A representative from the firm representing HorrorFest says the films will be released on DVD in March by Lions Gate.—Editor

He's a Cave Man

Great to hear that the Cave is coming back ("A Cave for All Ages," Jan. 17). Obviously, there are not enough venues for under-21 bands or fans, really an enormous lack in a city this size. With the closing of the Gaslighter in Campbell, younger bands are extremely limited in where they can play, to say nothing of their fans. To see why these venues are so necessary, go see a show—the creativity, originality, raw energy, and often, huge talent are inspiring. And the audience for these shows gets to go out, see a show, see friends, meet new friends, and have a great time in a venue that is overall positive and drug-free. Kudos to the promoters and MACLA for helping make this happen. And as an added benefit, the venue is one where the white kids and the Mexican kids of all neighborhoods of San Jose can rub shoulders and share their passion for musical energy.

Tim Wallace, San Jose

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