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Letters to the Editor

Name Game

Thank you for highlighting my parents' important work in this great article! ("Sowing Seeds," Live Feed, March 11.) The correct name of the organization that gave them a grant is the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Sarah Kishler
Mountain View

In the Air

Junior Johnson's death was extremely sad ("Fraternity Life & Death," MetroNews, March 4). I know it's hard on the parents but it appears they have no basis to say that the housemates had anything to do with it, especially with such certainty. But the reason I am writing is that I'd like to clarify a main point in the article, that the height of the pipe was lower then his height. This was one of several items in the article raising possible doubt that it may not be a suicide.

I once came across a "hanging suicide" while running on the Los Gatos Creek trail. The fence was only about 4–5-feet high, and I found him leaning forward and on his knees, which I found odd. When I talked to the cop a few weeks later, he explained to me that one is quite capable of dying from lack of oxygen without hanging "in the air." Merely by the pressure over a length of time a person can eventually pass out and then die. Add drugs or alcohol to the mix, and it probably makes it more likely to occur. In fact, it might even further point to it being a suicide because someone left that way might have been capable of reducing the pressure on the neck or escaping if their feet partially touched the ground.

While I don't know for sure what really happened I thought that it was something that should be pointed out.

John Formale
San Jose

Who's an Expert?

When did Wiggsy Sivertsen appoint herself SJSU's resident police detective? She was way out of line and out of her element, accusing Denise Johnson of inciting false murder allegations, and condemning the Spartan Daily for running an article questioning the events that led to Junior Johnson's death, and the possible role of the fraternity brothers. Had she checked the facts before making such damaging conclusions to the press, she would know that the case is still under investigation, and as the article states, autopsy reports are inconclusive.

The only statements made without any merit are Sivertsen's own and Metro's decision to treat her as an independent expert when clearly she is not.

Saadia Malik
San Jose

Wine Wonder

I liked this writeup ("The Nose Knows," Wine Column, March 11), as it spoke to me, a general wine drinker. I am not a "wine connoisseur" so the information was helpful. I would like to see more articles like this—educational and not condescending. It's always nice to be a little knowledgeable during a dinner or wine party.

N. Sheffield
San Jose

Dress It Up

I loved the article on dressing up for Valentine's Day ("Standing Tall," Style, Feb. 11). I am single and 52 and think that it is very important to "dress it up." In these days of casual flirtations, we don't dial it up enough! Both men and women should really think twice about what they wear as it does add to attitude and sauciness.

Thanks, Alexis, for putting this into words. It is refreshing to be more proactive about style.

Cynthia Jensen

High IQ

I'm writing in response to Patricia Gasant's ignorant rant about the IQ of marijuana users ("Joint Responsibility," Letters, March 4). I am a professional with a master's degree. I am a marijuana smoker. My smoke cypher includes lawyers and Ph.D.s. We are all over 30. We usually get together for an organic/vegetarian dinner with good wine and good cannabis. We discuss the economy, politics, family, who's finishing or defending a dissertation, and who's studying for the bar. I have found that marijuana smokers, whether for medical reasons or pleasure, are more intelligent and responsible than users of other substances.

It's ignorant people like Ms. Gasant who stereotype smokers from Hollywood movies and bad anti-drug campaigns. Maybe Ms. Gasant should join our cypher and become educated. Who knows, maybe she'll get a contact high IQ.

San Jose

A Hoot

I don't read Metro on a regular basis but this article ("Kings of Karaoke," Cover Story, March 4) was a hoot. I'll definitely be back on a more regular basis.

Peter Polito
Clayton, Calif.