Letters to the Editor
Make the Call
OK, so the Mercury chooses to incessantly play cheerleader for Mayor Reed, using the numbers game. Now let's get down to the numerical explanation as to why for many of us it all rings hollow. Going to the Census data, note the following. The San Jose–Sunnyvale–Santa Clara region ranks around 31st in employment provided, behind San Francisco and Oakland. So we are 10th in the number of beds. Why have we a municipal budget problem? Who has the City Council sold its soul to? Why is the General Plan for sale to the highest bidder? Same Census, 2000–2005, our region has lost 146,000 out of around 900,000 or so jobs. Take Boston and Atlanta with more than 2 million jobs. They lost under 10,000 during this period. The fact is the Gonzales years represented a sell-off of business like no other San Jose administration has ever seen before. Yes, we with our obsession with high-tech, the downtown and high-density housing have brought in the most high-paid, highly educated foreigners, with a corresponding flight out of natives, the ones who voted all these council people in office in the first place. The net benefit—make your own call.
Thank heaven, I paid no attention to Richard von Busack's review of Paris 36 (April 8). I found it utterly charming and full of drama. It was a sentimental and nostalgic look back in time. Next time send a reviewer with some heart, not someone who is going to complain about the editing. Unless it really gets in the way of the movie I don't care about the editing. This movie deserves to be seen by anyone who loves Paris, and that would be a lot of people.
I wish the organizers of Left Coast Live all sorts of luck with their event, but I seriously doubt that a five-day festival is going to address the many roadblocks to a sustained live music scene that have sprung up in the last 15 years or so ("Sounds of the City," Cover Story, May 6).
The difference between then (First Strike, about 1985) and now is that The Powers That Be have taken an active interventionist role in preventing a serious live music scene from happening now. It's nothing that hasn't been reiterated, ad nauseam, a hundred times in this paper. We all know what they are. Gary's article addresses them.
When First Strike happened, bands like ours were playing house parties in the suburbs or frat parties on 11th Street. Then the WORKS/San Jose Gallery let us put on shows in their space-of-the-month. Then the floodgates opened when the Laundry Works started booking live local bands almost every night of the week.
Where was the city of San Jose, the SJPD, the ABC, the Downtown Association, the Chamber of Commerce, et al.? Absent. Which is precisely the reason that an organic scene happened in San Jose in the mid-to-late-'80s.
I believe if another another scene is going to happen, it's going to be because of a hands-off policy by downtown agencies, not because of their embrace.
If out-of-state egg producers don't want their eggs to rot away in the supermarkets, they should at least give their hens enough space to spread their wings. California voters overwhelmingly supported Proposition 2 because we believe that it's unethical to cram birds in tiny, filthy cages. For that reason, we should support A.B. 1437—the bill that will require out-of-state egg companies to comply with our more humane standards. I believe that the best way to help hens is to not buy eggs at all, but if A.B. 1437 passes, it will help lessen the suffering of countless hens around the country, and that's something everyone, everywhere can get behind.