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July 26-August 1, 2006

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Letters to the Editor

Housing Problem Not 'Either, Or'

When thinking about the problem of homelessness in our community ("Housing When?," MetroNews, July 5), it's important to remember that each homeless person's story is different, and we need a wide variety of flexible solutions to address those different situations.

People become homeless for many different reasons. Some families become homeless due to a sudden change in circumstances; one medical emergency or job loss can mean the difference between paying rent and living on the street. For these families, a small intervention can quickly move them back into a stable position. People with serious disabilities or chronic conditions need a different type of service.

We need comprehensive solutions that match people with the right kind of help. Emergency shelters, housing first programs, transitional housing, permanently affordable homes and long-term supportive services are all important parts of the package.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to homelessness. Looking at the range of possible services, it's not a question of "either/or" but one of "both/and." We should all let our elected officials know that providing resources for the full range of solutions is a priority for the community.

Stephanie Schaaf, San Jose

Just Get Over Meat

I really don't understand it.

Stett Holbrook ("The Whole Story?," Live Feed, June 28) has the answer right in front of him, yet he prefers to remain conflicted about his food choices. Just get it over with, and go vegan.

Once you get the hang of it, there's no looking back, and you don't have to worry about whether "humanely raised" actually means anything.

Eric Prescott, Los Angeles

What Part Is Compassionate?

Re "The Whole story?" by Stett Holbrook: Mr. Holbrook raises the most important question of all regarding the eating of flesh, and I also ask, how can someone possibly call the cold-blooded killing of an innocent, sentient individual "animal compassionate," "humane," "happy meat" or any other absurd euphemism?

Since it has been long established by medical researchers, countless nutritional experts, and scientists (and confirmed by prima facie evidence—many millions of vegans and vegetarians living healthy, full lives) that there is no biological requirement in the human body for animal flesh, it's clear to understand that the defense of meat eating for the vast majority of people in modern societies is habit, ignorance, or indifference and is what drives people to consume animal flesh—not out of necessity at all (although, 14 years ago, as an ignorant person, I robustly defended my meat-eating habit, brainwashed very well by my well-intentioned parents and a school system imbedded with meat and dairy industry influence and printed propaganda).

Next time you see the eviscerated vestiges and body parts of animals placed in sanitized-looking Styrofoam trays labeled "animal compassionate" in your local store, ask yourself, "What part of the ultimate level of violence, killing, is compassionate?"

Louis Gedo, Flushing, N.Y.

Regarding Raviolis

Re "Saratoga Unchained" (Menu, June 14). About Pianto raviolis, my mom used to buy them when I was little, and no matter where I've lived I have friends send me boxes of them. I've never found any to compare except for the ones my Italian grandma made. I love them french-fried in olive oil—drain on a paper towel, then sprinkle Parmesan cheese on them, use tooth picks to dip them in marinara or the sauce he sells with the raviolis. Oh. the raviolis should be fried to a golden brown; it is so good!

Silvia Johnson, Oregon City, Oregon

Accuracy Is Coming to the USA

Can somebody please inform Richard von Busack that Rufus Wainwright's sister is called Martha ("Monk of Doom," Film Review, July 19)? (The one also appearing in Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, anyway; he has half-sisters called Lucy and Lexi. Lucy is currently appearing with him at several European festivals.)

Danny Mac, Via email

Richard von Busack replies: That great composer of songs of shame and guilt, whom I have been listening to since I was a wretched adolescent in Culver City in 1974, could not sing a song of apology gloomy enough to cover the missteps in my review of 'Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man." Perla Batalla NOT Beth Orton sings 'Suzanne.' Back when I was enjoying Loudon 'Loudy' Wainwright III at the Santa Monica Civic in 1976, I never dreamed that the fruit of his loins would stir up so much trouble for me three decades later. It is MARTHA not Sarah Wainwright, but I am now a huge fan of her whatever she chooses to call herself. It is, of course, 'Hallelujah' (not 'Alleluia'; the Latin variant somehow stuck in my memory). And, finally, although no one has mentioned it, I might as well confess that the fabulous soul singer is Antony, not Anthony. I have learned now that Leonard Cohen fans may act gentle, but they are a deadly fighting force when they bunch up on you.

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