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October 4-10, 2006

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Letters to the Editor

Best of Times

Thanks for the Best of Silicon Valley issue (Sept. 20). In addition to providing the followers of the weekly paper with a vast guide, your cover models truly represent the best of the valley.

Brian Rodgers, San Jose

Call Her a Gab

Re "Best of Willow Glen" (Sept. 20): Wow! What a pleasant surprise it was to find my blog, "Taxi Vignettes," in Metro and chosen for best local blogger.

Joann Landers, San Jose

You're welcome, Joann, and don't think we (as regular readers) didn't see your blog entry on the subject. We thought the coolest part was that you randomly discovered that you'd won while flipping through Metro between fares! —Editor

Locking Horns On ElksCoverage

Upon reading your recent article "Got Elk?" (Silicon Alleys, Sept. 6), I asked myself two questions. Who would write such a negative article with an obviously uninformed member as a source of information? And who would be so foolish as to print the article?

Most people do not know what the Elks stand for, and probably don't even care. However, there are a few select people that do care very much and have dedicated all their spare time and energy to this organization. I would like to enlighten your reporter about the character and spirit of some of these people that he likens to the Flintstones.

While it is true that the building does not have the most updated equipment and furniture, etc., this is not relevant to what the organization does. What the Elks do is what is important, and they do the following:

1. Provide scholarships for deserving students—this lodge alone has provided thousands of dollars every year for the "Most Valuable Student" awards.

2. California Hawaii Elks Association, of which this lodge is part of, provides thousands of dollars for children with various disabilities.

3. Elks National Foundation: this lodge gave over $10,000 this last year and this money goes toward helping children in soccer leagues, scouting, drug awareness programs, etc.—the list goes on and on.

4. Every year our lodge (all by itself) gives between $28,000 and $30,000 to different charities in the community and sponsors Scout troops, soccer leagues, Campfire girls, etc.

The above are just a minor few of the actual monies that are disbursed. What most people do not understand is that the Elks' strength is in our volunteers. These are the Elk members that come to the lodge and do not come for the "swimming pool and bar facility" or ask what they can "get" out of this organization. These are the people who join with the attitude of what I "do" to help in my community. How can I give back?

These are Elks who work tirelessly on programs for our War Veterans. These are the men and women who stand on their feet for hours cooking and volunteering without complaining or being compensated by money. Their compensation is feeling good about doing something for others. These are the committee members who rolled up their pant legs when we had a flood and dug all the mud out of the lodge and helped clean the creek.

So next time your reporter feels the need to judge something or someone, he might want to stop and think and take another look, because the same people that he is making fun of for their jukebox and old furniture and Elks head on the wall are the very same people who go and clean up Highway 87 every Saturday for no pay and help keep his freeway system free of debris. Some of these members are in their 80s and are out in the sun serving their community just for the sheer pleasure of doing the right thing. I think your reporter should also try to do the right thing by printing an apology to the San Jose Elks Lodge #522 for his complete lack of sensitivity for putting such negativity out into the universe. He needs to learn that the disease of negativity can only yield one result, that being more negativity.

Millie Messieno, Office Manager, San Jose Elks Lodge #522

Nice Break From Snark

Thank you for publishing Steve Bhaerman's feature on David Ray Griffin ("Unquestioned Answers," Cover Story, Sept. 6). What a refreshing break from the snarky articles that pass for journalism on the issue of the 9/11 Truth movement.

The questions about 9/11 that continue to go unanswered by this administration are the proverbial elephant in America's living room that the media has pretended not to see. It's good to know that someone has the courage to report what is really happening. Reporting is, after all, a publisher's job.

Keep up the good work.

Martha Lawrence, Escondido

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