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Letters to the Editor

Bringing Film Issues Into Focus

As a professional motion picture archivist, I was deeply impressed by Richard von Busack's article about the new Packard Campus of the Library of Congress's National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpepper, Va. ("Screen Saver," Cover Story, Nov. 7). In recent years, the problems associated with moving image preservation have become a popular topic for journalists who write about film. While I applaud their desire to raise public awareness about this issue, I almost invariably wince at the many inaccuracies present in their work.

Mr. Busack's piece was a welcome exception to this trend. While his article was longer than most I have read about film preservation, I thought he summarized the complicated issues surrounding problems like nitrate deterioration and the vinegar syndrome accurately and in a manner calculated not to confuse or bore the non-specialist reader. I also applauded his appreciative comments about the staff of the Library of Congress and the generosity of David Packard and the Packard Humanities Institute in providing such a splendid platform for their work.

Those of us who labor in this field are used to struggling with public and corporate indifference to the importance of preserving films and TV shows the way their makers intended them to be seen. Mr. Busack did such a good job of countering this indifference that I hope his article receives the wider distribution it deserves.

Charles Hopkins

Senior Administrator, Planning and Special Projects

UCLA Film & Television Archive Hollywood


Un-American!While I'm sure the story about the Vietnamese in San Jose politics ("Viet Power," Cover, Oct. 24) is correct, did it ever occur to you that many people voted for Madison Nguyen because of her politics? If any group of immigrants coming to this country understands the effects of Communism, this group and their offspring should. After watching many of our state and local leaders ignore what makes this country great and what some of the major threats are to our freedom, it's refreshing to observe people who can speak from experience.And then there's former Mayor Norm Mineta. To many of us who grew up in San Jose, he wasn't a "role model" for the "Asian/Pacific Islanders" community, he was an American who grew up here, served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and we trusted him.

He was probably a role model for many American people who wound up with a hyphenated name for an identity. If the media and the various government agencies started to refer to our present mayor as XXX-American Reed or City Council person as XXX-American Smith, it would become obvious how non-American this looks. Then I'll start working on being referred to as an "old fart" rather than a "senior citizen." It took me a long time to get here and I don't need a government man to give me a politically correct reference.

S.H. Livingstone

San Jose

Bionic? Whoa, Man

Re "Whose Bionics?" (Techsploits, Oct. 3): "Deeply wrong" is a major understatement. The underlying premises as Annalee has exposed them are reprehensible and revolting.

Yet another example of the terrifying retrogressive spiral our culture is trapped in these days.

Thanks for the clarification and for her column generally.

Jim Pivonka

La Crosse, Kan.

Sunday Times

I saw Strata on the cover of Metro ("Strata's Fear," Cover Story, Oct. 10). They are a good band. I have come across a local band that I think is worth listening too, as well. The band is called Red Sunday. They are honestly amazing. They are a mix of hard rock and soul. They have an amazing sound which is different from anything I have ever heard. They have a page on myspace. Please check them out, it's worth it and you won't be disappointed. Thank you for your time! I have no connection to them whatsoever, so I'm not a band member trying to promote myself. They are just honestly that good.

Sarah Beaulieu

San Jose

Reader Poetry Nook!

Democrats, Bush's bitch dog

Scurrying with its tail between

its legs

Pummeled into submission

Hiding behind locked committee


Pretending to attend to concerns

of its constituents

Acquiescing into infamy

Phillip P. Plfager


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