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December 6-12, 2006

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Letters to the Editor

Winding Road Saga

The supporters of preserving the name "King Road" ("Petty Cash," The Fly, Nov. 22) are a broad-based rainbow coalition including NAACP President Rick Callendar, local businesses, historians, the Baptist Church (on King Road), community folks and Latino leaders. Anyone who was at the community meetings would see the rainbow of broad community support to preserve local history. As Metro broke the story, the Fly should check its history to find the facts. Come on, check your history for consistency!

Name Withheld by Request, San Jose

Note: Metro broke the story about the controversy in the Oct. 16, 2003, article 'Street Fight.'—Editor

Superfan on Shame

Re "Hall of Shame" gift guide ("Superfans," Cover, Nov. 29): Bee-yootiful piece on SJ's rejection of the Earthquakes soccer team. The Quakes were everything a sports team should be—too bad it took Houston to recognize it.

I am one of a big crowd of Bay Area soccer fans still wandering around in disbelief. Where's my team? I guess its no surprise my SF soccer clan isn't spending a lot of time and money in San Jose anymore.

Congrats to DeRosario, Ching, Kinnear and the rest of the guys, who badly wanted to stay here in SJ. It pains me to say it, but you deserved better and you got it.

Sean McIntyre, San Francisco

Radical Reading

Thank you for your review of Radical Innocent (Book Box, Oct. 11), which I just finished after three years spent in reading the 12 Lanny Budd books.

You mention nostalgia in your article, and I have to say that it is a feeling I very often had reading the astonishing adventures of the sensitive Lanny Budd, who I met through a British war edition of Dragon's Teeth. After desperately searching for the rest of the novels, my kind husband found the entire collection in a 1970s paperback edition and offered it to me for Christmas. My longest-lasting gift ever, and many delightful moments which reminded me of my youth when I had discovered Les Thibault by Roger Martin du Gard.

Being French, it is for me much more difficult to evaluate the literary quality of Upton Sinclair than it would be for a native English speaker, although I really did enjoy Sinclair's prose. I was, as well, very admiring of the accuracy and correctness of the many French sentences you find through the novels. Above all, the world Sinclair was describing sounded to me sadly and shockingly similar to ours and I felt very close to his many worries.

Many times, along my reading, I wondered if these beautiful books would ever leave the "book barn" David Denby mentions in his review of Radical Innocent in The New Yorker (not one mention of the Lanny Budds novels in his 10,000 words boring article—I couldn't help feeling somewhat irritated by what sounds to me like snobbish contempt from the "literary establishment" towards an author whose generous ideas deserve more, especially in regards to the general literary quality of what is being published nowadays).

But which publisher in the world would take the financial risk to re-publish 12 extremely dense novels whose major traits would still sound too much "pink." A true pity for the new generations indeed.

Aline Junko, Prague, Czech Republic

In Search of 'In Search Of'

Re the review of "In Search of the Valley" (Nov. 15): Having participated in several TV documentaries on Silicon Valley, I would like to give my perspective on Steven O'Hear's In Search of the Valley reviewed in this week's Metro by Richard von Busack.

Imagine discovering a love poem written by a faraway admirer to your partner with whom you've had a difficult, day-in-day-out relationship. Watching this film is like that to someone who got his first Silicon Valley job in 1967.

The fact that O'Hear, confined to a wheelchair with serious physical challenges, states at the outset that his life would have been impossible without microprocessors, puts a special angle on the story.

And the story is told, correctly I believe, for the benefit of those outside the Valley who hear strange things and expect to encounter super-wealthy super-beings. Sure, they don't give a scientifically accurate cross-sectional picture, but that's not the point.

It's not really for us, but it's good for my soul, at least, to see this view of us. I hope Steve will come back and take some more looks at other aspects of Silicon Valley.

Lee Felsenstein, Palo Alto

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