Letters to the Editor
It Couldn't Happen Here
Re "Prius, Schmius" (Cover, Dec. 12): Erin Sherbert misses the mark with her pleas for more public transit. Mass transit works well in urban areas, which were built out prior to the advent of the automobile (i.e., Europe, parts of the eastern United States). Here in the west, we didn't build roadways around cities—we built cities around roadways, and encouraged a heterogenous mix of residential and business development, often with urban areas lacking any sort of central hub. It is thus physically impossible to make mass transit viable here. Our transportation problems will be overcome once we come to terms with this unpleasant fact, stop pouring billions into a system Sherbert herself states only 5 percent of us use on a regular basis, and make the best of the road system we're stuck with.
Don't Rail On RailRe "Prius, Schmius": How ironic that your cover story spends pages wringing its hands, wondering what we can do to make public transportation more hip, when only pages before your editorial cartoon incorrectly lampoons VTA's light rail system as inconvenient and largely vacant. The light rail system is very handy for an awful lot of people, apparently, and I can't tell you how many times I've ridden it and all that's left is standing room. I know the artist likes to take cheap shots, but at least encourage accuracy, if not responsibility, you know?
Lock Up Your Daughters
Re "Toy Trouble" (Cover Story, Dec. 5): The toxic toy story was a great read. I really had no idea how bad lead is for you. Although I think the article should have had a different title. I was thinking "China Is Trying to Kill Our Children."
Look Closely at Housing Data
The statement by Beverley Bryant of the Home Builders Association on page 16 of the Nov. 14 Metro ("Twilight Zoning," MetroNews) is nonsense. If, for example, a builder builds 10 homes to offer at $500,000 each, and is required to offer one of them at $200,000, then distributing the $300,000 deficit among the other nine homes would raise their price to $533,333, nothing like the $700,000 in Bryant's quote.
Regarding the "sparring data" on the same page: it's perfectly possible that both sides are correct—i.e., that inclusionary zoning both results in a larger number of affordable housing units and increases the price and reduces the supply of market-rate housing.
For the record: I'm a long-time owner of a moderately priced (but market-rate) home in Silicon Valley, with no connections to the housing industry.
L Peter Deutsch
Justice For All Unseen
Re "Scene Unseen," Cover Story, Nov. 14): No offense to your article, as it does justice to the ever-forgotten scene, but there could have been a few more pages, names and more info. Even before Cactus and the Laundry works was the Spartan pub at SJSU, which by the way if you check old Metro listings had bands five nights a week and free; I paid them well for the time, anywhere from $100 to $700 a night. We had local and touring bands, some maybe not as famous, but they came, as did the people. You wrote stories about the place, as did the Merc and Bam, and a few other rags, but there were more than just that. What about the Cabaret, One(dump)Step Beyond and a host of other characters behind the scene, (Phil Tiger), the stations that also supported them besides KFJC, KSJS and the B-side, KSCU and a few others up the bay. Any story on the music scene is good, but there were others that got it going just as well, and a few other folks that did just as good of a job as the ones you listed. If you want justice print the all or most of the facts.
The Last Word
Re "Warning: Contains No Actual Juice" (The Fly, Dec. 12): Right on the fuckin' money. Right on the fuckin' money.
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