January 17-23, 2007

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Letters to the Editor

More Silicon Alleys Adventures, Please

Re "What Hit Home in '06" (Silicon Alleys, Jan. 3): Gary, don't give up on your adventures through S.J. Like the mailman coming with the ads every week, I look forward to your columns. Your tour of old San Jose took me back to my youth when we used to wander some of those same areas while drifting over to a friend's house across town.

I'll have to admit that some of your work is aimed at a different generation and goes over (or through) my head, but I still read it in order to impress my kids and astound my neighbors. There's nothing better than to drop an entertainer's name gleaned from your column to amaze some young kid.

If you ever get down to Cinnabar Avenue by the Alameda and the site of the old Wielands Brewery, I'd appreciate reading your thoughts on it. I was always astounded when my brother and I would go over there with our dad on a Saturday and a freight train would pull up in the yard and a couple of the crew would drop in for a beer poured out of the faucet that I thought was for water.

Wishing you a Happy New Year.

Stan Livingstone, San Jose

Santa With a Shotgun

Re "Fuzzy Movie Memories" (Cult Leader, Sept. 6): I just Googled the following, and your article was the first to pop up: "movie about teacher and students taken hostage in australia."

Thank you so much for this. If this movie came out in 1986, I would have been about 10 years old when I saw it, and I have never forgotten about it. I remembered that there was a huge age range in the children that were kidnapped—from elementary to high school age. I remember the graphic violence, and being haunted by shotgun-toting Santa for a long time. Let's just say Christmas was not fun that year.

It sounds like this movie had the same effect on your friend Sadie that it had on me. Makes me wonder how many other thirtysomethings are out there randomly recalling blurred details of this flick.

Kelly Kruse, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Watts Up With This?

Re Richard von Busack's review of The Painted Veil ("China Syndrome," Film, Jan. 3): When you said at the beginning of your last paragraph that you had one more performance to mention, I thought you was going to write about that of Naomi Watts, the lead of the film whose performance is highly praised in most reviews that I've so far read, but to my disappointment it was only supporting actress Diana Rigg that you wanted to mention.

You had talked about co-lead Edward Norton in some length. You had even talked a bit about supporting actor Liev Schreiber, though you had also forgotten about Toby Jones. But it was no excuse and actually an insult to Watts that you didn't have a single word to say on her performance.

I'm now listing you as a contributor to the collective snub of the talented actress who has been slighted and snubbed again and again as if she can be taken for granted for that. Shame on you.

Steadric, Markham, N.Y.

Richard von Busack responds: Have a look at reviews I did of 'Mulholland Drive,' 'King Kong' and 'Ellie Parker.' They're all on, and they're all very pro-Naomi Watts. Then you can take me off your list. Sincerely, Richard von Busack.

What Was That Story?

I think your in-depth articles are wonderful and I try to read the paper every week. However, I read an article a few months ago about a CEO of a Silicon Valley company who had recently purchased a solar power company (or maker of solar chips, I can't remember) and I lost the article. Any way of me obtaining that information (e.g., name of the company, etc.)? Any help would be great. Thank you very much.

Lee Stone, San Jose

Hi, Lee—That story about Silicon Valley tech icon T.J. Rodgers and SunPower, the Sunnyvale-based solar company of which he owns 85 percent, was called "Sun Total" and ran Aug. 30. It can be read here.—Editor

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