February 21-27, 2007

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Letters to the Editor

Reject Koreatown

Re "Seoul of the Valley" (Cover Story, Feb. 7): I am not sure what City Council meeting Stett Holbrook attended, but I seriously doubt that it was the Santa Clara meeting on Jan. 23. (We can ignore the issue of what local government reporting is doing in a restaurant review.) Having attended that meeting, I left feeling that the citizens had spoken. (I know, Metro is not real big on the whole concept of "consent of the governed," and huge on the "tyranny of the minority.")

As a 41-year-resident of the neighborhood in question, I have seen those same businesses Mr. Hull spoke of change names and owners many times. Part of the whole ideal of living in this neighborhood is that it really is the valley's answer to Delancey Street in New York. It is full of people who were born other places. Just about each speaker pointed out the area's diversity. Even Holbrook had to admit that there are more Indian restaurants at the corner of Lawrence Expressway and El Camino Real than any other place in the area.

The saddest part of the article is that he is right on the money about the restaurants. Again, this is not news. You can get just about any type of food you like within walking distance of the intersection.

I strongly suggest that Holbrook stick to things he knows something about.

John D. Casey, Santa Clara

Thanks for Pushing the Envelope

Re "Seoul of the Valley": I've never read Metro, since I'm not based in San Jose, but after I recently placed an ad in your next issue for my theater company, the sales rep sent me a copy of the latest publication with your cover story on Koreatown.

Needless to say, I was thrilled the debate on the Koreatown classification was covered by such a mainstream cultural publication. Then I was even more impressed with the depth of research and insightful viewpoint expressed. This was an amazing article.

I'm not just saying this because it was pretty positive about the Koreatown issue. The writer seemed somehow able to get to the heart and soul of the community and businesses. It makes me wonder if his wife may be Korean? Something was truly unique about his voice—and from a level of respect and integrity I have never seen before.

The story also seamlessly talked about the restaurants and the food in a way that would pique interest from non-Koreans unfamiliar with Korean food while at the same time making Koreans feel that his perspective was not another "white guy goes on an exotic journey in an Asian town." I don't know how he did this—he must be one of your best writers.

So thank you for pushing the envelope with this issue. You've made a new fan.

Sean Lim, Hillsborough

Map Flap

Re "The Fly," Feb. 7: As Vrinda Normand reported in "Log Jam," Adelia Barber and I presented evidence at the Jan. 31 Public Hearing that San Jose Water Company owns too many acres of timberland to qualify for an NTMP logging permit. In subsequent public statements, Bob Berlage of Big Creek Lumber attempted to attack our methods, and unwittingly revealed an ignorance of modern, professional digital mapping. The tools we used, Google Earth and ArcGIS, in combination with high-resolution aerial photography, are spatially accurate to within inches. Our results were independently corroborated by Ph.D. scientists, and we opened up all of our data for public review.

On the other hand, Big Creek Lumber and SJWC have so far presented no data whatsoever to support their claim of 2,002 acres. While Bob Berlage stated, "We did a strenuous analysis of the area, and we're confident in that analysis," Matt Dias backpedaled from this, stating, "We're going to revisit this issue and make a determination."

Excuse me? They are going to "revisit this issue"? Isn't it a little late for this? They already "made a determination" last year and legally submitted it to CDF. On that basis, their plan was accepted for formal review by CDF and other public agencies. We as taxpayers have footed the bills for this review, probably well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars so far. Not to mention the untold anguish this plan has caused in the community, and the huge amount of time, effort and money we have potentially wasted on a logging plan that does not even qualify for consideration.

We challenge Big Creek Lumber and San Jose Water Company to show us the "strenuous analysis" they are so confident about. Show the public your map of 2,002 acres, which proves that you were eligible to submit this plan last June—you do have this data, right?

If SJWC cannot immediately and convincingly produce this evidence, CDF must stop this expensive charade and deny the NTMP.

Rebecca Moore, Google Earth Engineer, Neighbors Against Irresponsible Logging, Los Gatos

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