March 14-20, 2007

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Letters to the Editor

Reed Has Delivered

DeCinzo's cartoon showing Chuck Reed morphing into Abraham Lincoln (March 1 print edition) caused me to reflect. Like "Honest Abe," Chuck Reed has proven to be a man of his word by delivering on the promises that he made during the campaign. Many of the "Reed Reforms" have already been passed by the city council, and more are on the way.

But perhaps Reed's greatest accomplishment so far has been his ability to change the direction and tone of the San Jose city government. City Hall belongs to the people again. Under the previous administration, the will of the people was often seen as an impediment to the administration's self-serving agenda. With the Reed administration, the will of the people is both sought and accepted.

Shortly after winning the election, Mayor-elect Reed said in an interview with Metro that he was "intent on sharing power instead of collecting power." Politicians willing to share power with the people don't come around very often. San Jose is lucky to have one.

Pete Campbell, San Jose


Regarding your endorsement of Mr. Oliverio (Feb. 28): In your recommendation, you tell of his willingness to "disclose online" his funding support—implying that he would have nothing to hide from voters. Not only has his site not listed this information, but it doesn't even link to the city clerk's site which has his disclosure on public record—easy enough to do. Why would he not keep such a simple promise—maybe he has something he doesn't want to share with us.

You say that Oliverio is "close to fearless" when it comes to open government. Apparently he is very fearful of open campaigning. I know the value you place on your credibility; we would like to know more about his.

Phil Mastrocola, San Jose

Missing an Organ

Re "Silent No More" (Cinequest coverage, Feb. 28): From a member of the Theatre Organ — L Email list, I heard about your article that described and had interviews with Dennis James and Chris Elliot about their experiences as silent movie organists in the Cinequest series at the California Theatre.

I greatly enjoyed reading the article, because my children and I lived in Southern California in the middle 1970s, and we heard the famous organist Gaylord Carter accompany silent movies at the San Gabriel Civic Auditorium. I also have a CD of theatre organ music recorded on the theatre organ at a residence in Wheaton, Ill. Mr. Elliot was one of the featured organists. One of the songs he played was so beautiful that I bought a book that contained his arrangement of "I Would Be True." I wish that I could have heard his and Mr. James' playing in San Jose, and I am sure that audiences there received a real treat.

Bill P. Curry, Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Celebrating Sandor Salgo

Re Sandor Salgo (Obit, Jan. 17): Sandor Salgo often quoted an 18th-century music theorist who said that the three purposes of music were "to move, to teach, and to delight." All three of these aims he generously fulfilled for his audiences, his performers, and his Stanford students. He was inspired and inexhaustible—conducting six nights a week, attending each recital and lecture as well as a whirlwind of receptions, luncheons and dinners (imagine the Energizer Bunny with a baton!). As a Festival harpsichordist for half of his 35-year tenure, I count myself lucky to have experienced his genius, and I'm thankful for the lifelong friendships between musicians and listeners which he brought together for a few weeks each summer.

Bruce Lamott, San Francisco

It's My Potty

Now that Annalee Newitz is ranting about single-sex bathrooms ("Peeing by Design," Techsploits, Feb. 14) it has become exceedingly clear that we modern humans don't have enough real problems to overcome. Annalee says she resents that she has to "declare her gender" every time she walks into a restroom. Hellooo! We all declare our gender with each waking breath. The way we smell, talk, walk, perceive colors and a thousand other aspects of our reality are determined partly by gender at our birth. As anyone who has raised both boys and girls would know, it is perhaps the most fundamental element of personality. The fact that some percentage of us are transgendered, highly androgynous or gender-confused does not mean that bathroom architects are fascists. Same-sex bathrooms are a great innovation and a terrific convenience in some locations. But in large public spaces, single-sex bathrooms are more efficient and comfortable for most of humanity and will no doubt survive a while longer.

Phil Hood, San Jose

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