March 21-27, 2007

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Letters to the Editor

PETA and Pragmatism

Re "What the Cluck?" (The Fly, March 7): I feel Metro presented a clever account of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' (PETA) monthly protest against the Bascom Avenue KFC. However, as PETA's representative, my quote needs to be clarified rather than mislead the public. PETA is against eating any meat, but it is always pragmatic. KFC leads the chicken industry in that they serve billions of chickens a year. The PETA campaign is focused on convincing KFC to alleviate some of the worst abuses suffered by these birds, something meat-eaters and vegetarians alike can support.

Carol Evans, San Jose

He Did Chicken Protest Right

The Fly should be more balanced in its reporting. In "What the Cluck?" it writes that the monthly protests at the Bascom/Naglee KFC/Taco Bell involve "the best and worst of activism." But where was any mention of the best? The Fly only reported on the worst, and incorrectly at that. Respected veteran activist Alfredo Kuba was painted as an uninformed novice with respect to his property law argument with SJPD. But if The Fly had actually bothered to research Kuba, it would have found out that he is an expert in the subject, having already won numerous court battles against giants such as Marine World and the Cow Palace (and after The Fly went to press, we won in San Jose, too—SJPD called to concede that Kuba and fellow activist Judy Jones were correct in their interpretation of the law, and can go all the way up to the restaurant's door). The Fly goes on to report that a single passer-by crumpled up one of the activists' leaflets and threw it on the ground. Yet it failed to mention the hundreds of positive car honks, thumbs ups, and through-the-car-window comments and the many dozens of people who took a thoughtful interest in the leaflets. How interesting that the DeCinzo cartoon right above the article criticized a blatantly one-sided film. Please report the entire story in the future.

Mike Borg, Alviso

Fly did hear about the call from SJPD. Kudos to Kuba for knowing more on the subject than that cynical insectoid gave him credit for, and to the department for setting the record straight.—Editor

Vision Now

Joseph Rosenfeld is right on with his assessment of the potential for downtown San Jose and his comparison to Paris ("Importing Paris Flair," Style, March 7). Some will scoff, but now is the time to take that vision and make it work—before we are overwhelmed by high-rises and parking lots. St. James Park is a jewel that has been discarded. The ugly '70s Senior Center and poorly kept landscaping is a disgrace. As a member of Saint James Historic District Neighborhood Association, I support creating a downtown that all of San Jose can enjoy.

Sandra Dilling, San Jose

Memory Box

Re Speed City San Jose ("Out of the Blocks," MetroArts, Jan. 31): It's a pleasure reading about the "old but goodie" days! We came to San Jose because of the boxing program in 1959. Ron went on to win the 1959 and 1960 NCAA titles in his weight division. Now his grandchildren will have a chance to "remember" Grandpa in his glory days! Oh, because of boxing, he went to Africa with three other boxers to represent the USA! Also competed in the 1960 Olympic trials—met "Cassius Clay," we all know who he went on to be!—and he also won the Golden Gloves! The good ol' days!

Shirley Nichols, San Jose

Last Call

Re "The Barman Speaks," (Cover Story, June 21, 2006): A fellow libation dispenser sent me this article. We both worked at Phil's Grandson's Place in Waterloo (Canada) for some time. I just finished reading it and have to honestly say that it is the most precise article that I have read about bartending in a long time. Cheers to you Mr. Osterbeck, for you truly are a quality tender of bar. Anyone who has worked in the industry for long enough has experienced most or all of the things that are discussed in this article. It's got me hooked to this site, and I plan to read a lot more.

Tyler Ball, Seoul, Korea

OK, Tyler, we have gotten literally hundreds and hundreds of letters about this article over the last eight months, but for sheer geographic distance, you win.—Editor

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