Letters for the week of Sept. 26 

Readers sound off on the Oakland Ballet, the Naked Barbies, Your Black Muslim Bakery, and more.

"A LEAP INTO THE UNKNOWN," FALL ARTS, 8/29

NO MORE HEARTBREAK
I wish the Oakland Ballet all the best in its comeback. I hope Mr. Guidi will do something to address the Oakland Ballet's reputation of dealing unfairly with its employees and contractors. I have heard more about the heartbreak of designers and technicians being treated unfairly than I have about the ballet's artistic merits, and I gravely hope this new incarnation of the company will have higher standards for how it treats its staff and contractors. When I know that to be the case, I'll support it.
K. A. Lucker, Berkeley


"DOLLS' SWEET SEVENTEEN," MUSIC, 8/29

SEX, LOVE, & DEATH
I've listened to the Naked Barbies for all of my twelve years in the East Bay and find Patty's laid-back voice so very attractive. Congratulations on the new album. Spend a lovely afternoon at the Starry Plough, and don't just "Stay Naked," but stay for the Irish music and song session immediately afterwards (from 8 o'clock), and hear more great songs about sex and love and death.
Shay Black, Berkeley


"YOUR BLACK MUSLIM HOTEL," FULL DISCLOSURE, 8/29

BLACK POWER HIJACK
I live in DC now, having moved here from my beloved Berkeley in 1995. I read about this man's senseless murder and wanted to burst into tears. Even though I was far too young to remember or participate in what was going on in the 1960s, I know that this is NOT what the activists meant when they cried out "Black Power!" What is the answer to the hijacking of black activism?
Kim B. Mallet, Washington, D.C.

POLICE DESERVE BETTER
The second subtitle of your article on the Black Muslim Bakery grabbed my attention: "Police raid on bakery was unrelated to journalist's murder." Your article implies that the Oakland police have allowed the public to assign them credit for raiding the bakery immediately after Chauncey Bailey's murder.

I remember being impressed by the Oakland police's forthrightness at the widely broadcast press conference they held right after the raid — they were very clear that, while they were fortunate in finding the weapon and the suspect in the murder of Chauncey Bailey, the raid was actually unrelated to that crime. I remember it clearly because I was so surprised that they would say that. (Not that I think they would be dishonest about it — it just seemed interesting to me that it was important to them to stipulate it.)

Your article makes it sound as though the Oakland police were disingenuous on this point, and my recollection is that they were not. I'm wondering where you got the impression that they have been? You don't state in your article any specific instance of the police "taking some extra credit," as you call it, for their good luck. Perhaps they have, and I'm just not aware? Or perhaps certain people in the department have been less-than-honest in the interim? And even if they have, it doesn't change the fact that in the department's very first, very public statement about the raid, they were totally straightforward on that point.

From time to time, maybe more often than that, police do bad things. But why assign them false blame in this case? It seems unfair at the least, and corrosive to public trust at worst. I'm no law-and-order person, but I do think the people who are willing to take bullets for us deserve better than that.
Claudia Bauer, Oakland

"LEDISI: LOST AND FOUND," LOCAL LICKS, 9/5

ANYTHING BUT BORING
I don't believe that the reviewer actually listened to the CD ten times. This album to me is musical gumbo, all of the different flavors and ingredients blend together to make an appetizing dish. Like gumbo, it gets better with each serving. It's different from Soulsinger and Feeling Orange But Sometimes Blue, and that's a good thing. Ledisi is appealing to a wider audience now, and it's good that she's branched out and shown the growth and maturity in her music, all the while managing to retain her funkiness. I believe it's an incredible album; with cuts such as "Upside Down" and "I Tried," it is anything but boring and repetitive.
Cecile Thalley, Washington, D.C.


"THWARTING THE RECRUITERS," WATERCOOLER, 9/5

LET 'EM VOLUNTEER
As a military veteran, and former military recruiter, I find these sorts of articles offensive and anti-American. This is an all-volunteer military at present. Why should these so-called activists even stick their nose in this? Here's my take on this and why I find what the "anti-war" activists so hilarious. Don't they realize if they succeed and curtail military recruitment as they desire to do, then the only alternative the DOD will have is to re-institute the draft and they all will have to go. Don't they realize that, or are they just ignorant? Better to let volunteers be volunteers, don't you think?
Raymond Korleski, San Antonio, Texas


KUDOS FOR KARA
Express contributor Kara Platoni took home another honor this week, this one from the NorCal chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Platoni won the non-daily print feature category for her cover story "Dealing in Death" (7/5/06) about a rogue San Leandro gun store whose lax sales practices put deadly weapons in the hands of criminals.

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