Letters 

"Apparently, we have a higher opinion of the Bay Area public than does the East Bay Express."

Wait'll Next Year

Sincere thanks to Steve Kettmann for his thoughtful, affectionate piece on the A's ("Hang on, and Play Ball," October 10). He got it so right. We spent many an afternoon with the radio in the garden or doing laundry with the A's game. And read many of his reports in the Chronicle "Sporting Green." We hope he made it back for the Saturday game, which we hoped would be a marvelous celebration and reunion. Cheers.

Gertrude and Murphy Young, Oakland

Multi-Guilty-Cult-y

My name is Steve Sanchez. I was one of the subjects of the article called "Consider the Children" (October 10). Will Harper did a great job on the article and a good service to the community by doing it. I was in this cult for fourteen years. There are a couple of points I'd like to clarify:

Will Rogers also says Bill Duby doesn't have the charisma of a cult leader. Bill Duby may ruin people's lives and relationships without a conscience, but even his worst enemy would have to admit he is very charismatic. He frequently speaks with scarcely an interruption, from 7 in the evening till sometime the next day, holding his devotees' attention the whole time. (Usually during this time he is severely berating one of his ministers for transgressing against himself and God.) He tells his devotees: "I am the closest thing to Christ you will ever see. I am God of this place." He even claims on occasion that he is "channeling" Jesus Christ in the manner of Kevin Ryerson. He claims he has such charisma in his aura that anyone who competes with him will take on "his past-time aura" and act out his past negative experiences. The man is a religious fanatic. He is a master of mind control, intimidation, and abuse -- all of which he does in the name of Christ. He is a cult leader by every definition of the word, and the same goes for SRF.

If you need proof of this, read his own words in the September issue of the American Spirit, which is published by Bill Duby. You will see it is the writing of a vitriolic megalomaniac masquerading as a Holy Man of God.
Steve Sanchez, via the Internet

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow

I am writing in response to the article "Consider the Children" (October 10). In statements extracted from public record, Steve Sanchez's ex-wife portrayed him as an absent father. To begin with, as another former member I know that the people in that organization have long ago lost all objectivity. They defend what they seek to preserve. Their tendency to make statements that have no basis in fact are merely survival tactics at this point. I know because I watched the truth become plastic during the eight years I invested in that questionable institution.

My recollection of Steve is of a loving, dedicated, and involved parent. He was considered a positive example of such and was openly acknowledged as such by the founder and the congregation.
Michael Burnett, San Francisco

Not Clever and Proud of It

In your rush to be clever, you missed an opportunity to educate East Bay Express readers who care about the environment ("7 Days," October 10). As directors of NRDC's GreenGate project, we are proud of this new Web resource. Readers can see for themselves: NRDC's Environmental Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area is at www.nrdc.org/greengate.

Our report hardly glosses over the sad state of the Bay Area's environment. In fact, it documents both bad and good news by analyzing the most recent data for 29 key environmental indicators. But instead of indulging in cynical irony, we chose to motivate by highlighting individual actions that can help make a difference. We believe most Bay Area residents do care about the environment and are willing to help when they are offered useful suggestions and resources. Apparently, we have a higher opinion of the Bay Area public than does the East Bay Express.
Johanna Wald, Land Program Director, and Barry Nelson, Senior Policy Analyst, San Francisco

Remember the National Energy Plan?

As "Forgetting the Local" ("Seven Days," October 10) pointed out, the tragic events of September 11 have so absorbed our attention that they risk overshadowing other pressing problems. One such important issue is the national energy plan currently moving through the Senate. When the Senate takes up energy policy in the coming weeks, Senators Boxer and Feinstein should stand up for clean energy solutions and oppose weakening protections for our environment and public lands.

Unfortunately, the energy plan passed by the House of Representatives last August does nothing to protect consumers or solve our current energy challenges. Instead, the bill would give away $27 billion in taxpayer subsidies and tax breaks to the fossil fuel, auto, and nuclear industries and open the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency is moving to weaken or even eliminate a key element of the Clean Air Act known as the New Source Review, which requires old and dirty power plants to meet modern pollution standards.

Senator Boxer and Senator Feinstein should instead support energy policies that promote clean, renewable energy and increased energy efficiency, and the EPA should reject proposals to weaken enforcement of the Clean Air Act. By requiring SUVs to meet the same fuel economy standards as cars, we could save more than twice as much oil as would ever come from the Arctic Refuge. By enforcing the Clean Air Act on our nation's old and dirty power plants, we could eliminate enough air pollution to prevent 1,280 asthma attacks and 15 emergency room visits in California. We need clean energy solutions, not more pollution.
Eli Richlin, via the Internet

Clarification:

In our September 26 "Cityside" story, "Security Issues Plague OAK," we reported that in 1996, Yusuf Bey, the proprietor of Your Black Muslim Bakery, requested a $650,000 loan from the Oakland City Council to finance a home health care enterprise. In fact, it was his son, Nedir Bey, who requested the loan. We also reported that the Bey family owed $60,000 in back taxes; it should be noted that the Bey family challenged the results of a government audit that assessed this sum, and that the matter was disposed of in confidential negotiations.

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