Letters for January 26 

Readers sound off on organic labeling, OONA, and Steep Hill labs.

Page 4 of 7

2.  Mock the city council's action, and mock the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act representing the community's wishes, by exercising the option to extend the 3M contract (an option that should never have been included).

3.  Cancel the contract with Bibliotheca — it has an escape clause — and install a bar code checkout system which would merely require placing metal strips in those books which do not already have them, instead of having to replace RFID tags in each and every book and all other Library materials.

A bar code checkout system would be the honorable and most cost-effective way to go.  Shouldn't we be concerned about cost in the current economy, especially in the face of cuts which must be made because of the reduction of State funds to local agencies?

Gene Bernardi


Berkeleyans Organizing for Library Defense


"How Organic Is Organic?" Eco Watch, 1/5


To me, the bigger issue isn't about misleading labeling, but of health consequences. Why would anyone ever think to process food with a petroleum-based neurotoxin??? Just frightening that the US food industry and the USDA would allow any use of hexane or any other toxic chemical!!!Another argument for not eating anything processed. Yikes — I've been eating these bars almost on a daily basis for years thinking they were "healthy"!

Rose Borden, Oakland

"Profiting from Eminent Domain," News, 1/5

Trash Without Borders

I don't really understand why this was even included:

"On a recent afternoon, an old mattress and chunks of concrete were strewn across the sidewalk."

I live in West Oakland.

Have you looked at the general area?There is trash everywhere.

Matthew Meyer, Oakland

"Drug Addicts Unite!" News, 12/29

Why Punish the Sick?

Lauds to the recovering addicts and their health providers who have banded together to affirm and exert their right to more rational health-care options.

Their voices must be heard and respected if we as a society are ever to come to realistic terms with the problems caused by overdependence on drugs.

One treatment option which receives surprisingly little publicity, despite its apparent efficacy, is suboxone therapy for narcotics addiction. I once had a girlfriend who was severely strung out on heroin; when she decided to kick, she gathered together eighty bucks and scored ten suboxone pills on the underground market. I was very skeptical of her claims as to this prescription medication's benefits: to wit, that it immediately and completely alleviates withdrawal symptoms and allows the resumption of normal behavior patterns. I was forced to revise my opinions when I witnessed its effects: she took one-half to one pill per day and experienced no physical illness whatsoever, returning to her accustomed occupation with absolutely no delay. In eight days, she was done with the treatment and required no "maintenance" dosage to stay well. I have since learned that this therapy is in fact known in medical circles, but for some reason it is not made widely available. To my knowledge the only way an addict can receive this treatment is via a psychiatrist, a pricey alternative few can readily afford.

I may be wrong, but suboxone seems like a wonder drug for narcotics addiction, and I can't help but feel it is a deeply puritanical need to punish the sick which limits our full acceptance of this highly effective therapy. We ought to be giving the stuff away! In any event, if there is something I am missing perhaps a qualified member of the treatment community could respond either in these pages or via email to drbob@feelthelovefoundation.org.

Dr. Robert Kenneth Lewis

President, Feel The Love Foundation


"Transformation of Oona," Music, 12/29

Hippie or Not

You're spot-on that OONA is brash, saucy, crisp, and sharp, and the band blends blues grooves with pop appeal. But anyone who's heard Joy of Cooking's stuff would have to question whether the sizzle, spice, and strength of Oona's music and live performance is really "despite her hippie pedigree."As the SF Chronicle's Jon Carroll once put it, Joy of Cooking was "a remarkable rock and roll band, half ballads and half boogie, with a driving rhythm section fronted by two swell women, Toni Brown (a smart, crafty songwriter who could evoke sentiment without sentimentality) and Terry Garthwaite (who sings like an angel with dirty wings)." OONA is an original, but she's carrying on the fine (and too rare) tradition of smarts, solid craft, and killer rhythm and vocals.

Josie Garthwaite, San Francisco

A Godsend

I've seen OONA live five times. If watching the heavens of music is like surveying deep space, OONA is already a star — with a different kind of make-up, rich with human truth and infectious hooks and rhythm. In a pop world where authenticity and soul-connection seem scarce, OONA is a godsend. And fun as hell.

Ramona Minero, San Francisco

Check, Check, Check

The reviewer is more interested in being clever than accurate. The music is not excessive nor artificial. It is multilayered and cannot be pigeon-holed into one genre.

You like tasty guitar leads? Check. Toe-tapping bass lines? Check. Layered and propulsive keyboards? Check. Dynamic and rocking drumming? Check. Vocals that originate from the soul? Check.

Take the time and see OONA yourself.

Mark Clement, Oakland


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