Letters for the week of April 23-29, 2003 

Your snotty vulgarity only makes competition welcome. Your inspired tribute to rugby is a credit to the profession.

"Don't Copy This One," 7 Days, 4/9

Peace, justice, and Berkeley

On January 8 you published a short piece on the reviving of the Daily Planet. It ended, "O'Malley missed the real story here, which is this: Who gives a shit about the Peace and Justice Commission?" Rest assured, Chris Thompson, that many who read the Express do care about the Peace and Justice Commission. Your vulgar denigration only amplifies our cheers for the Berkeley Daily Planet.
PhoeBe ANNE (sorgen), Berkeley

"The Untouchables," Feature, 4/2

Or perhaps too much beer

The Olde Gaels player who said "He [Jack Clark] runs his players into the ground, and they never touch the game again," must be unaware that the current USA Hong Kong Sevens team that won the Bowl Championship boasts my son, All-American John Buchholz, and Cal alum Marc Vera on its squad; the current Eagles 15 squad fields Cal alums Kort Schubert, John Buchholz, Kevin Dalzell, Kirk Khasagian, and current Cal player Mike MacDonald. Andy Armstrong and Andy Tamayo play for SF's O Club, and no doubt I have omitted other Cal alums who not only play but have excelled in national and international rugby. Jack Clark doesn't "run players into the ground"; rather, he instills good sportsmanship, strong character, and a love of the game. Sounds like the player has been in one too many scrums.
David Buchholz, Santa Rosa

"Battle for the Soul of ANG," City of Warts, 3/26

One more river to cross

Congratulations, Express. I thoroughly enjoy your free-circulation paper. You're a credit to journalism with your in-depth stories about topics that might be neglected by daily newspapers. I spent 33 years newspapering, so I know wherein I speak.

Luckily I picked up one of your editions at the Hayward courthouse where I volunteer; I got addicted. Now I can hardly wait for the next edition.

Believe me, this is not hollow praise. For instance, recently I saw your story about the ANG (Alameda Newspaper Group) publisher who quit under a cloud. I worked for 28 years at the Hayward Daily Review, which is now part of ANG. While I was not an employee of ANG for long, I enjoy reading about the organization and any new developments in the hierarchy.

The most recent story that caught my eye was about Cal's dominant rugby team. In the story, the name Collum was mentioned as a referee. Could that be the "Truck" Collum who anchored the Cal football team line in the late '40s and early '50s?

In Cal's football heyday under "Pappy" Waldorf, the Bears were the best team in the conference. I was fortunate to attend many home games because my half-brother Robert Webb (class of '39) had season tickets, and was able to see most of the games. I remember "Truck" Collum, center Les Richter, and all-American guard Rod Franz anchored the line and opened holes so Paul Swaner, Pete Schabarum, and Jackie Jensen could run for good gains. I recall that "Pappy" would stand on a veranda after the games, and a chorus of fans would break out in song: "One more river, one more river to cross." Of course, the fans were alluding to another victory with more to follow to the Rose Bowl. Unfortunately, the Rose Bowl was Cal's Waterloo, and they lost three straight, but I remember those great victories in Memorial Stadium.

I'm sure a lot of "Old Blues" remember those glory days. Sorry to be overcome by nostalgia. Keep up the good work churning out meaningful stories.
Cy Donaldson, Castro Valley

Editor's note
The John Collum in the story is the son of "Truck" Collum.

"Down and Out in Blazing Falls," Feature, 3/26

Ich bin ein Geek

I loved this article! I am a fifty-to-sixty-hours a week, beta-card-carrying founding player of the Sims Online, and I would say you nailed us and the game on the head. I laughed at myself in this article and I was sad at the end when you pulled the plug on Pixelle. You were critical without being condescending and gave equal time to the uniqueness and quirkiness of the game. Good job!
Desiree Newlove, Bristol, Pennsylvania

"Hissin' Dixie," 4/2

Radio is a dead medium

I stand behind the Dixie Chicks' right to freedom of speech and I'd be more apt to buy their CDs now that the government and other artists threaten to remove their music from the airwaves. Truth is, no one I know listens to radio anymore anyway. Texas-based Clear Channel has taken over the airwaves and eliminated our rights to hear the music we want to hear, and taken the rights of DJs away from them, so there's no personality to any station. Radio is a dead medium and has been for three years now. I normally wouldn't have gone to a Dixie Chicks show, but I'll go now to support them. I don't like our SELECTED, not elected, president either.
Marla Taylor, Howell, MI

"Schmaltz During Wartime," Planet Clair, 4/2

A new peace anthem

I couldn't agree with Katy St. Clair more. Much of the antiwar music coming out lately, especially from major-label artists, is schmaltzy. I think the reason we are seeing so much mediocre peace music right now is the bandwagon effect; all these artists rushing to come up with an antiwar tune of the moment. In contrast, local artist Mokai has spent his life involved in the struggles for social justice and environmental protection, and most of his music speaks to this. Mokai's "World Without War" was dubbed by Global Exchange's Medea Benjamin as the "peace movement's new anthem." The lyrics are as solid as the rhythm, and the song is much more like the tunes we all remember so well from the '60s.

Check out the Web site the song inspired at www.worldwithoutwar.us and www.mokaimusic.com for more resistance music. His official CD release party will be at La Peña in Berkeley on May 21. Though he has been a regular feature at acoustic hot spots such as the Bazaar Cafe in SF, he has only recently taken a break from a lifetime of activism to record some of the music it has inspired.
Stacey De Polo, booking agent, San Francisco


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