Letters for the week of January 21-27, 2004 

Praise for our story on RU-486. Why stop there with comics? Praise for St. George Spirits. Why not give Lou another try?

"The Making of a Martyr," Feature, 12/17

It brought me to tears
While having lunch at a restaurant in Berkeley this afternoon, I happened across a recent issue of the Express and your article on the death of Holly Patterson. I am a progressive Christian, a former board member for Planned Parenthood of New York City, and a strong supporter of a woman's right to choose. I am always grateful for thoughtful and well-balanced reporting on this subject. Your piece -- thoughtfully reported, well-balanced, and beautifully written -- moved me to tears. Thank you so much for your fine work.
Marjorie Wilkes, Oakland

"2003 Illustrated," Feature, 12/31

A good start
As a big fan of graphic art, I was happy to see so much of the sequential picture stories in the year in review issue. Nice work.

I pick up the Express every once in a while; I like the mix of pulp journalism and good reading. Serious stories are good to see along with the sensationalism that you so often splash on the cover. But I always have time for comics and would love to see more in your paper every week. Full page specials and strips alike. Mr. Reklaw is a good start for sure. What about Maakies, Kaz, Michael Dougan, Smell of Steve, Life in Hell, Chris Ware, Jim Woodring, Julie Doucet, Rene French, and Linda Medley? How about getting local big talent like Adrian Tomine or Daniel Clowes to draw something? Not to mention the more "NEWS"-oriented work of Joe Sacco or Spain's War on Terror comics.

I see comics not just as decoration for a publication, but as the good stuff for reading. The Bay Area has such a strong pool of graphic talent, I would love to see some featured more often in the Express.
Eric Klein, Oakland

"The Indie Spirit," Feature, 12/24

The taste of home
I was very pleased to read of the East Bay success of St. George Spirits and the idea of home-brew hobbyists moving on to moonshine. The pleasant art of distilling pleasant booze is a tradition among many Californians of Azorean (Portuguese) origin. Unable to get their hands on home-distilling equipment, these folks have rigged up stills using pressure cookers and copper tubing. The final product may be served straight or may be morphed into various forms of delightful drinks through the addition of fruits, wines, or sugars. The real joy, as with home brew, is sharing the final product. When visiting the old country, I can't walk through our village without someone offering a taste of their homemade "aguardente."

Of the nine islands of the Azores, guess which one my family is from? São Jorge -- or St. George.
Tony J. Roma, Hayward

World-class persistence
I'm acquainted with the St. George folk as a supplier of raw material (fruit). Your feature certainly captured the spirit of the organization. My experience with SGS indicates they not only are turning out world-class products, but they are people of world-class persistence and integrity. This equation for success provides an ideal role model for any kind of business start-up.
John Kirkpatrick, Exeter

More than we wanted to know
I trust that the Hangar 1 folks didn't fix up Katy and the whole Express office with a lifetime supply of their best in return for that mind-boggling promotional piece in your December 24 issue. It was more than we could possibly have imagined that we might ever want to know about a vodka micro-distillery and its management, including their dreams, their innermost thoughts, and even coiffure or lack thereof.
Gene Montgomery, Alameda

Not only don't we accept such freebies, but staff writer Katy St. Clair didn't even make good on her promise to host an in-house taste test for her colleagues -- a failure for which she is now in the doghouse.

"Breakin' 3: Outta $$$," Music, 12/10

How can I help get this film completed?
I don't know how I can help, but let me know how others could help get this project completed and the true history out in the words of those who lived it. He should not only do the film, but a Maxi series using all of that footage left over. You think he couldn't sell those to dance instruction schools. With the right effort he can fund the project himself. Holla back!
David Blackburn, Buffalo, NY

Filmmaker Mooncricket, aka Beto Lopez, can be contacted at MooncricketFilms@yahoo.com

"Lousy Album Haiku Madness," Planet Clair, 12/31

Thus quoth the raven
You're wrong about Lou Reed's The Raven album, specifically the limited edition 2CD version. I've listened to it a lot over the last few months, and it's an amazing work of art and certainly one of the BEST albums of the year. I sincerely hope that no one is dissuaded from giving it a fair hearing as a result of your pan.
Mat Thomas, San Francisco

In our January 14 cover story about the world of pro wrestling instruction, we metaphorically referred to Hayward's All Pro Wrestling school as "Body Slam University." Unbeknown to us, there really is a Body Slam U. in Hackensack, New Jersey, which has no connection to the events in our story.

The story also quoted pro wrestler Mick Foley from the WWE Web site as calling his life in the ring "touching and uplifting in a disturbing kind of way." Foley was actually referring to his recent novel, Tietam Brown.

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