Letters for the week of May 31-June 5, 2007 

Readers sound off on our newfound independence, UC Regents, and Farmer Joe's.

"Bringing the Express Back Home," editor's note, 5/23

It's great
Congratulations on your East Bay Express news! I think it's great and I know you'll have much continued success.
Kelly Mayfield, Los Angeles

We had the story, too
I enthusiastically applaud the news in today's Chronicle indicating the Express once again being an independent alternative newspaper. I wish you the best on the road ahead.
Steve Indig, Landmark Theatres, San Francisco

May you, too, gain independence one day
I just read the news. Congratulations on the purchase! This is truly amazing news.
Ariana Cha, Shanghai, China

Give us hell
I used to regularly read the Express, but I stopped many years ago when the paper was redesigned — and Life in Hell was dropped. I hope you bring back LiH and do a better redesign!
Neal A. Parish, Oakland

Give us royalty
East Bay Express: Free at last! Congratulations! I note that you've dropped Dan Savage as your sex columnist. That's cool, as I can always read him in SF Weekly. But how about bringing back Dr. Carol Queen to offer sexual advice? After all, she did the job before 2001 when the Express became "enchained." She's smart, funny, and informative.
Harry Siitonen, Berkeley

Give us quirky
I don't want sharpened news coverage; I want quirky and random and entertaining features. I have absolutely zero interest in the conventional hot-button issues: you know, the GM foods and the global warming, Democrat/Republican politics, and blah blah. I can read about this same crap from a thousand bad blogs. Who cares.

Maybe do features analogous to that This American Life radio show, like the old paper did a long spread on the mosquito-abatement guys. Find people local to the area with stories. It's okay to be political now and then, but don't expect that to be a draw.
Cathryn Mataga, Berkeley

Give us guidance
Congrats on the change of ownership. I'm looking forward to some of the changes in the mix, but most of all I'm looking forward to a Table of Contents. Now that shouldn't be too hard.
Brian West, Oakland

Yes, guidance
Congratulations on re—seizing EBE from those Grinches of the past who deleted the table of contents! I trust you will restore it.
Dr. B.R. Wheaton, Albany

"Parsky's Party," Feature, 5/9

The roar of irony
After being hounded by e-mails, I finally took this banal university online ethics course that uses hypothetical scenarios involving misuse of university resources and the like as a pedagogical tool for the university's ethics policies.

After completing my course successfully, I was greeted by a streaming video of Regent Gerald Parsky (transcript below) congratulating me on helping the university uphold the ethical standards to which it has honorably and faithfully adhered. After reading Chris Thompson's article, I was blown back by the roar of irony ...

Conclusion by Board Chair Parsky:

I'm Gerry Parsky, chair of the Board of Regents.

The briefing you have just completed is one part of an effort the regents have launched to ensure that the university meets the public's expectations with respect to accountability and ethical conduct.

Since the adoption of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation in 2002, institutions throughout the nation have been working to strengthen their standards in this area, as well as the educational materials they provide to their employees.

The regents have adopted new Standards of Ethical Conduct, with the goal of raising awareness throughout the university of the need for integrity, transparency, and accountability.

This briefing supports that goal. On behalf of the regents, thank you for the time you have taken today. We value the work you do for the university, and we urge you to apply the principles from today's briefing in your daily work.
Trey Williams, Berkeley

"Farmer Joe's Woes," Water Cooler, 5/9

Caring, warm people
My husband and I have been loyal customers of Joe and Diana Tam since they first opened their store on 35th Avenue in Oakland. We were thrilled to find a store of this caliber in that neighborhood, where you could buy fresh meats, poultry and fish, organic produce, and high-quality products at reasonable prices. The Tams took a great chance in opening this store in the Laurel, which, at that time, was a very different place then it is now.

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