Letters to the Editor
Re Mike Connor's Civic Redevelopment article ("Rebuild This Civic on Rock & Roll," Cover Story, March 12): Mike, I see the redeveloper in you coming out in your article about the S.J. Civic. That's a good thing. Sounds like the same problems Santa Cruz Civic faces when monopoly promo people want to call all the shots. Sadly, we need a great promoter to make it happen but that is not what a public facility is all about. There is a major difference between a private venue such as the Warfield and the public-owned Civic. I think the bigger question on how to get people to support local events is a major one that deserves a more in-depth review. Silicon Valley types might rather be glued to their computers than support live entertainment and that is a crying shame.
Keep up the good writing.
I was surprised to read in Metro that (Chinese rock & roller) Cui Jian would be playing an "acoustic" performance in San Jose on May 3. This is roughly analogous to reading that the Rolling Stones are playing such a concert, but I didn't totally disbelieve you. I mean, Bruce Springsteen was foolish enough to record an acoustic version of "Born to Run," wasn't he?
But upon entering the Market Street venue, I immediately saw several stacks of Marshall amps, and counted three electric guitars, one electric bass; there were two sets of drums, and the piano was also electric. Later, during his slowest, prettiest ballad, "Hua Fang Guniang" (or "Girl in the Flower Shop"), even then, Cui strummed an electric guitar as did everyone else onstage. I'm frankly befuddled by your reporter. Maybe he should find a Chinese person to explain the phrase "bu dui."
Chen Kai Wen
In this case it was the promoters who were bu dui (not correct)—the show was publicized as an acoustic performance.—Editor
Re "Online Writing Is Real" (Techsploits, April 23): Enjoyed it very much!
Laurence M. Watkins
The Other 'Holding Cell'
On July 1, 2008, the new hands-free cell phone law goes into effect, making it a ticketable offense to drive a motor vehicle while talking on a non-hands-free device. I'm in favor of this law and feel that it's been long needed. We all know about the safety concerns and how irritating it is to be cut off or stuck behind some absent-minded driver who's leaning to one side talking on their cell phone while they're driving. My question is this: with the new law coming into effect in only two months, shouldn't the local police be setting a good example?
Three times in the last month I've been on my way home from work driving east along Hedding Avenue near the City Jail when I have seen a San Jose State police car pull out onto Hedding with their cell phone in one hand and leaning their head to one side, seemingly oblivious to their outside surroundings. The first time it was a female officer in front of me who pulled out and cut me off. I was stuck following her for a few miles through different lights and turns and a few times I had to lightly honk my horn to alert her that the light had changed green as she sat there for quite a while after the light change. She waved and as I pulled up beside her, she was leaning to one side with her head and laughing hysterically with whomever she was talking to on the other end.
The second and third occasions, I observed male officers also pulling out onto Hedding talking at length on their cell phone, most recently on April 29. I pulled up alongside them and waved, trying to get their attention. They didn't notice me and proceeded at a snail's pace, sometimes drifting across lanes with no signal, presenting a dangerous condition for their fellow drivers.
If our local police can't set a good example and are just as guilty as the rest of the cell phone using drivers, how can we expect the rest of the drivers to take this new law seriously and curb this dangerous habit?
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