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May 17-23, 2006

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Letters to the Editor


What's Next?

As the mother of a son the same age as Joel Beltran, I am very concerned about the reactions/actions of the Next Door staff after his assault (The Fly, April 12). At that age, boys need all the help they can get in learning to control their sometimes violent impulses. I would think that the staff of an agency such as Next Door would be modeling the behavior that the class attendees should be learning, rather than teaching by example to make excuses for their behavior and blame gang influences.

I also tend to wonder: what if a woman walked into a Next Door support group with a battered nose, swollen lip and bruised forehead? Would they refuse to help her if she were wearing gang colors? What about women who are battered, and also have fallen into the abyss of gang affiliation? Are they not worthy of help?

A 14-year-old boy needs to be shown, over and over, the right thing to do. Not until after a couple of decades of instruction might he finally be able to make the right/wrong determination on his own. If a community agency purports to help victims of violence, they should not pick which victims they help based on their clothing, nor even their real or assumed gang affiliation.

Colleen Arnold, San Jose

Why Endorsements Matter

Thanks, Metro, for your recent endorsement of Measure A (MetroNews, Endorsements, May 3). As a single mom with limited funds, even I can see the long-term benefits of this measure, and will vote YES. Your article really helped to clarify what this measure is all about, and I hope others will gain the understanding that Measure A is about protecting the future of our environment and the quality of health care and services for ourselves and our neighbors. I can't think of a better way to spend $52 this year.

Jen Hoey, San Jose

More on A

The Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits (SVCN) applauds Metro's endorsement of Measure A. SVCN estimates that $15 million in county funding to nonprofits for basic health and human services has been lost over the past three years due to budget cuts, out of $56 million from the general fund. Many people don't realize that over 150 local nonprofits provide services for the County, ranging from health care for children to intervention programs for troubled youth. Yet critical social needs don't just go away with the trimming of budgets—they just persist and get magnified. Our clients need the certainty that Measure A provides for our local community.

Patricia Gardner, Executive Director, Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits, San Jose

Terror in the Mall

I'm afraid Steve Palopoli missed the point with his recent "Torture Porn" column (Cult Leader, April 19). The New York Magazine article has it exactly right when it points out that what's different about this new wave of horror is that it has become mainstream, or to put it another way, "that they're the first movies like this to play in the mall instead of the grindhouse." The fact that I Spit on Your Grave is available on video has nothing to do with the argument. Your Top 10 list further undermines your position: Of the 10 films listed, only Wolf Creek played at the local multiplex.

I happen to agree with the idea that too much is being made of "torture porn" in the press, but these films have pushed the boundaries of what is acceptable in a mainstream, commercial horror movie. And that's newsworthy.

Keep up the good work.

Daniel Zilber, GrandGuignol.com

Lowdown on Low Cost

Your article "Car Culture: The Withouts" (Rev, May 3) misses the point of the state-run Low Cost Auto Insurance program.

The California Legislature created the program to provide affordable liability insurance to low-income, good drivers. This publicly managed program is ultimately intended to help those who otherwise could not afford insurance to comply with state laws requiring all drivers to carry liability coverage.

The article suggests that the Low Cost Auto Insurance program provides too little coverage for policyholders' medical expenses. What your writer did not understand is that this policy strictly provides liability coverage or insurance to protect drivers financially against the damage they cause to other parties.

Your writer, who quoted but did not contact our organization, criticized the insurance industry for stating the obvious: That your individual insurance needs should be tailored to reflect the assets—both financial and personal—that you need and want to protect.

Candysse Miller, Los Angeles

Kicking at The Pricks

Just read "Leakonomics" (MetroNews, April 19) by Bill Forman. It is good to finally see some journalism now that dares to hit these imperial pricks between the eyes.

Leon J. Frank, Santa Clara


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