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August 16-22, 2006

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Letters to the Editor


Deep Thoughts

Re "Splashless in San Jose" (MetroNews, Aug. 2): Great article! There is no excuse for the City of San Jose's abysmal failure to provide pool access to its population. Thank you for shining a light on this problem. We hope you continue to cover this issue.

Mara Zlotoff, San Jose

Southern Hospitality

Nice story. ... I am the Aquatics Supervisor for the City of Morgan Hill, and a 6.5-year resident of San Jose. You can send them my way! We have a great Aquatics Facility for a great price! See www.mhaquaticscenter.com.

Angela Papp, San Jose

Sunday Mourning

Re "Splashless in San Jose":

Very informative story: And ... did you know that the City of San Jose has no pools that are open on Sundays, even during the summer?

W. Gomez, San Jose

Underbelly Rub

Re "Tour the Underbelly" (Silicon Alleys, May 31): I enjoyed your article. You mentioned many of my favorite photography sites.

But your tour must have been a while ago. The roundhouse site has been gone for ages, and the palm tree beside it, too. I have a nice photo of it filled with water after a heavy rain. But Lenzen Avenue is now closed and you can't even get over there anymore.

Did you know that when they tore down the roundhouse itself, it was all numbered for later reconstruction? Supposedly it is stored at the Fairgrounds somewhere, awaiting funds to be raised for the San Jose Railroad Museum.

Bassett Street is a very cool place. I have some photos taken from the top of the parking garage looking down on the top of some of those buildings. But now that garage is locked, and you need an employee ID to get in.

One of my photo interests is ghost signs. That is, old painted signs now hard to make out. They just tore down a building in Japantown right by where the railroad tracks cross Taylor that had some nice ones. Luckily I was able to get photos before the demolition.

The Hart's sign is good, but you missed the best one on Bassett. It says "Parking reserved for Mom's Blue Plate Diner."

I don't know if you ever have any reason to go to Tacoma, Wash.; it's long had a reputation as a grimy industrial wasteland. But more recently, the city has been reinventing itself as a cool, artsy kind of a place. They have a great interesting museum of glass art built right on top of the railroad lines. There are a lot of old warehouse buildings in that area that have been repurposed into more artsy kind of applications, and one of the things they did there is restore all the old ghost signs. It really adds to the atmosphere.

We could learn a lot from that. There are still some ghost signs around downtown that could be restored. But Tacoma is way ahead of us.

Getting back to the roundhouse again. The old freight yards, where a ghastly generic mall now sits, was where beat icon Neal Cassady worked, and it appears in the works of Kerouac and Ginsberg. And there is another literary connection to that area. Jack London's girlfriend lived in the neighborhood just northeast of Taylor and the Alameda, and he made frequent visits there. I haven't been able to locate the actual house, although it is probably still there, because 100 years ago there were no street numbers there. You probably know that the opening scene to Call of the Wild takes place at the College Park railroad station.

I've been trying to document this old stuff before it gets torn down. I only do this in my spare time, so it's far from being complete.

Michael Robinson
Via email
www.standingstones.com

Wet Notes

Re "The Beat Goes On" (Music Review, July 19): I really enjoyed reading this news about creative music-making with mention of the special programming at Music@Menlo, and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. I am thrilled that the article takes note of the musicians who are involved, as I am the person who undertakes organizing, preparing and sending out the music each and every June/July for our musical sojourn into the unknown! I have been the Festival's librarian since 2001, and even though I am not put on the spot the same way my colleagues are onstage, I too, experience a bit of anxiousness when I open that shipment of music. Sometimes we refer to the music as still being "wet"—you know, fresh ink outta the box. Although it is a working vacation for me (I reside and work for an orchestra in Florida) those first two weeks of August in Santa Cruz with my fellow musical colleagues top everything I do all year long. Marin Alsop is a creative, musical force and inspiration.

I treasure the opportunity to explore new music, work with fine instrumentalists and composers, and witness something extraordinary happening in a very unique community. The Cabrillo Festival staff and board work tirelessly all year to help make it all happen—and what a "happening" it can be!

Ella Fredrickson, Saint Petersburg, Fla.


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