Week of April 25, 2001

Yellow Stain
A man of integrity and honor: Gary Stevenson, of the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School staff, is a man of integrity and honor [Jeannette Batz, "The Jerk," RFT, April 18]. He has a wonderful family as has been my privilege to be connected to. The libelous, biased nature of your writer's article is, I find, extremely disturbing. I, for one, do not find any fault in the man whose character was painted as "a bald motherf--" who "patrols the halls" and "bothers 14-year-old girls."

I find it presumptuous and jejune of your paper to so vividly paint him in such a manner and strongly regret your having stained his reputation in what is reminiscent of the "yellow journalism" days. You must, presumably, not have anything better to write about.
L. Fick
via the Internet

Your article caused alarm: Thank you for printing such a great article. I happen to attend Central, and I found the letter to be quite an intriguing look into school politics. Speaking as a student, I haven't had any problems with Mr. Stevenson personally.... Perhaps you should delve deeper into the school itself; I'm sure you may find some interesting things in it. On a side note, your article must have caused quite an alarm at the school; they were confiscating copies of the RFT after lunch.
Name withheld by request
via the Internet

The school board won't do anything: It's about time! Teachers have written formal complaints and grievances, only to have them stuffed into a file cabinet. The union has never filed one of these reports with the St. Louis Public Schools! They have left their teachers hung out to dry. Let's see if the school board will do anything now. My guess is they will not.
Name withheld by request
via the Internet

That Girl
I'll take Bridget Jones just the way she is: Renée Zellweger "unlikable" as Bridget Jones [Gregory Weinkauf, "Girl, Afraid," RFT, April 11]? Mr. Weinkauf, nothing personal, but you have got to be one of the world's greatest sourpusses. Renée played a sweet, charming and, yes, very lonely girl (not "mopey," as you've so unfairly described her), and her kindness was nuanced and special. Spunky, though: She stood up for herself.

After all, does a "mopey, boring character" really tell a creep who's been cruel she'd rather get a job "wiping Saddam Hussein's ass" than be with him? And who would your great heroine be? A smiling Julia Roberts, just oozing contempt for her audience? Or how about a typically glowing Gwyneth Paltrow, in a typically vacuous "club" comedy -- only let's call it Shakespeare in Love? No thanks, all you Sandra Bullock-kissing critics. I'll take Bridget Jones, just the way she is.
David Bolfing
St. Louis

Flipping the Bird
I thought Republicans had a policy of not negotiating with hostage-takers: I heartily agree with your editorials regarding public moneys' being used to finance Bill DeWitt's baseball team [Ray Hartmann, "Ballpark Village Idiots," RFT, April 18]. The fact that this Cincinnati organization has the audacity to ask for the money is upstaged only by our public officials, falling all over themselves to give it to them.

We should be falling all over ourselves laughing at these cretins, like we did when we were kids and these spoiled brats drove by in their sports cars (how else could these dorks get laid?).

These Republican weasels are feasting on our money. I thought Republicans had a policy of not negotiating with terrorists and hostage-takers. I guess that only applies when they're not the hostage-takers.

Anheuser-Busch understood civic pride and responsibility. They demonstrated a love and respect of the community throughout their ownership of the team. They demonstrated this same love of the community when they sold it. The terms were so favorable to the new owners, the deal was a can't-miss opportunity. They didn't try to get every last penny they could, they didn't threaten to move, etc. These new owners are exploiting the good reputation earned by the Busches.

Screw the Cardinals. Screw DeWitt. Screw the clueless players (who repeatedly say how much they love playing here and want to play on a championship team but gouge the organization for every cent they can get). Screw the idiotic politicians giving in to these terrorists. Screw the suckers who patronize this business that holds us in such contempt.
Marty Woods
Bethalto, Ill.

Couldn't have said it better myself: A former St. Louisan (and still a St. Louisan at heart), I now find myself living in the baseball lover's hell, sometimes also known as Kansas City. I am a die-hard Cardinals fan and always will be -- despite the idiocy and greed of the current owners. I spend hours here in debate with the few actual Royals fans in existence; however, lately the debates have turned from the sport to the stadium issue. I find it very difficult to argue with Kansas City residents about a tax hike for a stadium they will likely never see or use. I find it impossible to argue with them that Busch Stadium needs to be replaced at all, much less by a publicly financed "Ballpark Village," because all of us possessing "common sense," as Mr. Hartmann put it, know that is not realistic in the city of St. Louis. As much as I hate to, I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with the Kansas Citians on this one. If the owners aren't careful, this could have a worse effect on baseball (Cardinals fans in particular) than the last strike. They have proven that they have no respect for the undisputed "best fans in baseball." We deserve better. And, by the way, shame on the Post-Dispatch!
Gina Marie Wake
Kansas City

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