Week of May 16, 2001

But why should HOK even care about this? They "are it" anyway -- at least in their minds and in the minds of the neophytes they so altruistically "educate."
Name withheld by request
St. Louis

Savage Attack
Column stereotyped gays: Is anybody out there in favor of continuing "Savage Love"? Are there any gay people out there who like being stereotyped so negatively [Dan Savage, "Le Freak, C'est Chic," RFT, April 25]?

Can anyone point out any merit in the writings? Does anyone think the images conjured up by the recent "Savage Love" should be implanted in any minds, especially those of children? Am I the only one who is going to talk with my librarian about not allowing that trash to be left where kids can find it so easily?
Name withheld by request
via the Internet

Bent Out of Shape
Review ignored smaller actors, production crew: As a member of the ensemble cast of Bent, I found it amazing that Brian Hohlfeld failed to mention the strong support of other players in smaller roles and that there was no acknowledgment of the achievements of the production crew ["Raw Deal," RFT, April 25]. Did he not notice the touching instrumental music that was composed especially for the show by David Toretta? What about the tightly designed and fascinating set with its army-green apron of found objects by Patrick Huber? Didn't the lighting of the show by Mark Wilson clearly and sensitively support the story and catch the critic's imagination? Wasn't Greta's gown, designed by Sharon West, elegant in its period appeal?

Mr. Hohlfeld's oversight angered me and led me to wonder whether his review had been constrained by space so as to have been edited severely. Barring that explanation, the title of the review "Raw Deal" might also refer to what those cast and crew members received whom Mr. Hohlfeld ignored.
Mark Maloney
via the Internet

Sex and the City
Get a life, get a clue: Thank goodness I got the hell out of St. Charles when I did [D.J. Wilson, "Media Whores," RFT, April 25]. I'm embarrassed to say I grew up in a town that may now be best known for its small-minded, Big Brotherish prosecution of clearly protected First (and other) Amendment rights. This is how you want to spend tax dollars? Get a clue. Maybe your "lawyers" need to read a book or two on the Constitution. They have more freedom in Eastern Europe! A decade after they take down the Wall, we continue to build ours higher. Where does it end?
Cary Anthes
St. Louis

It's Not Easy Being Green
Certify with rigor: Sounds like a move's afoot to have a fox guard the henhouse [Peter Downs, "Certifiably Mad," RFT, April 25]. Either affirmative-action certification is employed with rigor, or it is complete boilerplate. The investigation process should be kept tight, although, in my opinion, most of the required paperwork should go to the shredder. I see them as two different issues.
Sheila Michaels
St. Louis

Percy Green should be applauded: It was refreshing to read about a city program that works -- that is, a program that insures that recipients qualify for whatever benefits are bestowed. All too often, we read of the waste and squandering of public funds. These stories lead us to wonder why someone didn't do something to stop the dishonesty.

Apparently SLDC's minority-certification office has created criteria and investigative methods that can scale the walls of deceit built around some privately held small businesses. SLDC's work should be applauded, not condemned. False management practices are hard to unveil. I am aware of a so-called minority-woman-owned business that has both federal and state minority certification but is a front for the woman's white husband. Perhaps the state and federal government should adopt SLDC's criteria and Green's staff's thoroughness to ensure the fair and proper distribution of certification.
Paulette Salfen
University City

This Isn't Journalism
The front of the RFT is starting to look like the back: I'm not sure what angers me most about this article [Jeannette Batz, "The Jerk," RFT, April 18]. The tabloidlike reporting? Maybe it's the poor judgment the Riverfront Times used in printing a story full of conjecture that borders on stupidity. I could be disgusted with myself for my past thinking that occasionally the RFT had an intelligent article. My anger might come from thinking that a bunch of my own gender went on a witch hunt just to get attention.

If good teachers have been leaving the St. Louis schools for years, how is it that Gary Stevenson suddenly shows up in the RFT as the reason? Anyone who has lived here for any length of time knows what happened to the St. Louis Public Schools. However, that's another story. Our concern now is about this man who has been driving away good teachers -- how good they are is debatable -- out of our school system. We're expected to believe that one man is responsible for this. Never mind that this talented man was made head of all arts departments and previously taught in the district. He lasted for more than 10 years in a system plagued with problems for decades. This isn't journalism. It's a slap in the face to anyone with an education.

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