Week of October 10, 2001

Eating Disorder
Your reviewer may have been too nice: I was intrigued to read Melissa Martin's review of C. Whittaker's: An American Bistro ["Dead End," Sept. 12]. She was on the money. If she could be criticized in any manner, it would be that she erred on the side of compassion. My family's experience was characterized by sloppy, patronizing, unskilled and aloof personnel, coupled with food which, at best, could be called mediocre. I wrote the owner a letter. His response was the same as the amount of pleasure I received at his restaurant -- none.

A service establishment's treatment of its customers is a direct reflection of the owner's attitude toward the public.
Jack Neuman
via the Internet

No Free Riders
The city can't afford to do everything: I think that someone should tell Joe Fredericks, Charley Lane and the other police officers who are suing the city of St. Louis over the cost of their medical insurance to count themselves lucky [D.J. Wilson, "Broken Promise," Oct. 3].

The retired civil-service employees and retired firefighters have to pay 100 percent of the cost of their insurance. The cheapest rate is $194.10 for those under 65 and $141.65 for those over 65.

The article mentioned that many retired officers still had kids to support and put through college. Sounds to me like they should have kept working rather than retire. They had better hope that when their lawsuit gets before a judge, they don't get Judge Robert H. Dierker. According to Judge Dierker, the word "shall" does not mean "mandatory"; rather, it means "optional." That was his opinion is a ruling not too long ago.

I support Eddie Roth and the rest of the police commission in their decision to make the retirees pay for a portion of their insurance. The retired officers need to wake up and realize that the city cannot afford to do everything that everyone wants them to do.
Vincent S. Scherr
St. Louis

Strike a Balance
What if the shoe were on the other foot? Why move two entire wards, unless, of course, there are no people left in them [D.J. Wilson, "More Than Just Race," Sept. 12]? Why not instead just move the North Side wards gradually southbound to even out the current population? Has anybody wondered how the South Side aldermen would react if their wards were suddenly moved to the North Side or even reduced to the number half of the current members of the Board of Aldermen?
Mike J. Chesnut

Correction: Sue Dill is the chef at Sidney Street Café. Her name was incorrect in "Best of St. Louis" [Sept. 26].

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