Real Sketchy

Week of June 12, 2002

Real Sketchy
Aboussie isn't the abusive one: I read with curiosity the story about Joyce Aboussie [D.J. Wilson, "Joyce Abusive," May 29]. I have lived in Boone and St. Louis counties and have been interested in the political process in Missouri all of that time. While I know or have met the various elected officials mentioned in your article, I have never, to my knowledge, met Ms. Aboussie. In my opinion, I thought that "Joyce Abusive" was an apt title for the way in which you presented Ms. Aboussie. In case my sarcasm is a little to deep for D.J. Wilson, I mean that I thought that his treatment of Ms. Aboussie was what was abusive. Friends of mine who know Ms. Aboussie well have always referred to her as competent, results-oriented and savvy. Once again (as has long been the case at the RFT), you continue to create non-stories at the expense of hard-working and capable private (and sometimes public) persons. While I read your goofy "news" paper mostly for the cartoons, the oddities and the movie reviews, this story has combined all three. Two thumbs down to this bizarre caricature of Joyce Aboussie.
Paul R. Ahr
St. Louis

Yes, yes, yes for Joyce -- no to the RFT: I am appalled at the blatant attack on Ms. Aboussie. I had the privilege of working with Joyce for five years and can tell you firsthand that she runs a high-energy, "do it now" kind of office. Does she yell? Yes! Does she have a temper? Yes! Does she get things done? Yes! Does she have the respect of everyone who has worked for her? You bet! In fact, I believe that most of the condemnation by intimation aimed at her by Mr. Wilson would, if said about a male politico, bring about admiration for his ability to understand the system and work within it. Digging up questionable facts and innuendo about her family is a very low form of journalism. Possible sins of the cousins are neither hereditary nor applicable to her. I would like for Mr. Wilson to have instead dug up some information on her work in the community for services to the sick and disabled. Her generosity is well known. Perhaps her efforts on behalf of St. Jude Children's Hospital and local programs could have been mentioned. As well, in digging up information, perhaps some of the South Side senior citizens living in facilities created and funded by Mr. Alex Aboussie should have been asked their opinions of this family. I would suggest that this snide attempt at character assassination is unworthy of the paper founded by Ray Hartmann.
Sarijane M. Freiman
University City

Paint and Palette
A stroke of the brush: Just wanted to thank you for your [article on my exhibit at the Elliott Smith Contemporary Art gallery], especially the accuracy of the quotes -- I'm grateful for the help [Byron Kerman, "My Dying Ride," May 22]. A lot of people at the opening were there because of your piece, and any assistance we can get gaining some exposure for these paintings is really appreciated. I hope you have a chance to see the paintings in person -- although I'm pretty sure there won't be any Nine Inch Nails playing on their stereo.
Matthew D. Strauss
St. Louis

Angry Spokes
Face it every day: It's incredible that a bus driver can kill a pedestrian and the most severe charge he faces is failure to yield to a pedestrian with a max sentence of 90 days in jail and a fine of $500 dollars or both [Wm. Stage, "One False Move," May 15]. I'm no legal expert, but I don't consider that justice. To me, it reveals a deep-seated bias against non-motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists alike, which I personally face every day on my bicycle commute.
Bill Howells
Webster Groves

Get it together: Thanks for the excellent article about Susie Stephen's murder on a St. Louis street. I hope that [the city's] transportation officials and [state transportation departments] across the country will finally start to get their act together and make pedestrian safety a priority.
Mark Counselman
Chicago, Illinois

Veteran Salute
Hate to see Bay go: Your article was very interesting and caught many of the Disabled American Veterans backtracking [Jeannette Batz, "Conduct Unbecoming," May 22]. I am a good friend of Jerry Bay, I have known Jerry for approximately nine years. I can only say he is a very honest person and wants the DAV to be a strong organization that supports veterans. I met Jerry through the DAV and he has always been up-front with me and everyone else, to my knowledge. I hate to see Jerry leave the DAV (as indicated in the article), however, one or two people cannot change the organization. Your article was great. Keep up the great work.
Robert D. Ford
via the Internet

He gets no response: I used to be so proud to be a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans. I even wear the logo on my lapel along with an American flag pin. I have written to national [DAV officials] three times about the subject of your article. The responses I have received are worse than the pabulum printed by the Post-Dispatch.
Paul Hale
St. Louis

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