Bad Business

Week of July 16, 2003

Bad Business
Hold Your Vitriol: Those who are continually spewing vitriolic opposition over the new school board's attempt to rectify a bad business situation need to give the process time before they categorically dismiss it [D.J. Wilson, "Demolition Man," July 9].

The St. Louis Public Schools are in the business of providing education to St. Louis students. Unfortunately, the business aspect of that operation is in shambles. Improving the business of education will not in and of itself raise students' test scores, but I can guarantee that if the school system lapses into insolvency that will be a far greater catastrophe. One can question the approach of the new school board in hiring an outside consultant and not having a "community meeting" to discuss the decision, but I'll take a head-on approach any day over sitting around and discussing how bad things are with no impactful solution in place, or in sight.
Greg Gibson

Closing Time
Brian to Tom: Keep the beer cold and shut up: Velvet owner Tom Gray's comments may be some of the most inane I have ever read [Bruce Rushton, "Larry's Club," July 9]. In a mere three quotes, Gray manages to lament the fact that the homeless can register to vote (a constitutional scholar he isn't) and opine that the homeless at the New Life Evangelistic Center are committing all of the crime downtown (yeah, Tom, those battered women at 1411 Locust are a real menace). The absurdity of those statements is obvious, as is a tavern owner criticizing Larry Rice, who has spent the last 30 years in this city helping the poor meet their most basic needs.

And even though this guy comes across as a Grade-A douchebag, I believe that if Gray couldn't afford to buy medicine or was living in a home with no air conditioner, he may have a different opinion of "that place" he wishes wasn't around. You see, "that place" is where many of the marginalized in this town go to for assistance when they have problems like these. Ultimately, it's people like Tom Gray who give club owners everywhere a bad name. Tom, from here on, please stick to making sure the beer is cold and the CDs don't skip. Leave that "infuriating" stuff like feeding the hungry up to folks who actually understand what benevolence is. You obviously don't.
Brian Ireland, case manager
New Life Evangelistic Center
St. Louis

Shirked Duty
One more angry man: Does Tom Carr forget that jury duty is a privilege as well as a civic duty [Bruce Rushton, "One Angry Man," July 2]? His antics are no more than a cry for attention, as well as a poor attempt to get out of something he doesn't want to do. His so-called beliefs for objecting to jury duty are a weak argument at best. He should be so lucky as to have a jury of his peers when he is on trial. Or would he prefer the crooked lawyers and system to decide his fate? Thank you for giving this slacker a forum to whine about the consequences of his childish behavior!
Tom Thompson
St. Louis

'Cued In
A vegetarian picnic! Hot diggety dog! Thanks for Guy Gray's July 2 item suggesting a vegan Fourth of July ["Barbecue This!"]. As a member of the St. Louis Vegetarian Society, I enjoy attending monthly potlucks, and although I personally am not 100 percent vegetarian or vegan, I find myself opting for more vegetarian meals all the time (and even enjoy a completely raw meal on occasion)!

The St. Louis Vegetarian Society's goals are to promote food choices that are healthy for people and for the planet. The society educates and empowers people to shift toward a plant-based diet and take compassionate action toward all life. The creativity used in preparing the wide variety of food offered at the society's potluck events rivals some of our city's best restaurants. In light of the epidemic of obesity in our nation, it is a pleasure to share time with such enjoyable and health-conscious people of all ages.

This month is the St. Louis Vegetarian Society's annual barbecue and picnic potluck, which will be held at Blackburn Park, at the corner of Edgar and Jackson just south of I-44 in Webster Groves. The Vegetarian Society will supply veggie burgers and raw tossed salad for all. Join us on Thursday, July 17, at 6:30 p.m. and enjoy live music, great veggie food and interesting people! Vegetarian Society members bringing a generous dish attend for free, without a potluck dish $4. Nonmembers with a dish $3, without a dish $6. Nonvegetarians and children are always welcome. (For more info call 314-995-2699.)

For future reference, the Vegetarian Society typically meets on the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the beautiful, rustic Dining Commons at Eden Seminary in Webster Groves, on Lockwood and Bompart, across the street from Webster University. Meetings begin with a potluck dinner followed by a guest speaker. We hope to see you there!
Karen Klaus
St. Louis

The Real Crime
We of little faith: I'm writing in response to Randall Roberts' excellent article, "Meet the Anarchists" [June 25]. I hope I won't be thrown in jail for expressing myself, but at what point in our illustrious city's history did it become a crime to love, respect and care about our planet? At what point did caring about what companies genetically alter or inject into the food we eat also become a crime? And when does engaging in a peaceful protest involving the future of mankind become anarchy?

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