Week of June 23, 2004

All in all, the article is only something to give people with boring jobs something to talk about around the water cooler, and I give no credence to it. Just another piece of journalistic trash! If you are really interested in reading something of truth and substance, check out the Ambassador's Open Letter to the Central West End Neighborhood -- and have a nice day!
Bob Jamerson
St. Louis

Knife Moves
Shades of the "Group W" bench: Suddenly the handy and versatile tool I have carried in my left front pocket for 40 years has morphed into a dangerous weapon, making me a suspicious character and barring me from the courthouse, airport, Arch, or even meeting my wife at her city-hall office for lunch [Malcolm Gay, "Arch Nemesis", May 19]. I'm reminded of Arlo Guthrie writing of his shovels and rakes as "implements of destruction" -- as defined by Officer Obie.

Afterthought: I wonder if the "courthouse whittlers" of my rural southern youth are now viewed as brazenly flouting Homeland Security!
G. B. Burton
St. Louis

Barge On
Good work: As the president of MEMCO Barge Line, I was pleased to open our doors to Randall Roberts for his feature "Mississippi Drifting". It shows that he developed warm relationships with our mariners on the towboat and got a good feel for working life on the river.

In reading the story, however, I was concerned that your readers might take towboaters' jokes as facts and then undervalue our commitment to safety.

At MEMCO we place a premium on hiring the best-qualified people to work on our towboats. We carefully screen people's backgrounds to make sure that we meet this goal. Once hired, MEMCO trains and coaches our mariners so they understand that our policies provide them with a safe and healthy workplace. That's our first and top priority.
Mark Knoy, president
MEMCO Barge Line

All and Al
Broadening our horizons: Regarding your Al Sharpton for Mayor button giveaway: What about doing a Draft William Buckley or Draft Rush Limbaugh? (Rush is from Cape Girardeau.)

Either one of those guys would make a good mayor of St. Louis. Maybe have all three of them be co-mayors of St. Louis. Collectively, they can solve our problems.
John M. Clones

"American Cutie," Brooke Foster's June 9 Night & Day item about David Sedaris, linked the radio show This American Life with National Public Radio, which is misleading. While This American Life airs on NPR affiliates, the program is produced by WBEZ and Chicago Public Radio and distributed nationwide by Public Radio International (PRI). Additionally, in the same issue, Michael Renner's restaurant review provided an incorrect telephone number. Taylor's can be reached at 636-461-2240.

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