Letters Column

Week of May 18, 2006

News Real, May 11, 2006

Wi-Fi(ltered)

Great sex: Kristen Hinman's "Soup, Salad and Censorship" is an excellent article. As the former publisher of "Sex, Etc.," a newsletter and Web site written by teens for teens, which is completely educational, I want to thank you for its accuracy and thoroughness. You might want to visit the Web site www.sexetc.org and see the work we do for yourself. Thank you very much.
Susan Wilson, Princeton, New Jersey

Bad sex: I disagree with your slanted, "damn the man" article about Panera Bread's filtered Wi-Fi service. Their Wi-Fi is a complimentary service, not a right that is owed to you uninhibited. They are offering something for free that most pay for. If they want to filter it, that's their prerogative. If you don't like it, then don't pay for it. Oh, wait, did you forget it's free? Look, they make their best effort to keep any material being viewed on laptops family-friendly, but they will never be able to be perfect. There's simply too much out there on the Web. You know full well that they don't intentionally make it OK for you to search "KKK" and not "dick," yet you chose to take the low route and paint that picture. You should be ashamed of yourself as a journalist.

If you want to bitch about censored Internet, bitch to those that charge you for it. Don't bitch about someone that's just trying to give you an added convenience to check your e-mail. For free, no less.
Greg Thomas, St. Louis

Feature, May 4, 2006

Caveman Underground etiquette: I spend a lot of time researching caves, mines and tunnels in the city of St. Louis. I spend more time at the library, historical societies and city hall looking up information than I do under the streets of St. Louis. I have spent years looking for stuff. Heck, some of my friends have spent decades looking under the city. They are missing the best part about underground St. Louis. After a while of researching and exploring in the city, you begin to see the bigger picture. You see how the interaction of natural caves, clay mines, immigrants, coal veins, beer, breweries and an expanding city are interconnected. It's fascinating.

There is a proper and legal way to explore under the city, and the guys in Randall Roberts' "Notes from the Underground" are not doing it. These guys, through their actions, are destined for injury or jail time. If anyone is interested in caves under the city, they should check out one of the local caving clubs, like the Meramec Valley Grotto.
Joe Light, St. Louis

Feature, April 27, 2006

St. Louis Blues Paradise regained: Malcolm Gay's "How Many More Years" was excellently presented. Trying to replace Oliver Sain, Johnnie Johnson and others is nearly impossible. It is therefore a real revelation to watch Marquise Knox, at the age of fifteen, sound like Muddy Waters. St. Louis is a blues paradise with Henry Townsend, Bennie Smith and many others like Billy Peek (whose signature song is "Can a White Boy Play the Blues?"). My wife, Diana, is a music photographer and has a Web site, and we have and will continue to promote these legends. The music really stirs your soul. Moreover, it produces real racial harmony and love, the like of which is seldom manifest in St. Louis.
Irv Mestman, St. Louis

 
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