Letters Column 

Week of June 15, 2006

News Real, June 1, 2006

Growing Pains
Greener pasture:
While capturing the underlying problem in the St. Louis area, Randall Roberts' "Produce Row" inaccurately characterized the Tower Grove Farmers' Market. What wasn't mentioned was the amount of work we have put into finding new farmers and food vendors for our market. Several of our vendors are new to the farmers' market scene. This is positive in several ways, the most important of which are that we have increased the supply of local foods in St Louis and we have helped foster small businesses and the local economy.

The premise that we decided to start a Saturday market whether or not it was a good idea is wrong. We had received almost 1,000 surveys through our Web site (www.tgmarket.org), with 80 percent of respondents saying they preferred Saturday. Now we are up to over 2,000 surveys and the percentages are nearly identical. We developed the market around the demand and then focused on the supply.

Finally, the vendor count was misleading. We have averaged eighteen food vendors each week, of which fourteen are farmers.

We will be working with urban farms in the city to help meet our demand, as well as with other regional farmers to form cooperatives and bring in more first-time market vendors. These new growers will meet quality guidelines; our ultimate goal is to provide healthy, local food that is affordable and accessible to all city residents.
Patrick Horine, market master, Tower Grove Farmers' Market

Letters, June 1, 2006

More Monkey Business
Apeshit redux:
I know that Mark Sarich and the kids down at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center who fancy themselves "punk" are no fans of the Bonobos, but I'm surprised that dislike has risen to the level of hostility. To use the words of letter writer Glenn Burleigh, caterwauling vocals with lyrics that no one can understand, buried underneath a cacophonous, nondescript, postpunk wall of noise "does not make you a good, political punk band," either.

I'm actually surprised this attack is coming from the far left, but as the lead vocalist for the group, I challenge Mr. Burleigh to put his lyrics up against my own, and ask him if he really feels that our artistic differences mean more to him than our sharing common political enemies. Oh, and as far as the electric saxophone goes, guilty as charged. But it gets much worse. We also have a violist.
Bryan Simmons, Clayton

Feature, May 25, 2006

Roll On
Derby daze:
Thanks for Julie Seabaugh's great coverage of the Arch Rival Roller Girls' progress in St. Louis. I came to Tucson to go to grad school and fell in love with roller derby. I never dreamed that someday I could come home, visit friends and family and still get my derby fix!

I wish these girls luck finding a venue. I can't wait to see them in next year's national tournament, and I'm looking forward to lacing up in my hometown after I get my degree. Roller derby will never die!
Kate Barnidge, Tucson, Arizona

A to Z, May 11, 2006

Ruka Puffery
Long may he puff:
Annie Zaleski's column about Ruka Puff was spectacular. She truly captured the inner parts of Puff and made him really stand out. Not that Puff on his own needed any help.

I enjoy reading spectacular articles like this one about young striving artist in the Lou, especially my longtime friend Puff. Over the years I have seen him become everything and more than he has strived to be. I'm just patiently waiting like so many others to see him reach the status of Nelly or Chingy.
Mark Neal, St. Louis

Rotations, May 11, 2006

Pearl Jam Rocks!
Not like that emo/screamo crap:
Does Sam Machkovech even listen to the music he reviews? Comparing Pearl Jam's latest efforts to those of their past is lazy journalism at best. This album is fresh and raw and needed, with crappy music that is out there today such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy and all this other emo/screamo crap you guys and other media seem to embrace so much.

Where are the bands today that actually stand for something and just rock? They aren't to be seen at all behind all the whining crybaby sixteen-year-old bands who just lost a girlfriend.

Some advice: Buy a ticket and attend a live Pearl Jam show and then rethink this horrible opinion.
Bryce Yetter, Berkeley

News Real, April 12, 2006

Here's to Dan!
"Last Call" or long-distance call?
With regard to Chad Garrison's April 12 story "Last Call," we find it interesting that letters to the editor disparaging Dan Apted professionally and personally have come from long-distance locations like North Carolina and Ohio. Those of us fortunate to work with Dan and reside in St. Louis know of his many amazing contributions to the community. We have witnessed Dan invest time, money and heart into his family business, local charities and the region at large. Dan's impact has been felt from St. Charles County (where he was named Man of the Year for his contributions) to the City of St. Louis, where he is aiding in the revitalization of Forest Park by resurrecting the Dwight Davis Tennis Center.

If Dan has a fault, it would be his inability to say "no" to the many charitable organizations he and his company support. He is a man of great character and integrity who chooses to perform his work behind the scenes rather than bask in the limelight he so absolutely deserves.

We, like many others, are proud to call Dan Apted a friend, and St. Louis is fortunate to have such an invested citizen.
Pete and Elizabeth Makulec, Glendale

For the kids: Mark Pollman sounds like a fascinating character. I don't really know him, but I wish him well. I do know Dan Apted. As the founder of KUTO (Kids Under Twenty One), a United Way crisis and suicide-prevention agency for teens, I got to know him well. He was 110 percent behind me from the first day I asked him to help. He gave time, money and effort from the heart. "It's for the kids," he'd say, again and again. KUTO is only one St. Louis charity thriving thanks to Dan. He deserves better.
Judy Crowell, Frontenac

Dan's the man: Years ago we established a charity event to help young men and women who wish to attend private schools but don't possess the financial resources. Dan Apted has been a very instrumental part of the success of this program. He gives of his time as well as his money. More importantly, he has a passion and commitment to reach out and help other people.

Dan is a kind, gentle man who will go out of his way to help others in a time of need. I firmly believe that a person should be judged by the type of individuals they bring into this world. That being said, it has also been my pleasure to get to know Dan's daughter, Danielle, through a business relationship. Danielle has been a pleasure to be associated with because of her enthusiasm, business savvy and her ethics. We need to applaud individuals for their caring and for their character. Dan Apted is an example of the type of individual I am proud to know and be associated with.
David Sabada, Manchester


Chow Time
Not enough restaurants to go around:
Why do your recent restaurant reviews mirror the ones in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch? Aren't you original enough to pick your own choices? Maybe your critic is doing double duty?
Bret James, St. Louis

Erratum "Down Time," published May 25 in our annual "Summertime St. Louis" guide, reported incorrect information regarding accidents at area skydiving facilities. According to press reports, two parachutists have died as a result of accidents at Quantum Leap Skydiving Center: one in 1999 and the second in 2004. A skydiver was fatally injured at Archway Skydiving Center in 1993. Archway has since changed ownership.

The owners of both centers say no serious accidents have occurred in the past year at their facilities.

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