City Dump

Week of April 24, 2002

Apr 24, 2002 at 4:00 am
City Dump
Greedy out-of-town trial lawyers -- stay away! The venue-shopping strategy employed by the plaintiffs' attorneys against the Doe Run company [Roland Klose, "Venue's on the Menu," April 10] goes squarely against the spirit of the law and serves as an ideal example of why tort reform is long overdue in this country. Because the plaintiffs could not prove their case in the plaintiffs' home venue of Jefferson County, the city of St. Louis' overcrowded civil-court system [is now] burdened with handling it. FYI: This case has nothing to do with the city of St. Louis. Whether you agree with the plaintiffs' complaints against Doe Run or not, one thing is clear: This case could open up the city of St. Louis as the next dumping ground for venue-shopping attorneys whose cases do not have merit elsewhere. The city cannot afford to carry this burden. It also makes a case for companies located in the metro area to encourage their executives not to live in the city. Let's not give St. Louisans another public-relations black eye. Make plaintiffs' attorneys prove their cases on their home turf and leave St. Louis to attend to its own matters.
Ben Niven
Troy, Mo.

Food Bites
Even the Hill has bad taste: I read with amusement the letters taking your food critic to task for criticizing Busch's Grove [Melissa Martin, "Shallow Grove," March 20]. I have lived in several places around the United States and have enjoyed the past eight years in St. Louis. I love the people here, and raising a family here really is a great experience. However, the "endogenous" food here is, hands down, the worst I've had. Visiting my family in St. Louis, my father insisted on eating at a "real" St. Louis restaurant on the Hill. I complained that the Italian food on the Hill was terrible: The red sauces use sugar to make them sweet, the meat dishes are consistently greasy and the vegetables (yes, vegetables) are invariably unimaginative and overcooked. He was persistent, and we went to a popular site on the Hill. After lunch, my mother turned to my father and said: "Paul, when your son says to stay away from 'real' St. Louis food, you're going to listen to him!" St. Louis has some newer restaurants that are good, even excellent. But its best food is its Vietnamese, which competes with the best Los Angeles has to offer. Busch's Grove? Get serious.
Ross Cagan
St. Louis

Leave that woman alone: Enough with defending Busch's Grove and bashing Melissa Martin already! The time I ate there, her description of the menu was dead-on, and that had to be at least five years ago. I suppose nothing changes, but the regular diners seem to like it that way.
Liz Heilich
St. Louis

Liar's Query
Does the archbishop get a mulligan on the truth? Everyone feels so sorry for the poor parish, the parishioners and the godly priest [Jeannette Batz, "Agony of Sorrows," March 27]. But what does it matter if a child carries this scar in his head for life? My goodness, a Catholic priest has been removed. I regard the Riverfront Times as the only alternative available to me in the print media in St. Louis. I have one question that I have not seen asked by any member of any media: Is it all right for an archbishop to lie to a circuit attorney? If it is all right, is it because he is a Catholic archbishop?
Paul Hale
St. Louis

Movie Quiz
Mr. Pulitzer, meet Cool Hand Luke: After reading Ray Hartmann's "Mission Impossible" [April 10], it seems the Post-Dispatch owes Cleveland Hammonds Jr. an apology. Whatever happened to Absence of Malice? I'll be happy to loan the Post a copy of the Paul Newman video to, ha, refresh their memory ... on second thought, I might not get it back!
Brian Gilliland
St. Louis

Hats off to Hammonds: As a parent of a child in the St. Louis Public Schools, thank you to Ray Hartmann for standing up to the Post-Dispatch. It is really difficult to not interpret the daily paper's hounding of Mr. Hammonds as blatant racism. If the Post-Dispatch and the two school-board members that they endorsed succeed in driving Mr. Hammonds out, the district is in terrible danger of having a revolving-door superintendent's office. No sane, reasonable person would take the job given the state of war that exists on the current school board. Now, if only private education would get rid of their pedophiles as quickly as Mr. Hammonds did, children in private education would be safer.
Name withheld by request

Golden Oldie
Glad you didn't sing "Tom Dooley": At the risk of revealing my age, every time I ride MetroLink or MetroBus lately, I think of the old Kingston Trio song "MTA" [D.J. Wilson, "Golden Rails," April 17]. It was a protest song about the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Boston and Charlie, who paid his 10-cent fare in the morning but didn't have the nickel increase at the end of the line in order to disembark and so became "the man who never returned." In the words of the Kingston Trio, "Citizens, this could happen to you!"
Mary Frances
via the Internet