City Hall Taliban

Week of April 10, 2002

City Hall Taliban
Nickname for Slay's wrecking crew: I appreciate your coverage of the issues with Mayor Slay and his administration regarding the controversies of saving the Century Building, but I'm deeply disturbed by your characterization of the supporters for this effort as the "10th Street Loft Taliban" [Jim Nesbitt, "Price of Thugdom," March 27]. [The term] "Taliban" is associated with a group of terrorists who resort to deadly attacks on innocent victims, not a peaceful group of supporters working together to revitalize downtown St. Louis. The RFT should make sure the representation of supporters is accurately depicted so readers do not develop a false perception that a small minority of residents is stirring up a bunch of trouble for Mayor Slay. If the term "Taliban" should be used anywhere in the discussion of this subject, it should be reserved for Mayor Slay and his administration, considering it appears they are doing their best to kill downtown forever and take out any developer who doesn't come from the "Money Power" coalition.
Elizabeth Johnson
St. Louis

Two Sides of Sorrows
In tones of understated understanding: I'm a parishioner at Our Lady of Sorrows, and I read "Agony of Sorrows" [Jeannette Batz, March 27] yesterday. I also know Doug and Judy Broleman. I think you caught the mood of the parish quite well through Doug and Judy's eyes. It's ironic your article hit the street the same week we "lost" another well-liked priest, the Rev. Gary Wolken -- hopefully temporarily. Thank you for a quietly compassionate article that's respectful of our current situation.
Tom Riggs
via the Internet

Ongoing outrage for original victims: While the story of the parishioners' sorrow over the loss of their beloved priest to charges of juvenile sexual abuse has a place, I am offended by the tone of this and other similar stories in the media at this time. That tone goes like this: Oh, the poor and saintly priest! What a betrayal! What an invasion! How terrible that he committed this single mistake! Who speaks for those who suffered the abuse and violation with equal understanding?
Mike Cheak
St. Louis

Cool, Firm Hand
Lessons of Truancy Court: I think the strongest point that you make in your article "Judgment at Hookyville" [Jeannette Batz, March 27] is the craving for attention and direction you saw in the children brought before the hooky judges.
Jim Massa
via the Internet

Bad, Bad Grrrl
Keep her off the carpet: Shame ... shame ... shame. What a nasty so-called review on Busch's Grove restaurant by Melissa Martin ["Shallow Grove," March 20]. I have eaten at Busch's Grove for years -- many years -- perhaps dinner five to six times a year. In addition, I often eat lunch, which is not only most reasonable (under $8) but also great food. I have on occasion given dinner parties and also attended dinner parties at Busch's Grove -- all absolutely marvelous.
R.J. Gamm
St. Louis

Hail to the hatchet: After several of our friends called about Melissa Martin's review of Busch's Grove, I had to secure a copy myself to read what she had actually said. As a couple who dine out quite frequently, my wife and I feel we are qualified to pass judgment on restaurants, including Truffles. At this particular time, Busch's Grove is our favorite. While their food may not be the best you can find in St. Louis, the overall conviviality of the place is what makes it so popular. You feel welcome from the moment you enter the parking lot. Everyone, including the busboys, makes you feel at home. As to Melissa's article: If she is a competent "reviewer," then I am the next president of the United States. I have never seen such a hatchet job done in a review. Not only were many of her remarks unwarranted, but to give a boost to a restaurant next door is in extremely poor taste. Did she have some sort of hidden agenda there? Some of her remarks seemed somewhat bigoted when referring to Jesse Jackson. If Melissa still has a job, I think she should be confined to fast-food outlets and soup kitchens, not a top-class restaurant like Busch's Grove.
Robert F. Sax
St. Louis

Tony Ribaudo was a candidate for St. Louis mayor in 1993. Because of an editing error, the year was incorrect in last week's cover story, "Judging Mariano."

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