Hartmann Hits a Dinger

Week of March 13, 2002

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Hartmann Hits a Dinger
Buy your own damn stadium: I just read your article "Giants' Lesson: Part 1" [Ray Hartmann, March 6] and enjoyed it immensely. Finally, a commonsensical article about the fallacy advanced by for-profit professional sports teams that their revenue-generating arenas and stadiums should be financed by the taxpayer. As a California resident, I've voted no every chance afforded to me when faced with these ludicrous propositions. I'll be happy when, or if, the day comes when professional sports teams understand that they cannot bully cities into "grants" for developing their businesses. I feel this way even though I'm a fan of professional sports and enjoy the entertainment they offer. I'll cut my rant short, but I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed reading your article.
David Amuda
via the Internet

Can the Pulitzers' pet come out and play? Keep it up, Ray, you're doing a great job and my guess is that the vast majority of us non-MLB owners are behind you. As the Cardinals and politicians seem intent on keeping the issue from voter approval, any chance they will at least submit to a debate? Perhaps the RFT could challenge the P-D's editorial staff for a formal debate in writing or on TV (during Donnybrook, perhaps?).
Name withheld by request
via the Internet

When hell starts selling Sno-Cones: What a dynamite column! Ray laid bare how far off base the editorial page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was about the taxes paid by the San Francisco Giants. Good reporting. Good logic. Good writing. When are the editors at the Post going to realize the stadium issue is eroding the credibility that had been so painfully rebuilt during Ellen Soeteber's brief tenure?
Ed Bishop
Editor, St. Louis Journalism Review

Escargot Elegance
Even a blind snail could read it: Such a good feature [Jeannette Batz, "The Clan of the Cavesnail," March 6]! And written in a style seldom done so well. I enjoyed every line. Ecology should always have such explanations.
Robert S. Small Jr.

Weird but wonderful: Fascinating reporting. I'm moved by the dedication of this life work, although I agree it's just a little weird. But to each his own. One of the best RFT articles in recent times. I'm back, keep it up.
Adriane Underwood

Patriot Games
GOP is walkin' on the fightin' side of this reader: It is anti-democratic and borders on jingoism for the Republican Party to wrap themselves in the flag and tell the American people that if someone does not agree with them, he -- or she, in the case of Jean Carnahan -- is unpatriotic or not "doing their job," [Ray Hartmann, "United We Slam," Feb. 20]. President Bush should be ashamed to be associated with such tactics. It belies his promises of bipartisanship during the campaign. He should ask that his image not be used to distort the records of Sen. Carnahan and her fellow Democrats. It belittles him and the office to condone such juvenile attack ads.
Janet Alfieri
Plymouth, Mass.

Six-Pack City
We could be huge! As the Riverfront Times has often lamented, the city of St. Louis is broke. It can barely afford police and fire protection. Are we doomed, or is there an answer? You bet there is. Let's take a tip from sports teams like the Rams who make a bundle by selling the naming rights to their stadiums. Let's sell the naming rights ... for the whole city! Surely there is some company out there that would be interested in seeing itself promoted in every piece of news generated here, in every world atlas, on every map and highway sign. And the first people we should approach with this amazing opportunity are the fantastic marketers at Anheuser-Busch. Carpe bonanza! Just imagine. For a billion dollars or so, in an instant, the name St. Louis and its backward image are history. Instead, we become Budville, the fun place to live and work. That statue in front of the Art Museum, the one where a guy on a horse is holding a sword? Well, goodbye sword, hello tall cold one. For extra value, we'll crown every cop car with a large plastic Louie the Lizard. How could A-B say no? The worldwide publicity from the name sale alone would be worth several hundred million dollars! So let's take a tip from the corporate masterminds who gave us the sheer poetry of the Edward Jones Dome [D.J. Wilson, "Ya Gotta Be a Player," Jan. 30]. Come on, A-B. For a billion dollars, we'll put you on the map ... literally. Down with Louis IX. Up with Louie the Lizard!
Jeff Klayman
St. Louis

Dolts, Dopes, No-Shows
Shut up, unless you were there: During the summer of 2001, there were protests nationwide over plans to air the new television show of "Dr." Laura, a woman who tells her 18 million radio listeners most gay men are pedophiles. I'm not sure how the RFT can equate [Webster University Professor Robert] Goss' attending a peaceful protest to someone vandalizing his office [Wm. Stage, "Meat Treatment," Feb. 27]. I guess it comes down to simple ignorance. While the spring '01 protest was covered by all local television stations and the Post-Dispatch and gained national attention from news outlets like "Planet Out," the RFT has never reported on the protests or controversy, nor has your ... rag even mentioned it until now. It is odd that you'd describe the protests as "raucous" when you didn't cover it, nor did any other outlet describe it in that way.
Chris Andoe
via the Internet

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