Week of August 10, 2005

Pride, Prejudice
He says, he says: There were several inaccuracies in Randall Roberts' August 3 article "Pride and Prejudice." Although I recorded my interview with Charles Stadtlander, transcribed all of his quotes and told Roberts that fact, he writes: "Stadtlander adamantly denies the charges and says Balk misquoted and misrepresented him in print."

The article also states: "Stadtlander claims Balk relentlessly pursued him throughout the day, pounding him with questions. 'He did this the entire duration of PrideFest, to the point that I eventually told him to leave me alone,' Stadtlander says."

I saw Stadtlander three times during the two-day festival, the first being Saturday at the Log Cabin Republicans' booth where he introduced me to his partner and I took their photo. The second time, I said hi to him during the Sunday-morning parade. He suggested that I not stand by him as he was being booed and things were being thrown at him. The third time I saw him, he was preparing to go onstage Sunday afternoon. None of these times did I ask him any questions regarding his scholarship award.

The RFT article also stated that I called for Pride St. Louis to "rescind its decision and apologize to the community." At no time did I ask Pride St. Louis to rescind its decision to award Stadtlander the scholarship. I did ask for them to apologize to the community.
Jeff Balk, publisher
EXP Magazine
St. Louis

Splendid Splinter
Ask Ted Williams: Ted Williams was a self-made man who lived by his own rules [Joe Henry, "Ask a Negro Leaguer," July 27]. He refused to suffer fools or insincerity. He didn't tip his hat because the fans cheered when he got a hit and booed when he struck out. He found that inconsistent and disrespectful.

Though innately intelligent, he was never schooled or worldly. His code was defined by a person's word and performance. Hitting a ball was his life, and he lived by the rules of the playground and the ball field: Put up or shut up. He expected nothing less than perfection from himself and those around him. People let him down, and he let himself down, causing continual frustration. His standards were the highest.

A lot of his behavior may have been childish, though it is my belief much of it was an act designed to get people to leave him alone. His terrible temper is a common trait throughout the family -- his brother (my father) had it too, and many of us have struggled to bring it under control.

Though the ultimate loner, in his personal life, for the most part, he was loving and supportive to his extended family and to his friends. There are many stories of his kindness and generosity, though he became enraged if anyone spread the news around. He was never one to want a pat on the back.

I owe him a lot, I'm proud to be named after him and will always be thankful for his involvement in my life. Just thought I'd offer another side to the man.
Ted Williams
Oakland, California

Not Mayberry
Nip it in the bud: I recently read Malcolm Gay's "Too Many Cooks" [July 6]. We commend the RFT for presenting an alternative side to the meth issue and agree the problem will not be solved by law-enforcement intervention alone. It will require a comprehensive solution that also addresses addiction.

I was concerned, however, that you published a letter which suggests that the meth problem in Jefferson County has been attributed to the ineptness of the sheriff's office [Letters, July 20]. Clearly, the reader fails to recognize that Jefferson County has been at the forefront of the anti-drug campaign since home labs developed in Missouri.

We immediately recognized the "mom-and-pop" labs would be an issue. We designated manpower to focus on the meth issue while other agencies ignored the possibility of increased use or production. When many agencies did address the issue, they contacted the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office for the training. The sheriff's office now has one of the largest narcotics teams in the state. They raid more homes, seize more drugs and clean up more labs than any other county.

The sheriff's office continued the fight by educating thousands of citizens. We trained medical staff on suspect behavior, waste-management personnel on what the trash looks like, community groups on home-lab indicators and students on the hazards of production and use. As a result of the training, the narcotics division continues to handle an influx of calls for suspected labs. They work diligently to investigate each call in a timely manner and respond appropriately. Sheriff Boyer has been instrumental, while arguing for increased legislation and funding.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is an internationally accredited agency and conforms to the highest law-enforcement standards. Our deputies receive the best training available. A suggestion that we "make Barney Fife look like Supercop" is a discredit to the men and women who risk their lives for the purpose of making a community better.
Lieutenant Dave Marshak
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

Got Game?
The Riverfront Times is looking for an articulate joystick jockey to write an online column for our group of eleven weekly newspapers. An ability to distill the essential elements of newly released videogames without resorting to technobabble -- and without bowing to industry hype -- is a must. Also useful: an ability to appreciate and explain gaming's role in pop culture. A sense of humor is required; bad breath is optional. Interested parties should send a cover letter, résumé and two sample columns of 500 words apiece to:

Andy Van De Voorde
Executive Associate Editor
New Times Newspapers
969 Broadway
Denver, CO 80203

No phone calls, please.

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