"If came into your neighborhood and did everything I just described in this letter, I would be arrested." 

Week of December 28, 2006

Feature, December 14, 2006

There Goes the Neighborhood

Kinda pissed: As a Soulard resident, I don't completely detest Mardi Gras, but I have come to dislike it in recent years ["Party Nazis," Chad Garrison] Many of the hundreds of thousands of folks who come into my residential neighborhood seem to believe they can park in private parking spaces and on lawns, pitch beer bottles, plastic cups, beads and other trash throughout the neighborhood, urinate in the alleys, raise audible hell well into the night and essentially make life miserable for those who live there. Why would any neighborhood need hundreds of thousands of carousing drunks as an annual tradition?

I don't care which booze sponsors which bars. Why sell booze on the streets anyway? Why not sell it inside the establishments that are set up to do that type of business? As a residual benefit, some of these drunks might also be able to get a meal instead of overpriced fare or ballpark food.

You can have a Mardi Gras party and parades without destroying the neighborhood. All of you outside of Soulard need to remember that if I came into your neighborhood, such as Chesterfield or Town & Country, and did everything I just described in this letter, I would be arrested.
Terry B. Moses, St. Louis

Semitic semantics: I am a businessman who has been in Soulard Market for the past fourteen years. I have been on the Soulard Market Vendors board for the past fourteen years, and I represent Soulard Market to Mardi Gras Inc. I have been on Mardi Gras Inc.'s board on and off again for the past six years, and I have been treasurer for the past two years.

Last year my partner, Tom Gullickson (who has been in various businesses in Soulard for 21 years), and I built Julia's Market Café in Soulard Market at Ninth and Julia streets with money made from Mardi Gras last year. Julia's Market Café is the first sit-down café Soulard Market has ever had.

I am also a Jewish man who is very offended by the use of the word "Nazis" in your article. I believe that you could have used a better word to get your point across.
Ted Greenfield, St. Louis

News Real, December 14, 2006

Irons (Still) in the Fire

Think about the students, for once: Now that Floyd Irons is no longer the coach, the question of the eligibility of the players is on the table ("Basketball by the Book, Part 3"). Why was everyone so afraid to look into it when he was coaching? If the Missouri State High School Activities Association had a real backbone, it would have done something about the problem a long time ago. Now you have a new coach who has inherited these problems, and you are now making sure that all is right with the roster. A kid comes from Hannibal and that school is saying that he was recruited. Coaches are going to wait until tournament time to disclose information on kids, and they call it the nature of the business. Well, it's obvious that it's not about the general welfare of student athletes. It's all about the adults and "Let's get Vashon" now that Floyd is not in the picture. The coaches and the association are weak (as an ex-educator I cannot say what needs to be said about these coaches and administrators). For the record, I graduated from Vashon in 1961. I have always supported the kids but have never been a big supporter of Coach Irons. We just need to do what is right for the student athletes.
Roosevelt J. Ferguson, Olivette

Till things get straightened out, Ron: Enough already. How long do we have to be bombarded with Vashon stories of dysfunctional organizational procedures?
Ron Williams, St. Louis

Ask a Negro Leaguer, December 14, 2006

Say It Ain't So, Joe

Never too old to learn: It was very disappointing to hear Joe make the comment last week in his article about how "the Jewish community can't be that upset about [Mel Gibson's] remarks." Unfortunately, he couldn't possibly be more wrong. The Jewish community can be and, by and large, is very upset about Mel Gibson's remarks. Considering that those remarks came from a man who previously had made a film version of the Passion of the Christ, a story that over the centuries had become notorious for stirring up feelings of hatred towards Jews with its less-than-subtle anti-Semitic slant, in addition to the revelation that Gibson's very own father is a known anti-Semite and a Holocaust denier, it would only stand to reason that Jews wouldn't exactly take Mel's hateful tirade with a grain of salt. For Joe to suggest otherwise is extremely insensitive and ignorant of him. Coming from a man for whom I've otherwise had a great deal of respect — for the wisdom and input he has provided in addressing all kinds of different issues raised to him in the "Ask a Negro Leaguer" column — it's very disappointing. It's obvious to me that even at Joe's age, he still has a lot to learn.
T. Hart, St. Louis

Feature, November 30, 2006

Ping's the Thing

Er, we guess we get your point: "Ping Dynasty" by Chad Garrison brought attention to a popular Chinese sport. Americans need to adopt more Chinese activities, because the Chinese elite will soon rule over America. The American pig people are no match for the Chinese war machine. The Chinese people are like ants. They are industrious and possess a unique hive mentality. Because the Chinese don't enjoy sex, music, real sports or freedom, they can dedicate their entire life to serving their masters. The land of the slaves (America) is not far behind. I need to cut this letter short because I need to drive to Wal-Mart in my Honda to purchase some "Made In China" products.
Christian Peper, Richmond Heights

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