You wasted about half a page of newsprint and who knows how much time, Kittling around about a termed-out editorial stringer from the daily newspaper [“Editorial, Aug. 19]. He isn't worth that effort now and never was before.Moreover, you pay attention to the small stuff—his megalomania and incompetence. You would have done better to collapse the tiny man into a tiny article, something similar to what I sent the Union-Tribune publisher recently. I wrote,
“This newspaper's decay, although part of the larger shakedown of print media, resulted more from poor editorial choices, analyses, and writing than from the economic buffeting. The minor explanation for any newspaper's low quality is poor news coverage. The major explanation is its misunderstanding of its area and its readers. The editorial staff members you laid off were worse than ignorant about those factors. They dismissed the readers as irrelevant.”I think that's the essence of the editorial failure at the newspaper. It applies to all of the editorial board, and it doesn't give any one of them undeserved stature.
Backbiting the one, now dismissed, gives him a relevance he didn't earn and doesn't deserve. I wish you hadn't done it.
Jim Varnadore,City Heights
Irony and comic relief
Thank you for the comic relief in your Aug. 19 letters section.
First thing: The “ironic left” letter from Craig Thompson left me limp with laughter. Apparently, Mr. Thompson does not really know what irony is; otherwise, he probably would have kept his yap shut. Also I can't believe that such a narrow-minded person even reads your magazine. I support Obama and I also support your right to run articles and “This Modern World” that poke fun at him and, well, disagree with him. (By the way, this is not irony either, Mr. Thompson.)
Second thing: Ed Decker's conclusion—“Fuck the children!”—is just the kind of acceptable language I expect to see in a propaganda rag such as CityBeat. (Did I mention that I never miss an issue and that I pine for him when Ed Decker's column is not featured? Mr. Thompson, that's irony.) Mr. Decker is a perfect representative of your publication, to paraphrase Lee Witham. I don't always agree with Ed, but I love his independence and fearlessness, even when he pisses me off. That's what makes great reading—that and maybe more comic relief.
Phillip E. Banks,Logan Heights
I was devastated the other day to hear about the closing of Caffe Forté [“Nibbles,” Aug. 19], which was by far my favorite place to hang out in North Park. The CityBeat staff may also have frequented this wonderful spot, since it was just downstairs from your offices. I wrote the poem below to mourn this closing:
The End of Caffe FortéThere's no place in North Park left for us to meetCalabria has good coffee, or so they say, but Greg roasted Forté's beans, with some kind of magic, while his chocolate cookies cooled on the counter, and he strummed jazzy riffs on his red guitar, p>or played old Joni albums on an older player, while Linda whipped up another batch of deviled eggs, and nursed along her Wednesday pot roast, as she joked, “Get back to work, you slacker!”
I'm going to mope down University all week, wearing black past the empty buildings, with their mournful graffiti, past three or four Starbucks, still crowded with Jonahs, past the unsold condos at “La Boheme,” past the Urban Body Gym, and several other places with “urban” in the title. But the gentrification failed, and took its share of victims. Our friend is gone; they say he's moving back to Portland.
Gabriela Anaya Valdepeña,North Park
Would you like your online comment to be considered for publication in our print edition? Include your true full name and neighborhood of residence.