Though the Devour issue was outstanding, you omitted one of our local treasures when it comes to coffee shops [March 12: "Coffee Culture"]. Bill at Holy Spirit Espresso (yep, right downtown at 225 W. San Francisco St.) has been treating his loyal patrons to the best coffee and espresso for more than a dozen years with finesse, competence and a SMILE. How in the world could you miss him? He's legendary! C'mon! Dig deeper, look harder, be better!
It seems that when SF Reporter arts and culture editor, Patricia Sauthoff, turns her gaze south she can't see anything past St. Michael's. That's a shame, because in her article, "Coffee Culture" she missed the grooviest, most happening coffee shop in the city: Java Joe's on Rodeo Road.
It is the most inclusive coffee shop I know; no one is dissed, ignored or given attitude. People recognize that. The place is jammed by midmorning. SFCC and Santa Fe High students, retirees, real estate agents, artists, astrologers, house folk and the unemployed. Kids sitting with geezers, suits sharing a table with biker boys. It is the south side's living room.
Dave and his crew (a shout-out to hardcore baristas, Jim and Claire) seem to know everyone's name and drink. And the coffee is good: strong with double shots standard. Food is the usual bagelish/Chocolate Maven fare.
One final, telling, note: Last month one of Java Joe's regulars, an octogenarian, celebrated his recovery from surgery by inviting all of his friends to the coffee shop for an informal get-together. I am sure there were at least 50 people in the place when I stopped in, and the old gent was buying everyone who walked through the door, friend or stranger, their drink of choice. It really was a happening, off the radar, and blessedly Santa Fe.
READY TO SERVE
How very disappointing that the furthest south Ms. Sauthoff found a great "local" coffee house was Baca Street. Miklo's Coffee House in Tierra Contenta (you remember the area-we have the new Southside Library) is open for business, eager to provide a casual welcoming space for Santa Fe's quickly growing south side. Our niche is knowing our customers and their Fair Trade Organic Agapao coffee of choice. We are Tierra Contenta residents, our sons attended Capital High School, our daughter attends Cesar Chavez Community School. We want Santa Feans to know that there is much good happening on this side of town. We invite all of Santa Fe to visit the library, attend one of the theater productions or sporting events at Capital High, Ortiz Middle School, Sweeney or Cesar Chavez; you will be pleasantly surprised.
AND EDWINA GARCIA
But I was a little disappointed with the First Person column by Ted Rall [March 5]. It is very well written but his point is only reflected strongly in the title: "Hope You Can't Vote For: Ralph Nader (trys to) appeal(s) to disenfranchised liberals." Ralph Nader has done some very impressive things since his emergence on the national scene in 1964, when he moved to Washington, DC, where he worked for Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan. In 1965 he wrote "Unsafe at Any Speed" about the Chevy Corvair built by GMC. But "fighting the good fight" means more than coming out every four years to run for president and to mainly inflate your own vanity.
Where are the press releases from Nader over the course of the last four years calling for more accountability of the Bush administration? Certainly, as a lawyer committed to a set of ethics from the American Bar Association, he must have been morally committed to comment on the president's use of signing statements or executive privilege to avoid testimony in front of Congress-I'm not a lawyer, but only a citizen, and I spoke out on these topics with letters to the editor. Granted he is 74 years old and is even older than John McCain and may be too tired to serve as president. Maybe he just didn't have time to confront the most egregious violations of the US Constitution maybe since our founding and certainly since Nixon's Watergate.
Then how does he have time to run for president? I appreciate his sound bites, when he is a candidate, on the ineptness of Bush and his flawed economic and national security policies but it seems more distracting to the presidential race than its perceived value of 'moving the Democrats to the left.' To summarize: Do not vote for Ralph Nader if you want to get out of Iraq and still want to have a job and a roof over your children's heads when they have children; four or eight more years of Republicans="world" depression and destruction.
As a proud third-generation Mexican-American and executive director of IMPACT Personal Safety, I'm very thankful for your coverage of the violence that erupted between immigrant and non-immigrant Latino students at Santa Fe High [Outtakes Feb. 20: "Culture Clash"].
Our country is in the throes of an anti-immigrant backlash. I know firsthand that Hispanic parents often do teach their own prejudices. This issue can seem enormous and not easily solved.
However, personal safety is a human right. Period. What happened at Santa Fe High to the three victims was wrong. But what happened both at home and at school that allowed 15 boys to become racially motivated assailants is also very wrong. IMPACT's research shows that group violence is preventable far before it gets to this point. Our youth desperately needs skills to prevent such violence so this won't happen and they won't be afraid to go to school.
I'm glad that your paper so acutely understands the problems facing our youth in schools today. Which is why I was surprised that your coverage of the legislative session described the funded violence prevention programs for children and teens as "hand-to-hand combat" [Outtakes, Feb. 27: "Shaking the Piggy Bank"]. This description distorts the truth and leads to misinformation.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, IMPACT PERSONAL SAFETY
Thank you for publishing your interview with Congressman Steve Pearce, nice to know that someone whose health care is paid for by the taxpayers doesn't believe that the rest of us deserve the same [Cover story, Feb. 20: "Elephant Warfare"]. Hope his "personal responsibility" prompts Mr. Pearce to reimburse the taxpayers for his coverage and that he pays for his own premium.
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