SF Free Press - Letters - Nov.12, 1994
Saturday, Nov. 12, 1994

We love to hear from you. Email your Letters to the Editor to fpress@ccnet.com Keep 'em coming!

Persistence pays off

Well, it took a couple of hours to track you down there at ccnet. But it was well worth the investment.

Perhaps it's my imagination, or maybe the idea of quality writing for free increases my satisfaction, but I'm enjoying The San Francisco Free Press more than I typically do the Chron and Examiner.

I've cancelled my Examiner subscription for the duration. See you on the net.

Reede Stockton

Sane words

When I saw Herb Cean with a picket sign in your earlier edition, I felt more than a twinge of solidarity. While you are picketing and demonstrating for a better life against an amorphous budgeting entity, Food Not Bombs struggles to improve lives of others against a monstrous resource consuming beauracracy. The article describing outrage against the city's expenditure of overtime funds for police strike duty dittos the feeling of seeing two mounted police, four squad cars, and two police vans every day for months attempting to prevent a lunch service. And the very challenge of tempering your colleagues' anger as they throw rocks and hurl insults at 'scab' workers is the one taken by many FNB members.

And now I'm reminded of a meeting where the death of a member was announced, someone certainly driven by passion for others and desire to effect change. In all of our haste, the strikers, the owners, the police, the government, the protesters, we are hurting ourselves, we are getting hurt, and some die. We can stand together, and affirm our rights, and state our needs and grow together. This is not war, this is our home.

In solidarity,
Andrew Rose
San Francisco

Public service

This www site is posted on misc.activism.progressive and it would be a service to your readers to point them that way. As you haven't a substantial foreign desk, the m.a.p. newsgroup is a great way to find out what's up.
Click here for WWW access

Best of luck, great effort at electronic publishing! Can't wait for article searching, shared archives, video still and motion, user- tailored newspapers, auto layout, interactive advertisements and whatever else your dreaming of.

Different Folks

Dear Editor,
The article by J. Wells in the Nov. 7 internet edition of the Free Press on the Berkeley mayor's race is totally inaccurate. The two front runners -- Shirley Dean and Don Jelinik -- are about as different as two candidates can be in terms of local politics. Dean vociforously supports real estate interests, is anti-rent control, has voted against most progressive local issues, and SUPPORTS measures N & O (the panhandling and loitering initiatives, or as they have come to be know here, the "poor laws.") Jelinek is strongly pro-tenant, has been a pillar of progressivism in Berkeley, and OPPOSES N & O. Dean's support is centered among upper income voters in the hills and No. Berkeley, while Jelinek's spans the range of voters, with strength in central & south Berkeley and the flatlands.

You may also be interested to know that Jelinik has been endorsed by the Alameda County Central Labor Council and is supported by many local union activists.

Vanessa Tait

Reader gives an html-assist

Another Marriage -- Saved

Dear Friends:
My husband is a fanatical CHRONICLE reader, but, of course, there was no way we were going to let a scab paper into our homes. Yet, with no paper, my husband was getting grumpier and grumpier. And no MERC or NEW YORK TIMES would bring back his good spirits.

Then, last night, I turned him onto the FREE PRESS ONLINE. Wow. He's impressed and delighted. And he says he's going to read the couple of online back issues over the weekend. In a word, he's hooked.

Keep at it, guys. Another marriage saved by the FREE PRESS ONLINE.

Evy Pine

Workers 1, management 0

It's striking workers 1, management 0 in the first round of the online news wars.

The online SF Freep is well designed, fast, interesting to read, and doesn't look like a quick grab and dump of the first paragraphs of wire copy. The only thing it's missing is the six-column Macy's ad next to Herb Caen's column - time to take a page from Hotwired and sell someone a one-inch banner at the top of the screen.

The online SF Gate, on the other hand, is a blurry mess, slow to load and hard to read and looking like someone's first pass at online design. I've seen better from college kids (and someone will point me at an elementary schoolkids online newspaper, I'm sure, saying that it's far superior to both).

Whether this new publication is going to be the next Rolling Stone, who can say. Like the thugs, I'm from Michigan, so there's no guarantee that the perspective from here is going to be of any use to anyone near the scene. It's certainly a step up from the online situation when the Pittsburgh, PA papers went on strike, where faxes were the order of the day, and TV stations slowly scrolled obituary notices on the screen for people who didn't have a paper to read them in.

Edward Vielmetti

Give Mom a break

Incredible job on the on-line newspaper. This is yet another example of how new information technologies will change the way that things work in our society. On the Internet there are no bosses and there's no need for their high overhead.

As a resident of Palo Alto who is attending college in Connecticut, I have always done my best to keep up to date with Bay Area news and other happenings. This is an excellent service that you are providing, and is a million times better than begging my mother to stuff Herb Caen into the Fax machine.

Good luck and keep up the good work.
Jim Barr

Hard carbon copy

I just posted this comment on the Electric Examiner's letter page. It says it all...

"Hey, this just like the real Examiner - boring layout, repetitive reprints from other papers, rehashed press releases for new movies, lots of typos.

Keep it up, I won't need the paper any more. I can always read the good writers in the Free Press or hear them on KGO."

... all that is, except that people have been put out of work, perhaps permanently, others have been hurt and killed as a result of this dispute. Please take care on the picket line and I wish you well in winning an equitable resolution soon.

Alun Whittaker

Fast Score

You guys are doing one hell of a job! Being in Boston, I miss getting local news (I'm from Oakland). I really love the paper that you have online - I especially liked reading about the Warriors (3-0!). Keep up the good work. I hope that this won't have to go away... Thanks!
Andrew Kass


Thanks right back

Hooray for the online version of the S.F. Free Press!

Thank you, CCNet Communications, for providing the means and thank you, Free Pressers, for the ways.

And here's to a short and relatively calm strike. But please, keep up the 'lectronic version of your articles. Great stuff!

Lee Scott Jacobson

Building our own castles

After seeing the "Party of Business" win out over the "Party of Labor" in the elections yesterday, all I can do is wish you the best. Given all the downsizing that has occurred since the 1980s and Reagan/Bush, it seems to me that we have gone from a country where people actually cared about each other's welfare to one where a human is merely a commodity, nothing more than a tool by which to obtain profits. Even if this strike situation can be ironed out, it would seem that the institutions of power are in place to maintain this new morality. I just hope that you don't have to face this kind of abuse from your employers again.

I saw on the World Wide Web a note from Michel Chaouli who suggests that you start your own publication without the Hearsts. I, for one, would love to see such a courageous experiment. It may be that the MLBPA will provide a model for how it can be done, but if you beat them to the punch... what role models you would all be for working people everywhere! Think of it: labor grows tired of management and decides to do things on its own. The ONLY loser would be management.

I suppose that there would be snags and hard times at first, but if all the labor unions can get together and work out the details, what a fantastic experiment it could be!

Best wishes in your efforts,

Josh Paley


Beautiful online paper, folks. Much better than the paper-thin S.F. joke of a Comical they're sometimes deciding to deliver. Besides, "Sporting Grey" has major giggle value. Good luck with the strike, and please keep on HTMLizing after you're back at work.

Kevin Savetz
Arcata, California

High quality praise

Dear Free Press People--

Your Web site is better than the Chronicle/Examiner site. For one thing, you've got your issues in proper reverse chronological order instead of the mismash at the other site. Your site came up within days; the other sat in its same sorry state until you provided it some due competition. Congrats, kudos, and onward towards things that matter: justice and quality for starters.

Dennis Woo

Tough times all over

I thought I ourght to write to wish you aLL the best of luck in your fight. I am a British student facing cuts in my living standard left right and centre and only wish that my union (the NUS) would fight like yours.
luv matt.

I for Incomplete

Love your WWW "paper" and wish you the best of luck with the strike, but one complaint: why no comprehensive report on the outcome of all the SF races?

Lots of piecemeal reporting, but the only detailed election results you offer are statewide. I want to know what happened with all the ballot measures.


Ted Weinstein

Wish list

I'm now a regular reader of the on-line Freep, and I really appreciate the work of writers like George Shirk who are feeding my sports jones on a daily basis. I'd love to see more columns by the usual suspects (today I even read Pat Steiger's society column, I was so desperate!). Also, is there any way to get box scores in the Freep?

Once again, thanks for the good work. Keep it up.

Jim Mayer

Short but sweet

Thanks for publishing. Keep up the good work. This is my news source.

Good luck in the strike.

Brett Williams

What he saye?

I don't want to be a complainer, but someone has got to play editor over there. I just finished Bruce Jenkin's article, which has no fewer than 13 typo's. Most of them would not be caught by a spell checker, but 3 of them would. However, just having one person other than the author read through the article before it is posted would probably catch 95% of the errors.

Just a suggestion.

Randy Walker

Warmer climes and times

Mr. Carroll's column (11-10-94) on the success of Prop. 187 was a chilling piece of satire. It help to put a smile on my face, as well as a chill down my spine, as I continue to sit here at work, stunned, wondering what went wrong.

Actually, I've been thinking of moving to South Africa. They've eliminated apartheid, including the pass book/identification laws, they're starting a universal health care program; they even put gay rights into the constitution. Wilson wants to issue citizen ID cards and universal health care died here in California. Hmmm. South Africa is looking better everyday.

Thanks for the FREE PRESS. It's good, and having it on-line is an added bonus. Good luck to you all during the strike.

gregory "gar" russell
Vice-President AFSCME Local 3211
UC Berkeley Clericals

What, you don't read Jon Carroll?

Great job on the WWW site. The 'publication' has been invaluable for us living outside California with this access and interest in the election results. Beeest of Luck with the strike.

Miguel Navrot

It's our pleasure

To all the journalists, pressmen, typographers, etc. who have worked to put the "Free Press" together...THANK YOU! This is a GREAT WAY to read the news!

Terry Fotre

Whither the weather?

Dear Editor, First, thank you very much. The SF Free Press is excellent. I will not support the scab papers until they settle with you, assuming that they have any intention of settling.

Second and third, a couple of suggestions. How about a local weather summary and forecast? How about an NBA roundup of all the games from the previous night?

Finally, I think you have a real chance to create a much better paper than either the pre-strike Comical or Hexaminer. Assuming the arrogant bastards running the Comical and Hexaminer refuse to come to terms, I hope you make a go of the SF Free Press. San Francisco deserves a first rate paper. I will gladly subscribe to the SF Free Press if doing so will help.

Paul Butler
Department of Astronomy
University of California

Editor's note: you can telnet 3000 and type sfo for the san francisco forecast.

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