News » News Stories

Letters Column

Week of March 23, 2006


News Real, March 9, 2006

Om Sweet Om

Don't do the CRM if you can't do the TM: Thank you for publishing "Peace and Punishment," Kristen Hinman's article about the use of Transcendental Meditation in rehabilitation programs. TM is a resounding success in improving the lives of people at all levels of education, health and personal development, from those with the most problems to those with the greatest gifts. TM knows no bounds and improves life for everyone who tries it and continues the practice.

Thank you very much for sharing this with the general public. Everyone needs to know how delightful and positive the influence of TM is in the lives of the individual, the community and the nation.
Natalie Neal, Challis, Idaho

News Real, February 23, 2006

Trash Talk

Recycle this story: Ben Westhoff told me he'd decided to write a story on recycling because he thought it was high time that someone accurately and thoroughly reviewed the issue. We agreed. But Mr. Westhoff's piece had some inaccuracies. Below are clarifications to the possibly misleading information contained in that piece.

There are costs associated with the collection of recyclables, just as there are with trash. Somebody somewhere along the line has to pay for these costs. Throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area (and the United States), services vary. Regardless of annual revenue of the local government or the income level of the residents, some cities and counties provide no recycling. Some communities require residents to directly pay for curbside recycling service; elsewhere governments pay for the service. Using tax revenue, the City of St. Louis provides residents with curbside recycling service for automotive batteries, motor oil, appliances and tires and collection of recyclables deposited at drop-off sites.

According to officials in Memphis, residents there must pay $19 per month for curbside collection, including appliances and household recyclables. (They do not accept automotive batteries, motor oil, appliances, tires or cardboard.) Their drop-off recycling services divert three percent of their waste stream. The City of Milwaukee does not collect batteries, oil, appliances or tires with their curbside service. In Kansas City curbside collection does not include batteries, motor oil, tires or glass.

St. Louis County does not offer any drop-off recycling sites to residents living in unincorporated areas and merely requires waste haulers to make voluntary recycling pickup services available to residential customers for "a reasonable fee" (which includes a "reasonable profit").

To assume that the challenge of recycling can be easily resolved is to underestimate the complexity and character of the city and its residents. Despite budget cuts and layoffs throughout city departments over the past several years, the city steadfastly remains committed to recycling by continuing to fund 27 drop-off sites. The variety of materials accepted at these sites has increased and their availability has been promoted. The result: Our drop-off sites diverted 1,756 tons in 2005 — a 28 percent increase over 2002.

Fortunately, our great city is full of wonderfully dedicated and cooperative residents. We enjoy working with them and appreciative of their efforts and their firm support. We are constantly working on and upgrading our waste reduction, reuse and recycling services and will continue to do so.
Jill Hamilton, manager, City of St. Louis Recycling Program

Café, February 23, 2006

Chew on This

Ranklin' Rose: The drive across the river to visit us hayseeds must have made the ultra-cool and oh-so-hip Rose Martelli cranky, 'cause her hatchet job of Gallagher's was incredibly harsh. Food is subjective, and everyone's got opinions, sure, but what she didn't say was perhaps even more damaging than what she did. She failed to mention the fabulous Sunday chicken dinner, a feast that features lighter-than-air biscuits, the most superior mashed potatoes and cream gravy in the bistate area, and a chocolate cake for dessert that my eighteen-year-old son proclaimed the best cake he'd ever eaten, not to mention delicious fresh fried chicken served in meaty portions.

Most of us in these parts happen to like Gallagher's. As a longtime fan of Richard Perry and a local food writer, I find Martelli's slash-and-burn job about as cruel as I've ever read. She criticized dishes that had Provel and white sauce and blathered on about Modiga. Everyone who dines out in St. Louis often finds Modiga, Provel and white sauces on menus — our region seems to like it. Restaurants often cater to their customers — what a concept!

When you go to Gallagher's, you are not going to get fusion, Asian influences and nouvelle cuisine. You are going to get good, stick-to-ribs food, prepared with care. They don't have any pretense. Richard Perry's and Mickey Kitterman's quality touches are welcome to many of us who fondly recall the Jefferson Avenue Boarding House and anywhere else they went.

I watched the Gallaghers transform a dilapidated eyesore into a place that local folks are proud of, enjoy spending time at and a place we like to bring out-of-town guests, who seem to like the ambiance. No one I know has ever had a bad meal there or been disappointed at a social function on the beautiful third floor. If Martelli could have checked her attitude at the door, she might have found something to like at Gallagher's. Us rubes certainly have.
Lynn Venhaus, Waterloo, Illinois

Check, please! Thank you for your honest take on Gallagher's. The few times I have dined there, the service was bordering on an embarrassment. I read positive reviews in the Post-Dispatch and Sauce that glossed over poor service, long waits and uninspired menu items as if they were minor details, irrelevant to the main point, which seemed to be: "Look at the quaint townsfolk of Waterloo, they got themselves a bona fide classy restaurant. Ain't that precious."

Anyone not blinded by Monroe County pride could see those reviews as patronizing bullshit.
Andrew Traughber, Columbia, Illinois

It's all in the adjectives: I thoroughly enjoyed Rose Martelli's coverage of Gallagher's. The adjective-infused article was nothing short of entertaining and full of advice on avoiding an establishment that attempts to resurrect the "Menus of Days I'd Rather Forget."

Dead and gone is dead and gone. Rest in peace, oh ye recipes of old.
Fred Miller, Wood River, Illinois

That old Jefferson Avenue magic: Just this week I was talking up Gallagher's, hoping Richard Perry was reviving some of that Jefferson Avenue Boarding House magic. I will save my dinner funds for something else.

Thanks for saving me a trip.
Mike Emerson, Linn

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.