FEATURE, AUGUST 28, 2008
Slaten Lives in the State of Denial
Don't deny it, Kevin: Good Lord. If only half of what Kristen Hinman wrote is correct (and I have no reason to doubt any of it), then this is a man with serious anger management issues ("Kevin Slaten's Head is About to Explode," Kristen Hinman). But of course, I knew that when he took a swing at that soccer player in the incident that she described. Mr. Slaten seems to be a man in serious denial of any mental issues that he obviously has. To paraphrase Bruno Bettelheim, denial is the easiest form of treatment, since if you don't have to admit that you have a problem, then you don't have to do anything to treat it. Mr. Slaten obviously would rather persist in a world of denial than seek the professional treatment that he obviously needs. One last thing, Kevin. Didn't anyone ever tell you the old saying that it's a very bad idea to pick fights with people that buy ink by the barrel?
Ruschman 3x, St. Louis County, via the Internet
CAFÉ, AUGUST 28, 2008
Confused critics spoil the broth: In his review, "Seriously Old School," Ian Froeb demonstrates an inability to research, a failure of observation and a lack of food knowledge. The overly negative tones diminish the three eateries' (more than) 40 successful years in the restaurant industry and thousands of pleased customers. In no place in Bartolino Osteria is there "white-walled elegance," and if something as simple as the color is misconstrued, how can readers trust the judgment of the food itself? We are glad that the opinion was "upscale" because that was the goal, but at no time did we express ourselves as a "neighborhood joint." Moreover, calling a family-owned restaurant steeped in tradition a "spiffed up Olive Garden" is deeply insulting.
Since it is the job of the critic to describe the experience we cannot refute Ian Froeb's opinion, but his use of al dente to describe an onion is clearly the wrong use of the word. Literally translated — "to the tooth" — the term applies to a level of cooking applied to pasta. Secondly, although it was possible that Froeb's veal chop was "fatty and gristly," it was very unlikely. We proudly serve choice meats, from the highest quality vendors in the industry, and any time the cut does not satisfy the customer we gladly prepare another. Lastly, we serve our pork dishes cooked medium; if a pork dish is served at medium rare or rare it will almost always be sent back by the guest as being "raw," even in this day and age. This explains why the well-trained waiter did not ask how it should be cooked, much to the critic's confusion. Our recipes convey our passion for good food and a tradition of giving generously, and our motto: "Cook good food and give plenty."
Michael Saracino, Saracino Family of Restaurants
FEATURE, AUGUST 21, 2008
On the Right Track
Hats off to the fearless RFT: Chad Garrison's article "Blood on the Tracks," which dealt with crime and the MetroLink, generated much anger among those who view transit as pure, unadulterated good. Fortunately, the RFT employs people who understand that few things in life are pure — and who are willing to seek controversial answers to important questions like this. The serious street-level research which Mr. Garrison put into this piece lends it a level of credibility that is lacking in the responses we find elsewhere, which could have been copied from a quick Google search. As our region makes decisions on the expansion of the MetroLink system, many factors must be considered. Most important is the widely accepted fact that the vast majority of suburban residents will never become regular transit users, no matter how much you expand the system. The financial viability of an expanded, underused system must be considered. And as Mr. Garrison has pointed out, in some situations MetroLink may also serve as a conduit of crime. The public must make these decisions based on reality, not as viewed through the Post-Dispatch's rose-colored glasses or the blinders of civic progress. This article gives us yet another reason to be thankful for the fearlessly independent Riverfront Times.
Nick Kasoff, Ferguson
Fanning the flames of fear: There is no solid evidence for the idea that MetroLink is bringing crime to St. Louis County. Yes, shoplifting is way up at the Galleria, but it is way up in many places around the country. And it is still below the levels of the 1980s. There was a nasty incident recently in the Loop and two nasty incidents at MetroLink stations. Fine, but the MetroLink line, which runs to the Delmar Loop, has been in operation since 1993! During this period, the level of crime in the Loop and in the nearby Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood has plunged. Ask any resident of this area, and they will agree that they are far safer today than they were before MetroLink started running fifteen years ago.
So why the terrifying cover, guys? Why the idiotic question in the headline ("Is MetroLink to blame?"), which your own article clearly answers in the negative? It seems to me that there is really only one news story here, and that is this: Once respectable alternative weekly, failing to increase its readership through pornographic stories about predatory middle-aged women, turns to cheap and empty scare tactics to gain public's attention; a sad story indeed.
Warren Rosenblum, St. Louis