This judge has what it takes: Thanks for your fine article on Judge Jim Sullivan and the St. Louis city female drug court [Geri Dreiling, "New City Trick," September 11]. Drugs, prostitution and mental- and physical-health problems abound in St. Louis, and sometimes it is a real challenge to determine if anyone is trying to do anything at all to make things better. I represent one of the organizations that provide treatment options for Sullivan's charges and am pleased to be involved with the city task force Sullivan has set up to deal with these issues. I brag on this rather eclectic group as being one of the few commitments I have where things actually get accomplished. Dreiling's article should have left people with the impression that Sullivan is by turns stern, thoughtful, creative, caring, tough, clever and a no-nonsense guy. All of these are true. He is one of the finest examples of one of my favorite slogans -- "True compassion is ruthless."
Preferred Family Healthcare, Inc.
Do the numbers: Let me see if I got this right. Mayor Francis Slay is in strong favor of the rehabilitation of bricks and mortar downtown, yet the rehabilitation of human lives is not on the agenda. Now I'm really confused!
H. Alex Bursian
Meow: Your story on prostitution in St. Louis was very enlightening. It is interesting to learn about the circle of drugs and addiction most prostitutes are trapped in. I wonder how many of those girls your paper pimps for by running ads for "massage" parlors and services in your classifieds?
via the Internet
Exotics and domestics at risk: Jeannette Batz's excellent article on the problems of breeding more exotic animals than there are decent accommodations for brings to mind another social problem: the breeding of more dogs and cats when there are already more of these animals than homes willing to take them ["Wildcat Strike," September 11]. If not humanely killed, the extras often wind up in horrible circumstances -- as bait for training pit bulls to fight, for instance, or as breeders in puppy mills to add still more animals to the surplus. Until we address these problems with enforceable laws, there will always be individuals ready to make a buck from the suffering of innocent animals.
Swain, New York
A voice for animals: Thank you for bringing animal sanctuaries to the public's attention. All too often, well-meaning humans try to do the right thing by helping animals, only to let things get out of hand. If the United States would pass a law making ownership of exotic wildlife and animals used as entertainment illegal, some problems would be eliminated. Animal circuses, roadside zoos, traveling shows and photo opportunities with animals need to stop. It's time we humans realize we are not the only species on earth and animals are not ours to do with as we choose. Animals do not suffer any less just because they have no voice to speak the words.
Praise, not damnation: I worked with Kenny and Sandy [Smith] for a number of years. I know that they have had some hard times, but as their friend, I know that their heart is in the right place. Sandy would do just about anything for these animals, but they are very expensive to take care of. Not many people would take on this responsibility. It is more work than people realize. If no one takes care of these animals, what would happen? I do not think that the world would be a better place without them. I feel that the world should make a better place for them.
New Haven, Missouri
Jill don't know: "Aw, give her a chance," I thought. Having been out of the loop about Jill Posey-Smith's controversial reputation, I took notice of the letters calling for her immediate removal right after her return to the RFT staff. But I read on. I tolerated Ms. Posey-Smith's articles until she showed her ignorant side with remarks about the current Shu Feng restaurant in U. City ["Paradise Regained," June 12]. Not only does she not feel compelled to explain her feverish dislike of this burgeoning establishment, she obviously has no clue about Chinese or Taiwanese home-style cooking. I grew up in Taiwan until my teenage years, and I have frequented LA and New York Chinatowns during my schooling years. In the current Shu Feng I have found some of the best dishes anywhere. If in doubt, just ask the kind, always-cheerful matron for a suggestion: We've never been disappointed. Not only has Ms. Posey-Smith shown herself to be rather ignorant of real Taiwanese/Chinese cooking, she has also repeatedly offended the intelligence of her (ex-)readers by repeated categorical derision without offering any other information. Thankfully, the growing group of diners, Asian origin or not, who populate Shu Feng every night aren't reading Ms. Posey-Smith's unsupported diatribes.
Coal in his stocking: I only want one thing for Christmas -- and that would be to give Kristeen Young a Happy Meal and a life [Letters, September 4]