Letters for January 3, 2008

For more info
Re “A new beginning” (Upfront, Dec. 27):

Thank you for your story on Leilani Schweitzer, the Reno mother who tragically lost her son Gabriel as the result of complications related to hydrocephalus (or “water on the brain,” as it is more commonly known). Gabriel’s story dramatically illustrates the misconception that once a child with hydrocephalus has undergone corrective shunt surgery, the condition has been resolved. Complications are not rare; in fact, approximately 50 percent of shunts fail within two years causing repeat surgeries and, in rare cases, life-threatening complications.

We applaud Leilani’s courage in telling Gabriel’s story.

If your readers would like more information about hydrocephalus, please go to www.hydroassoc.org.

Suzanne Leigh
Hydrocephalus Association

San Francisco, Calif.

Here it is
Since you have published the Yosemite version, why not publish the Paiutes’ version which appeared in the Sacramento News & Review? Remember, a lot of Paiutes who were displaced from Yosemite now live in Reno, Nevada.

I could name names of the Yosemite Paiutes who now reside in Reno, but you know it’s true.

Come on, it’s only fair to show both sides of this wonderful story.

Please reprint Kel Munger’s article since she was so gracious to listen.

David Andrews
Sacramento, Calif.

Editor’s note: The story “P.O.'d Paiutes” may be read at www.newsreview.com/sacramento/Content?oid=607705

I like John
Music to my ears—on Dec. 26 in Laconia, N.H., presidential candidate John Edwards spoke about his progressive health care plan (his plan, early-announced, influenced both Hillary’s and Obama’s) and offered, “It could evolve after time into a single-payer system.”

This first question of the night came from a young Campton mother with her baby on her lap: “What do you think of the Michael Moore movies?” Sicko is not about Americans without health care; it’s about claim-denial problems for those having it.

The question properly lodged with our excellent candidate. Edwards, thoughtful and real, sees a possible evolution to a single-payer (no profit-taking involved at all, finally) system. Music to our ears, both for the idea and how he considered it, in our presence.

The Nation magazine’s editorial in the Jan. 7 issue says of Edwards: “His is the campaign that has most effectively responded to the spirit of progressive populism that lifted Congressional Democrats to victory in 2006.” He proposes a faster Iraq withdrawal than his two main competitors.

Fence-sitters: John Edwards is the electable candidate who consistently speaks of government doing for people rather than doing for corporations. That is real change. We need John Edwards, and he needs our votes.

Lynn R. Chong
Sanbornton, NH

Amphibians are stupid
Re “Tales from the election mire” (View from the Fray, Dec. 20):

As a warm-blooded creature who has been watching the toads and the frogs for years, I marvel at how easily manipulated they are these days. I trace their ignorance back to the start of television. Before their free-time hours were filled with trash TV, they could read meaningful books and factual newspapers.

In the 1940s, the swamp-dwellers knew that we were at war, both in Europe and in the Pacific, and they would never have settled for anything less than total victory in both theaters.

But now, the insect-eaters let their supreme leader get us into no-win wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they will be happy to elect a replacement leader who will continue those wars for many more years to come.

So, who do you think will win? The stumble bum or the mumble bum?

Brad MacKenzie

Re “He’s the dean” (News, Dec. 27):

In the article “He’s the dean,” we reported, “Webb was … a member of the six-person Mercury News team that won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.” Dean Jerry Ceppos writes us to say, “There was no earthquake Pulitzer for a team. The Pulitzer was, in the Pulitzer board’s words, for the entire ‘staff of the San Jose Mercury News.’ In other words, all 300 or so staff members were the winners of the Pulitzer for coverage of the earthquake.” In the same story, we reported, “On May 11, 1997, the Mercury News ran a front page column by Ceppos which was viewed widely as a retraction.” Dean Ceppos writes, “My column did not run on the front page of the paper. It ran on the front of the Sunday opinion section.” We apologize for our errors and any confusion our errors caused. The story has been corrected online.