Letters for the week of September 3-9, 2003

Appreciating the Phenomenauts' talent, tolerating Harold Camping's Gnosticism, denouncing OMI's sorry lack of justice, and supporting Gary Coleman nationwide.

“Space Invaders,” Feature, 8/13

Thanks for the peek

I’ve seen the Phenomenauts perform three times and I absolutely love their show. I was at SF Warped and the explosion caught my attention. I ran to catch a spot and sang along as best I could. This article was well-written, funny as hell, and really informative. I didn’t know a lot of their background or personal lives, but this was a little peek in. I think they will have a lot of success because they are charismatic, funny, quirky, personable, and talented.
Misha Wiggins, Redding

Letters, 8/13

Family Radio will not outlive its founder

Since Thomas J. Holt is quick to point out errors in reporting, I feel compelled to state that he himself is erroneous in disclaiming Harold Camping’s Gnostic use of numbers. His books The Final Tribulation and The End of the Church Age … and After, both of which I have read, do contain twisted mathematical workings-out of “hidden meanings” within the Bible.

I also found the temper tantrums about calling Mr. Morrell a “retired Philadelphia cop” rather humorous. He was a law enforcement officer, was he not? He is retired, is he not? Then he is a retired cop. The office in which he worked has nothing to do with the topic of the article, so it need not be mentioned. While I do listen to Family Radio, I refuse to give it any money whatsoever. I feel that when Harold Camping passes away, so will Family Radio and thus the debate will lose its heat, or simply move elsewhere.
Chadwick Saxelid, Concord

“Jerry’s Kids,” Feature, 7/23

Even thirteen-year-olds deserve due process

Should one experience OMI, they will soon find that other than a military influence and daily marching, it is no different than some of the public schools many students departed seeking a better education with the hope of being accepted by Harvard, West Point, and the University of California. The above-named institutions are still out of reach for some of the brightest 3.8 & 4.0 students in Oakland and other cities.

Recently a family member attended an OMI mandatory summer encampment for ten days. Upon his return, the student telephoned home, advising his guardian/grandparents to pick him up right away. After arriving home, the guardians received a telephone call from an unidentified source advising that the student had been dropped from OMI. On July 25, 28, 29, and again on August 18 and 19, 2003, I telephoned Major Robert Bradley, Commandant of Oakland Military Institute, to no avail. On August 8, 2003, we forwarded a letter to Major Bradley and Mayor Brown asking for a meeting and an explanation as to why this child was dismissed without due process.

It appears that military justice under OMI does not allow for a timely response and a fair and timely hearing of any allegations. Major Bradley stated in a recent newspaper article “communication breakdown.” I am extremely pleased to know that he and his staff are not in charge of our regular military.

While I support some military-style discipline that OMI may provide. However, even in the regular military service, the accused is entitled to a fair hearing to determine whether disciplinary action is warranted prior to being booted out. That is no way to treat a thirteen-year-old who was solicited by Mayor Brown to enroll in the Oakland Military Institute.
David E. Macon, Oakland

“Spread the Words,” 7 Days, 7/23

Books for all

I was interested to read your opinions on Oakland Public Library’s book drive and, in particular, Pamie.com’s support of it. I appreciate your concerns, but I respectfully disagree with the “problems” you have suggested exist within the book drive.

While various branches may have had more books initially distributed to them, a library system is designed so that any book located at any branch of the library can be delivered to the reader’s preferred branch. Perhaps a central wish list would have increased the likelihood of each particular branch initially receiving certain books, but the main branch is distributing “randomly” donated books not from the wish list to other branches in need. I fail to see how it’s “unfortunate” for any library branch needing a book to receive that book. Those books will be available to all members of Oakland Public Library.
Molly K. McKenna, New York City

“Gary for Governor,” Feature, 8/6

It’s statewide

Regarding Mr. Coleman’s description of Sacramento as the “armpit of California”: We in this great capital city are not amused. As everyone already knows, California has only TWO armpits, Oakland and Bakersfield! 🙂
Douglas Hoffman, Sacramento

It’s national

I would vote for Gary Coleman if I lived in California.
Virginia Rowans, Memphis

What a hoot

Regarding your list of actors/politicians. Do you know that Alan Autry, who costarred on TV’s In the Heat of the Night for many years as Bubba Skinner, is the mayor of Fresno, California? What a hoot!
Joan Gouveia, Oakland


In our review of American Splendor (“Stupor Man,” 8/27), we incorrectly stated that comic-book author Harvey Pekar was being treated for testicular cancer. In fact, he has a lymphoma.

In our August 20 review of Sonny Smith’s album This Is My Story, This Is My Song, we erroneously identified the disc as his first release. Actually, it is his second album.

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