Letters to the Editor

  • Wednesday May 9, 2012
Share this Post:

No need for crime scene photo

I just read the front page of your May 3 issue and I am absolutely aghast that the murder photo of Ms. Brandy Martell is published there ["Trans woman killed in Oakland"]. Out of respect for her family, loved ones, and in the name of decency, there was no need for this photo to be included in your story. The photo added nothing to help understand the senselessness of the tragedy or gain journalistic credibility for the Bay Area Reporter . However, it unnecessarily emblazoned the violent image in the conscious of your readers who �" for the most part �" are already sensitized to the reality of violence perpetrated upon its community members. My first thought was, "What if it were me lying there?" I pose that same question to you, "What if it were you?" There is no dignity in the image of a bullet-riddled body, covered in a white sheet, lying on the cold, blood-soaked asphalt pavement.


Darryl Lampkin

Hayward, California


[Editor's note: On the contrary, the powerful image of a murdered transgender woman speaks volumes about the violence many trans folks experience. It goes to the very heart of what the paper does �" convey the news to our community.]




Lavender, not pink, for City Hall

As a native and lifelong resident of San Francisco, I agree that lighting up the dome of City Hall during Pride Week is a good idea ["Pride Committee, SF city agencies prepare for Pride," Political Notebook, May 3] . However, the color should be lavender, not pink.

City Hall is located on Polk Street. (About 13 years ago, then-Mayor Willie Brown renamed the two blocks of Polk Street that City Hall is on after an African American leader named Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett.) During the 1950s and 1960s, Polk Street (called "Polkstrasse" by the gay community) was the main street of what was then the primary gay neighborhood, a neighborhood still called Polk Gulch today. During the 1950s and 1960s, lavender, and not pink, was considered the primary gay color. Therefore, since the City Hall is on Polk Street, lavender, not pink, is the color in which the City Hall dome should be lit.

P.S. The hex code of lavender is #B57EDC.


Dick Johnson

San Francisco




Vasquez for DCCC

I enjoyed reading Matthew Bajko's article on the upcoming DCCC race ["SF Dem candidates differ on party panel makeup," April 26], however, one LGBT candidate's name was left out, Christopher Vasquez. He is running for the DCCC and has widespread community support and endorsements including Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisor Christina Olague, former Supervisor Bevan Dufty, Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Prozan, Rafael Mandelman and myself. Vasquez was (2008) and is working for Gays for Obama and is a tireless campaigner for LGBT rights and causes. Because Vasquez enjoys widespread support from both moderates and progressives, I feel he is a great choice to be on the DCCC.


Steve Adams

San Francisco


[Editor's note: There are so many LGBT candidates that we couldn't get them all in one article. Mr. Vasquez was included in the April 30 Political Notes, the B.A.R.'s weekly online column. Link is http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=67664.]




LGBT center is a wreck

Has anyone in the community taken a good look at the LGBT Community Center on Market Street? It's dirty, it's ugly, and it is using city funds that are badly needed elsewhere to perpetuate a lost dream. At a recent function I attended even the young people we were honoring commented on the center's state of disrepair and dirt. As a native San Franciscan I am ashamed that this building is so poorly run and in its current condition. The function I attended was on the fourth floor, the only good space in the building. The view across the open terrace would have been beautiful, but could not be seen because we were told the window shades are broken in the closed position. Of course, if we had been able to open them they would have revealed windows that haven't been washed in many years. Whoever came up with the juvenile color scheme only compounded this building's big problems. The fourth floor directory shows only two out of 10 offices occupied. My negative review could go on for days.

I'm sure the health inspector would prefer not to go near the kitchen facilities on the first floor. In the long run the center's board would do a great service to the gay community and the city's budget by getting out some Windex and cleanser and doing some real work �" then deciding how this white elephant should be dumped.

The gay community should stop trying to make this work and face the facts: the design is sub-standard and its operations model is not realistic. The center should stop trying to pull money from both private and public sources and let the organizations who have successful operating models receive the extremely limited funds that are available in a constricted economy.

It's time to stop throwing good money at a project that has failed in a very large way.


Frank Morris

San Francisco