God Is Our Cream and Sugar
Bravo, Scene! Once again you have printed an eyecatcher. Your article "Holy Lite," by Lydialyle Gibson [May 18], has really shed a new light with me. It feels like my pride with the Catholic religion has been torn at the seams. I couldn't agree more with Brian Upton's courageous effort to bring young people together in search of the higher power (along with lots of enthusiasm and acceptance -- sounds like something God would enjoy!).
What I didn't understand was Mr. Jacob Dorn's evaluation of seeker services. He found it so appalling to find a coffee bar in a church and that it's becoming a trend. So what?! What's wrong with having coffee and finding God? If a person has the spirit and the will and is really trying to absorb the power of God, I say do it. Hey, I pray while I'm washing dishes and drinking a lot of coffee.
And [Dorn] is concerned about the content of what's being communicated. Well, it sounds to me like Mr. Upton knows what he's saying. And it sounds like these seekers know what they're doing. So if what they're saying is true, what's up, Mr. Dorn? You call seeker services "watered down." I'm sorry, but it seems like you're a little watered down with your views. Hey, God knows who I am; he knows I believe in Him.
Mr. Dorn, give these seekers a break. (And give yourself a break while you're at it.) Please simmer down now and smell the real coffee -- it's called the bottom line. The Lord doesn't care how you seek him -- as long as you try.
Allyssa Lynn Allison
Talk's Cheap at the Free Clinic
I want to compliment Jacqueline Marino on her thoughtful, respectful, and insightful article on the current crisis at the Free Clinic ["Painful Surgery," May 18]. The firing of Jane Loisdaughter was clearly unethical and probably illegal. Also, Jane certainly has been a crucial part of the Clinic. It's important to recognize, however, that Jane's unjust firing, and the harassment that led up to it, are really only at the tip of this iceberg for present and former employees of the Clinic.
This is not at all about reorganizing the Clinic to make it more businesslike or to respond to the increase in clients. This is a mature staff of professionals who understand that change is often necessary to maintain the best service the Clinic can provide to its clients. The staff, including Ms. Loisdaughter, have been quite willing to adapt to any necessary reorganization. Rather, this is about a decade of mismanagement of personnel. This is about an organization that has been rotting from the inside, precisely because its administration has not effectively used any state-of-the-art management strategies, and because that administration is still not using them. The only reason the public hasn't heard about this personnel mess before is that workers and volunteers kept quiet, in the name of serving our clients or because they've been afraid of retribution. This place is so full of mistrust, fear, and intimidation that staff members are unplugging the phones in their offices, because they suspect that this director is monitoring their conversations through the intercom. Think about how dysfunctional this place must be! The firing of Jane is simply the last straw.
As a volunteer for the last 11 years, I have stood by in pain while I watched staff member after staff member treated despicably by the Clinic's administrators. Reporters and readers alike must not be fooled by convenient excuses that don't fit the facts. Our community deserves a functional Free Clinic not mired in lies, fear, and secrecy. Thanks again for at least telling some of this story.
An Officer and a Gentleman
Thank you for such a good article about Sgt. Gerald Goode and the sad events that transpired ["Tangled Up in Blue," May 11]. I hope this clears his name. May he rest in peace! There are two sides to every story. I am sure that Sgt. Goode had his faults, but the many positive remarks about him seem to stand out. He could be a role model for aspiring police officers, regardless of their race.
I suppose the tragedy in all this deals with the politics. It is very sad that a good person trying to seek justice could suffer so much -- suffering because much larger forces pursue their own agendas. The lesson to be learned emphasizes how easily good intentions can create your own personal nightmare.
I thank all the good police officers for their sacrifice and hard work. Despite what it seems, many of us do appreciate your work. Officers such as Sgt. Goode do give the public hope.
Masquerading Peach Melba
I read the Side Dish column ["Tastes in Taste Always Change," May 11], and I just thought I'd say that, about two years ago, I did work at an upscale restaurant that served pineapple upside-down cake. Unfortunately, this was in Boston, which is still at least two light years ahead of us (or behind us?) in terms of food. Also, ironically enough, I am going to be making a Peach Melba dessert on my summer menu -- although I do admit that the dish is part crème brûlée (peach hollowed out, poached in sugar syrup, filled halfway with homemade ice cream, half with peach custard, then burned). Sorry! Certain things sell. It's lamentable, and as chefs, it is our responsibility to help our guests ease themselves into trying different things, which I believe some of us are trying to do -- it just takes a little time.
Did I mention I'm putting a root beer float on the menu, too? (If I can figure out how to make root beer, that is.)
Mark A. Wilson
Chef, Grovewood Tavern and Wine Bar