Stephen Johnson Should Be CommendedI truly loved your article on Mr. Johnson ("Johnson: Smoked Pot Daily, Pot Relieved Nausea," Street Talk, March 8). He stepped up to the plate and took responsibility for his actions.

I can say a lot of folks would not have, nor would they ever take that approach. They would quickly pass the buck, or in some cases not be truthful, such as our former President Bill Clinton. Don't get me wrong — I liked and voted for Bill twice. But how many times did he say, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman"?

Mr. Johnson should be commended for being honest and for doing the right thing. Our children are watching how our leaders handle situations, and the example Mr. Johnson has set is be honest. My hat goes off to him for his bravery.

Elvira Jefferson-Jones

There's More to Love About Enoteca SognoThe recent review of Richmond newcomer Enoteca Sogno, while positive, certainly shortchanged the place by reviewing it with another, quite different restaurant ("Glass Houses," Food & Drink, March 1).

Apparently the focus was to be wine — even though Sogno is very serious about its food — but we learned very little about either restaurant's wine list except that Sogno's is "gently priced" and Bin 22 does flights. It is true that with markups well below the usual restaurant extortionary prices, Sogno's wine list invites drinking better and experimenting more, but the selection is also incredibly well-chosen.

The food is simple and very good. It seeks authenticity through using top ingredients and preparing them simply. I have now eaten there five times and had a variety of dishes with no disappointments. The passing comments of your reviewer about the food would not help the reader decide if they wanted to try it, and that will be their loss.

Enoteca Sogno has now joined a short list of Richmond restaurants that I can count on. All these reliables are very different and suit different moods but keep you out of the malls — Mamma 'Zu, Millie's Diner, Comfort and now Enoteca Sogno.

Michael D. O'Connor

Loupassi Needs Closer InspectionWith Loup, what you see is what you get is the theme of Brandon Walters' profile of Council President Manoli Loupassi ("In the Loup," News & Features," March 1). Unfortunately, Walters doesn't care to look very far to see exactly what it is that Richmond has been getting.

Mr. Loupassi paints himself as a guardian of fiscal responsibility, and yet he was a prime supporter of a meals-tax increase to fund a performing arts center that had never been studied. This is a rather conspicuous disaster, directly (un)supervised by Loupassi, that is never mentioned. When hundreds of citizens came forward with objections to the Virginia Performing Arts Foundation's scheme in 2003, Loupassi joined a majority of his fellow council members in refusing to institute any oversight of the project and the city money it was receiving.

The list of high-powered supporters that Walters reels off at the end includes many of those behind the foundation, so it is curious that there is no mention that the Loup's legacy on Council will include a measure of responsibility for the "hole on Broad," as well as the boarded-up Carpenter Center. It is not a small detail that Mr. Loupassi was marching in lockstep with the new mayor until Wilder began to challenge the foundation on its finances and anemic private fund-raising.

Haven't we had enough of so-called conservative politicians who think that "talking straight," "speaking your mind" and having the "right" people on your side are proper substitutes for leadership, good ideas and a independent platform free of cronyism?

Scott Burger

An Objection to Critique of Lawmaker's CafeYour remarks that the food was subpar couldn't be further from the truth ("The Cafeteria That Time Forgot," Food & Drink, March 1). I have eaten in the cafeteria for the past eight years, and the food has always been well-prepared and tasty. Carlisle Bannister has been doing a superb job for many years and has an excellent reputation of meeting the hungry needs of us poor, overworked state employees.

On your next visit maybe you will have an opportunity to give our cafeteria a chance for redemption. You are always welcome to visit with us and maybe next time you will leave full and happy.

Gerald Miller
Gate City, Va.

It's Time to Address School InstructionOn reading 'Rick Gray's Back Page commentary, "The Incredible Shrinking School Year" (March 1), I am surprised no one has addressed this before. Winston Churchill in speaking to Parliament in 1940 praised the Royal Air Force for what they had done for the people of England when he said, "Never ... was so much owed by so many to so few."

Today, with the cost of education at all levels spiraling out of control and the time given to instruction decreasing, I can imagine Churchill addressing this issue by saying, "Never ... have so many spent so much for so little."

The irony is that the teachers know it, the legislators know it, the parents and, yes, the students know it. Talk about the "elephant in the room."

Wesley Childress

CorrectionsAlthough we referred to Maymont as euthanizing its two black bears ("The Score," Street Talk, March 1), the euthanasia itself was performed by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

In a story about the clinical trial of an experimental blood substitute ("Despite Heart Attacks, Fake Blood Pumps on at VCU," Street Talk, March 8), we said the trial found the blood substitute caused heart attacks in patients with cardiac problems. We should have said the trial found the potential to cause heart attacks in such patients.

Style regrets the errors.


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