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Everyone's a Critic; Slipek Is Right; Wake Up and Taste the Chilies; What About the Children? 

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Everyone's a Critic

Ed Slipek's article "Save the Riverfront" (Architecture, Sept. 18), in which he chides Dominion Resources for planning to bring 1,000 employees downtown and "like dangling candy on a string, deny its employees immediate access to lunchtime amenities; dining with friends and colleagues, shopping, trips to the bank, getting a haircut or buying theater tickets" caused me to consider that plan.

Perhaps Dominion employs people to work. Perhaps Dominion believes that by providing onsite dining rooms and fitness centers it has done enough to provide "amenities" for the workday and that employees are welcome to do all those other things on their time off. Perhaps Dominion sees itself as "employer" and not as "provider of entertainment during the workday."

I would suggest that all those Dominion Resources employees who feel cheated out of necessary amenities apply for jobs at Mr. Slipek's company, which I assume provides all of those things for his thousands of employees.

What? Mr. Slipek doesn't own a business employing thousands of people and bringing millions of dollars into Richmond annually? Well, talk is cheap. - Winslow Whitehurst

Slipek Is Right

We urge all Richmond area residents and leaders to digest carefully Ed Slipek's insightful article concerning Dominion Resources. Mr. Slipek's arguments are 100 percent correct. His conclusion that "one thousand people in the right place would be a spectacular thing. In the wrong place, destructive" is right on the mark.

We implore The Planning Commission and City Council to remember that they have a responsibility, for which they will for generations be held accountable, to bring these Innsbrook operations to downtown in a way that helps, rather than harms, our Richmond on the James. Obviously, economic considerations are driving their decisions. The essential question is: When you risk Richmond's greatest asset, what do we get for what you give? - Dixon W. Christian and Kate Roy M. Christian

Wake Up and Taste the Chilies

Davis Morton's review of The Thai Room (Sept. 18) greatly disappointed me by his lack of awareness as a critic and a newspaper writer. In reviewing the Thai Room he said the food was "bland," and the curry sauce was not "spicy." What he doesn't tell you is red and green chili sauce is available at request. He also didn't mention that the kitchen is willing to spice up any dish to a patron's taste.

I happen to know that over the years at The Thai Room the spice has been cut back. When Beauregard's first opened there were Thai dishes on both the upstairs menu (which was continental at the time) and the garden menu, even the cucumber salad and Thai dipping sauce were cut back in spice because of customer complaints. I don't think Richmond is generally ready for hot, spicy cuisine, although some of us are. Shame on you, Davis. Oh yes, and shame on Style for publishing this review a week after reviewing another Thai restaurant. - Sam Assaid Mr. Assaid is a former Beauregard's partner

J. Davis Morton replies: Spiciness being relative, Mr. Assaid is probably right about this not being a "spicy" town, and that is my point precisely. The Thai Room provides good food that is very accessible in a wonderful ambience. I could indeed tell the chef how to cook it, but most chefs would tell me, if I did, where to put it. Chefs and restaurants should have a point of view, not depend on their patrons to provide it.

What About the Children?

For weeks I have been reading about the ongoing battle between and among the various animal-welfare groups. Last week I attended the meeting of City Council's Human Development Committee, and for some reason the animal-welfare issues took over the agenda. City Councilwoman Delores McQuinn tried to maintain an orderly meeting, but that was like "presiding" over individuals intent on fighting like cats and dogs (some more than others).

I would like to add a little perspective without adding fuel to the fire, if that is possible. Perhaps the animal-welfare issue has taken so much civic time and energy that it must be resolved once and for all. Do it for the sake of the animals. But, especially, do it for the sake of the children in Richmond, 40 percent of whom live in poverty. It's time we paid a lot more attention to their needs and their future. - Mike Sarahan, Member, City Human Relations Commission



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