Letters to the Editor

Bridge over troubled waters

Thanks, Paul. Mr. Demko's featured article "A Long Way Down" (2/6/08) was wonderful. My 59-year-old uncle took his life in December 2005. Financial ruin and other various demons drove him to commit suicide. He had good physical health, more friends than anyone deserves, and a great family. His family and friends celebrated his memory by getting together in December 2007. For the survivors of suicide victims, it is truly a never-ending haunting experience. Great article.

Jack McDonald St. Paul

Suicide notes

Demko doubtlessly saved a life or two. Several years ago, a childhood friend, Katie O'Brien, who as a young adult was known and loved by members of the music and City Pages community, took her life. Just a few months ago, another friend—whose late-'70s inked images ride my skin evermore—committed suicide. On a recent Tuesday, Paul Demko was stalking the site of my DFL precinct caucus in experienced political reporter mode. If I had known of his sensitive article-to-come, I would have thanked Demko in person. Now these few words will need to suffice.

Willie Snyder St. Paul

Bridge has saved lives, too

I have only this to say about the High Bridge: Yes, many people commit suicide there, as Paul Demko brilliantly puts it in last week's City Pages, but the bridge is a good thing as well. Case in point: My grandfather was a young man walking home from work. He had to take the High Bridge on the way home. Anyway, he saw this houseboat down below, and there were some parents on one side of the boat, and a toddler about to fall off on the other!

My grandpa shouted as loud as he could, but no one heard him. So he ran all the way down 150 feet of steps, swam out to the boat, grabbed the boy by the hair, and pulled him up onto the boat! If it were not for that High Bridge, my grandfather would not have seen anything below. The boy's parents would have lost their little two-year-old! Thank God for the High Bridge, and thank God for my grandfather, Paul Vincent Schmidt. He is still missed.

Barb Bordner St. Paul

Hero of hate

Rick Morency, you're my hero (Letters, 1/23/08)! In the space of a few passages, you managed to launch more F-bombs decrying a liberal publication—and in support of Michele Bachmann—than Sean Penn yelling at the paparazzi. Now that's the kind of family values she likes to see. Anyhoo, stay strong, my family-values friend, you're a good representative of the right, I think, as I still don't know if you were being sarcastic or not.

Helm Matthews Minneapolis

Darth Bachmann

After reading the letter by Rick Morency, I was appalled that someone could be that bigoted, hateful, and still stupid enough to sign his name to it. After further thought, I realized, but of course, he is supporting Michele Bachmann and she would be so proud of her little storm troopers. You go, City Pages—keep printing that type of letter, it shows the true colors of her supporters.

Jerry Foss Minneapolis

Pillow talk with Spiros

I wanted to thank you for your article on slumlord Spiros Zorbalas ("The Slumlord of South Minneapolis," 1/30/08). These issues are not made public enough and people like him need to be exposed. As a former tenant, I dealt with constant issues, from no heat in the winter, to broken appliances replaced with other broken appliances, to drug dealing, to no fire alarms, to ignored maintenance requests, to broken front doors, to poor building management, to a $200 "move-out" fee! How does he sleep at night? (I know: on a bed of money.) Thanks again.

Dan Minneapolis

A former UPi employee speaks out

I commend you for bringing to light the slumlord of south Minneapolis. As an employee of UPi for nearly a year, I experienced firsthand how this man operates his business. I was the onsite person for a Loring Park property, where I dealt with many of the issues that you outlined in your story. There was even an individual there who committed suicide, and Spiros did not refund his deposit for his apartment to his parents because proper move-out notice wasn't given. As the onsite manager, I had to deal with the lack of heat and hot water complaints on a regular basis, mostly late fall and wintertime. Not only did I have to hear them, but I was a victim of lack of heat, too, because with no heat in apartments, there was no heat in the main office, either, and I spent many days there with a jacket and a ski hat on, trying to stay warm.

Greg H. St. Paul

Hungry for more

Oh, Dara! I will miss you (Dish, 1/30/08). Never have our Twin Cities been graced by such writing on food, glorious food. You cared, and you made us care. Thank you. Blessings on your new endeavors.

Nan Marie Zosel Minneapolis

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