Readers respond to "The Avenger"

Sympathy for the debt collector

We were disappointed to read the implication that debt collection is overrun with unethical debt collectors hatching evil schemes during illicit, backroom dealings ("The Avenger," 6/4/08). In reality, this is an open, transparent, and professional industry with a complaint rate of less than 0.1 percent of all contacts between collectors and consumers. ACA International members have adopted a stringent code of ethics requiring all member agencies to treat consumers with integrity and respect, and they denounce any unethical, illegal, and unprofessional debt collection practices.

Rozanne Andersen, executive vice president and general counsel, ACA International, Minneapolis

Debt to society

So debt collectors are not only guilty of harassment and intimidation but they are also, it seems, openly guilty of influence peddling in Congress. Isn't there a law against that?

Rob Workman  Minneapolis

Don't bogart our Dumpster

Now that you've posted that article, with a photo of a very identifiable Dumpster, the store will crack down on Dumpster diving ("Find Dining," 6/4/08). Way to keep free food out of people's mouths who really need it (not those Macalester brats, but actual poor folk). Thanks, Amy. We really appreciate it.

Elliot  Minneapolis

Waiter, send this one back

It has been almost two months since the departure of the great Dara, and I miss her so. I gave you all a few weeks of wiggle room for the next great food critic to develop before us and it's just not happening. I have worked in restaurants for over 12 years, so granted, I have a working knowledge of food—more than your average reader—but not by much. The last six weeks have been the lowest of writing ever seen to come out of my beloved City Pages. Your readers expect articles of fine judgment and taste when it comes to their reviews of local eateries. The Food Network groupies of today know chefs, spices, cuts of meat, and do not want to be treated like ignorant, well-done meat eaters. That has been what you have given us. I know she is new, and probably never worked in a kitchen in a professional setting. You need to bring on someone who has. She has great writing skills, but you have asked a sports writer to cover a political debate. Shame on you! That is your fault and not hers. Start bringing us the newest in bold cooking that is exploding across this great city with the passion that we came to expect from one of the greatest food writers ever. Don't ask us to go from watching Major League Baseball to a drunken softball game.

Nate Olson  Minneapolis

Served with a side of condescension

While I appreciated the positive review of my neighborhood restaurant ("Getting Sauced," 6/4/08), I have to comment on the overall condescension of the piece toward Minneapolis's North Side residents. Even in Rachel Hutton's attempt to speak to the diversity of neighborhoods in the city, she speaks of it with barely veiled contempt—the white trash relatives that, thanks to new folks moving in, are stepping it up a notch. I moved into the Victory neighborhood 10 years ago, a transplant from Boston, and have loved living here. It is an exceptionally lovely place to live and rivals most south Minneapolis neighborhoods in beauty, livability, and housing stock. Frankly, I have no desire to live at 50th and France or near Hennepin. I would love a few more restaurants and a better grocery store nearby. Until that time, I guess, I'll have to go to my freezer to get my organic lamb chop for dinner.

Elizabeth Johnson Minneapolis

Mental health is no joke

In your June 4 edition, you published a review of Totino's Italian Kitchen. Unfortunately, you used the word "schizophrenic" to describe it. Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness and "split or multiple personalities" are not symptoms of schizophrenia. Split or multiple personality is more precisely and respectfully known as dissociative disorder, resulting from psychological trauma. While it may not seem like a big deal to some of your readers, it is to people who live with this illness. There is so much public misunderstanding surrounding schizophrenia that it's important that people understand the symptoms and understand that it is treatable. Please be more careful.

Sue Abderholden, executive director, National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota

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