Letters to the editor 

'Street dreams,' 'The bureaucrats' revenge' and 'Perplexing pow!'

DISTURBING IMAGES

The large color photo of the cover of Shawty Lo's newest mixtape I'm Da Man 2 in last week's CL ("Street dreams," Vibes, Feb. 27) absolutely disgusted me. I have no problem with hip-hop, mixtapes or even the article Reeves wrote. In fact, I think the article was unbiased, and quite well-written. What I have a problem with is an article that references the current popularity of mixtapes attached to an image of what one successful mixtape depicts. A young man with a police officer in a headlock, a gun pointed in the consumer's face, and the message "I'm Da Man."

I'm just curious as to where you draw the line where printing disturbing images is concerned. Since this mixtape will undoubtedly sell thousands of copies, does that make it worthy of displaying the image you did, no matter how revolting it may be? I'm assuming the next mixtape to make it big will have to one-up it – maybe there could be a dead police officer on the cover? Or maybe a child on fire perhaps? Will you print that image? While there may be thousands who do want to see that kind of trash, I can assure you there are millions who don't.

Noel Wurst, Atlanta

CHARTER SCHOOL COVERAGE

Hear, hear for charter schools! John Sugg's article "The bureaucrats' revenge" (Fallout) in the Feb. 27, 2008, issue hits all the key points about charter schools that the mainstream press doesn't often cover: 1) They can get academic results quickly; 2) They foster positive competition with other public schools (charters ARE public schools); and 3) They embrace diversity (Tech High School, which Mr. Sugg profiled, is 97 percent minority).

I'm a member of a group that's been working to start a charter school serving College Park, East Point and Hapeville. We submit our application to the Fulton County Board of Education in March 2008. Mr. Sugg's article vividly shows how positive charter schools can be for neighborhoods that embrace diversity, parental involvement and academic achievement, and just need a new choice in public education to achieve those goals.

Thanks again for your coverage of this key issue.

Noel Mayeske, College Park

CHOW BABY'S COMPLAINTS

After almost three years of stirring things up at The Real Chow Baby, I am quite pleased that our concept is still newsworthy – I refer to the Cheap Eats article ("Perplexing pow!" Feb. 13). The Real Chow Baby is an appropriate restaurant for your Cheap Eats column as we have garnered numerous awards from varied publications since we opened in April 2005 for being the best cheap eats in Atlanta.

That being said, there are several instances that are inaccurate in the article and I would like to take this opportunity to correct them. First of all, while our lunch price is $7.99, it is for unlimited trips to the stir-fry bar. We offer the same "all you can eat" pricing at dinner for $11.99. Even if a guest is thrilled with their creation and does not want a "remake," they are welcome to make as many trips as they like. This is an essential element of the concept "all you can eat" for an exceptional value – NOT that there is no additional charge if you are not satisfied with your meal and want to try again.

Additionally, your writer references items that have not been on the stir-fry bar for almost two years. One of her colleagues at Creative Loafing, Cliff Bostock, wrote about us in his Grazing column on May 18, 2005, and noted, "The crab was a nightmare." Upon reading that, I immediately removed the item from the protein bar and it has not been an available ingredient since that time. Furthermore, udon noodles have not been available in almost two years as well. Our noodle selections include lo mein, tricolored rotini, wheat penne, hokkien and fried rice, which are rotated so there are always four selections available.

And the photo that accompanies the article is the same photograph that was used with Cliff Bostock's article in 2005 and the server pictured is no longer a member of The Real Chow Baby team.

While I am acutely aware that I have no control over either the tone or the content of the editorial, I do find it rather curious that your writer experienced such confusion with the process. We have created a wonderful menu that details each step of the process for our first-time guests to avoid just such confusion. And she made her server sound so "insincere" with the comment about the "rehearsed spiel," which is surprising since our staff has won Creative Loafing's "Best Wait Staff" award for both 2006 and 2007.

– Mike Blum, president of Red Restaurant Ventures LLC and founder of The Real Chow Baby, Atlanta

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