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Letters to the Editor 

I no longer live in Orleans Parish and don't think I would support a new property tax millage dedicated to recreation if I did ('Failure to Communicate,'Politics, July 27). Mayor Ray Nagin is often damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. I think he has tried to communicate better than his predecessors have, but if he shows a temper or disagrees with certain issues or parties, then he is disliked. If NORD is to be run like the Audubon Nature Institute, as the article stated, corporate support would have to be the main source of funding.

Maybe NORD needs another visionary like Ron Forman, whose management of the Audubon Nature Institute is, in my opinion, nothing short of miraculous. Its success could not have been achieved without support from corporations and the private sector. Privatizing NORD might be a solution for achieving success like the Audubon Nature Institute accomplished. Resolving the Recreation Department's problem is a key issue for the mental and physical well-being of our youth. I think Mayor Nagin deserves respect, but he is not perfect. I believe he will resolve this issue. Please give him the chance to do so.

Marilyn Slutsky

I enjoyed very much Eliza Strickland's article on the Ramos Gin Fizz ('Gin Blossoms,'June 29). As a distant descendant of Henry Charles Ramos -- one of the brothers mentioned by Strickland and, from what I am led to believe, the individual actually responsible for creating the formula -- I am always interested to find out new facts about the man and the drink.

Strickland quotes Chris McMillian, the bartender of the Ritz-Carlton's Library Lounge, as saying, 'No one living knows the true recipe,'which may be true in a sense, seeing that the drink is made today according to several variants. I would, however, like to draw Strickland's and McMillian's attention to an Item-Tribune article for Sunday, Sept. 23, 1928, which came out a few days after Henry Ramos' death and is actually a reprint of an earlier article written when the Gin Fizz man was alive.

In this article Henry gives the writer, Don Higgins, the recipe. Or perhaps it would be better to say 'a'recipe, for the formula given in this article makes no mention of vanilla, over the inclusion of which people still seem to argue. Moreover, I possess what purports to be a recipe hand-written by Henry himself which includes vanilla and differs in some details from the Item-Tribune recipe. Maybe the Gin Fizz man experimented over the years with slightly different versions of the drink, thereby making it next to impossible to identify a definitive formula. And so perhaps the only hard and fast rule for making Ramos Gin Fizzes is, if you like it, drink it! Charles E. Ramos Great-great nephew of Henry Charles Ramos graphic resistance writes On page 35 of the July 6 issue of Gambit in the article titled 'The Education of Lance Hill,'there appears a photo of an anti-David Duke poster which I designed prior to the Duke vs. Edwards gubernatorial race. Hundreds of these posters were hand-silk-screened in my studio by a dedicated group of progressive activists who were known at the time as the art-oriented political organization, Graphic Resistance. We were, and are, great admirers of Lance Hill, but our group operated completely independently of his. Therefore, I was puzzled to find my poster, uncredited, in an article featuring Hill. Of course, I was pleased to see my work in the press, but I would have been much more pleased if the proper acknowledgments had been made regarding the poster's origins.

Finally, I think I can speak for all the members of the now-defunct Graphic Resistance when I express gratitude that, in our way, we were able to contribute to the struggle against racism and fascism in Louisiana.

Gary Oaks

EDITOR'S NOTE: Gambit Weekly regrets the omission.

You featured a story in Gambit about the famous Jon Cleary ('The Cat in the Hat,'April 13). Although the story was interesting, it lacked clarity, mainly on the name of a group who is one of the favorite bands of Cleary himself.

I'm not sure if the article passed by your editors'eyes, but the correct name of the group is The Friendly Travelers, not the Fellow Travelers. As a big fan of Cleary but a lifelong fan, brother and member of the Friendly Travelers, I found it peculiar that someone who writes for a favorite New Orleans magazine such as Gambit does not know the background of two-thirds of the Absolute Monster Gentlemen.

The Friendly Travelers have been around since 1959 and are still on the scene today. The Friendly Travelers pioneered the way for many local artists and transcended the gospel label in many areas. With all due respect, before there was a Jon Cleary and The Absolute Monster Gentlemen, there were The Friendly Travelers. Big D and Cornell were introduced to the local scene by the group, and they are all to this day brothers in Christ.

I was disappointed when I read that article, not out of any ill feelings for JC & AMG, but for the blatant disrespect for FT. I would hope that in the future your writers would take the time to check their work. If not for their own contentment, then out of respect to whomever they are writing about.

Lautius "Scott" Harris

EDITOR'S NOTE: Gambit Weekly regrets the error.

The Commentary on the perpetual crisis in the New Orleans'criminal justice system ('Beyond the Normalcy of Death,'June 29) should have been titled, 'The Dialectics of Death.'What's not needed are more op-ed pieces excusing the failures of an inherently flawed system due to issues, for example, of homeland security. Has anyone stopped to realize that the murder crisis is an issue of homeland security? Nor will more money for the criminal justice system reduce the crime problem any more than the $400 billion U.S. military budget has reduced terrorism. More police, more prosecutors and more convictions will only further our lead as the most incarcerated and violent industrialized country in the world.

Indeed, framing the issue as a 'war'on an abstract idea like 'crime'or saying it's a 'moral'issue merely serves to direct the debate away from the very source of the problem: the state, which is run by the ruling class. Peter Scharf is correct to call the issue political. What is needed is nothing less than a political revolution, not a tweaking of a corrupt and bankrupt system.

Vince Bowers


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