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In June, the Association for Alternative Newsweeklies tapped Style for membership. We are honored.

Although Style has been publishing in Richmond since 1982, it became ineligible for membership in the AAN when Landmark Communications, a private company in Norfolk, purchased the paper in 1984. AAN bylaws prohibited the admission of alternative weeklies whose parent companies also owned dailies. Among other media outlets, Landmark owns the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk. But recently AAN altered its bylaws, which allowed Style to apply for membership, a rigorous process.

We share such values with the AAN as editorial independence and integrity, ethical business practices and a competitive editorial and business environment, especially within local markets.

What does our new affiliation mean for our readers? Only that we are reaffirming our commitment to strong, independent reporting with an alternative voice. And that we will continue our deep connection with our community, seeking to help readers make intelligent decisions through unflinching journalism.

As AAN representatives wrote in recommending us for membership to the organization, "This paper is connected to place in every conceivable way." We thank our readers, advertisers and employees for helping us create such a strong connection.



Goldman Doesn't Lurk or Smirk

Glad to see Paul Goldman on your list of movers and shakers ("The Power List," Cover Story, July 20). But is it really necessary to write about personal appearance or resort to name-calling?

I've never known Mr. Goldman to lurk, or for that matter to smirk. Mr. Goldman, a very talented, gifted and idealistic man, has done a lot for the city. Not only has he worked tirelessly on many fronts, but without his drive and determination in collecting signatures, there would be no "elected" mayor in Richmond.

He deserved better than he got from your writers!

T. DiPasqua



Comic Creator Isn't Movie Maker

While visiting a friend in Richmond, I had the opportunity to read the July 13 issue of Style Weekly. I liked the newspaper. I wanted to bring your attention to this line in the "Fantastic Four" review (Quick Flicks): "Stan Lee has turned into a greedy arch-villain. ..."

Stan Lee left Marvel in the '90s and actually runs his own company in Santa Monica, Calif. He just receives a royalty check. Avi Arad actually determines what characters are made into movies and has creative final word. He consults on story, director and stars. Nothing gets made without his approval.

I think it's unfair to imply Stan Lee has anything to do with the movies (outside of being the characters' creator).

William Coble



Armenians Blasé About "The" and "A"

Interestingly, Armenians don't have this problem ("the MoMA?") (Rosie Right, News & Features, June 29). There are neither definite nor indefinite articles in the language. An old-country Hye ("Armenian") will say, "I am going to take bus to city."

Years ago I watched the "MacNeil/Lehrer Report" following the terrible earthquake in Armenia. Michael Arlen Jr. and Vartan Gregorian were among the guests. Here was President Gregorian of the New York Public Library getting excited and speaking like my Uncle Bedros in Fresno. "I am going to take bus to city."

Since then Vartan has been president of Brown University and provost of University of Pennsylvania. He's now the president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, on the Board of Editors of The Encyclopaedia Britannica and the author of an autobiography and a book on Islam.

And I'm willing to bet that he still says, "I am going to take bus to city" when he gets excited. (Of course, he may prefer to take taxi to city, for all I know. Or care.)

Roy Hayes



Letters to the editor may be sent to: letters@styleweekly.com


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