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Easy on SPCA

The letter Ms. Stoots wrote attacking the SPCA was vicious (Letters, Jan. 8). She believes that successful people are incapable of altruism and are only seeking recognition and "tax advantages." She has nothing to back this up. Her statements are unsubstantiated, cynical, and, ultimately, irrelevant to the result.

The director of the SPCA has dedicated her career to ameliorating the suffering of animals. With intelligence, vision and hard work she has made a positive difference in our community.

Likewise, the Robins family has done so much. Many days my aged father and I sat enjoying the tranquillity of the botanical gardens that they support. My family enjoys the exhibitions at the Laura Robins gallery out at the University of Richmond. My daughter has been a volunteer cleaning cages at the old SPCA, so she has a particular appreciation for what Mr. Robins and others have done.

What is the purpose of attacking these people? If there are naming opportunities in the lower rungs recognizing the petty and mean-spirited then perhaps eventually the writer may receive that elusive recognition so nobly deserved.

Holt Edmunds



Hybrids Look Good

Thanks for the informative article about the cars in our future by Phil Bailey ("Crossing Over," Jan. 29). We need some positive news on ecology on a regular basis.

John Gallini



Suburban Eater Seethes

I've eaten at Osaka and was delighted by the exquiste presentation and the absolute deliciousness of the food. Yet it seems all your reviewer could write about is how much he despises the suburbs ("Beauty of the Burbs," Jan. 29). Perhaps he should do an op-ed piece on that subject (not that it would be any good; he was neither funny, fresh, nor insightful.)

Talk about "smarmy hyperbole!" When he finally got around to mentioning Osaka, he found it so good he thought it must be a chain restaurant! What an astonishingly ignorant remark to make about so obviously authentic cuisine! Further, the reviewer was "annoyed" to be invited several times to the hibachi table.

How very unophisticated, given the opportunity to partake of something special at the restaurant, to petulantly decline!

Then he had the hubris to mention the "mediocrity and method," the lack of "honesty" in the suburbs. What unintended irony! Spare us any more of this big-city boy's opinions about the many fine restaurants in strip malls out here.

Alas, it is true that the suburbs can be a souless cultural vacuum. So please, we definitely don't need this supposedly cosmopolitan restaurant reviewer's lack of taste tarnishing our "gems" with his offensive screed. Before he thinks about slapping anyone "across the face" again, he needs a kick in the pants.

Linda Winkler



Thanks for Cindy, Robin

As a person who enjoys a Cindy Neuschwander beeswax painting in her home (Creation Story, Dec. 25); and two of the Richmond SPCA's finest pups in her heart ("The Fundraiser," Dec. 25), I was pleased to see your stories about Cindy and Robin Starr (CEO of Richmond SPCA). The work of these two women represents Richmond's finest qualities and is the reason we are nationally recognized as a leader in the arts as well as the humane treatment of animals.

Anne M.

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