Net Escape

Xanga con: Justin Smith posted a link to Nadia Pflaum’s “Meaner Girls” (March 31) on my Xanga. Why? Because I had left him a message after I learned about how he deceived people regarding the sensitive issue of gay bashing — which was just wrong and immature. But as I read her article, I realized that he wasn’t the only immature one. The problem with Pflaum’s article is that it is biased and fails to focus on the positives of online blogging.

As a gay male in rural Iowa, it has been hard for me to meet friends of like mind. Xanga has helped with that, and I’ve met great people. But that’s not all Xanga has allowed me to do. It allows me to vent about my bad days at work instead of taking it out on my co-workers. It allows me to post my writings and get honest feedback from others. It allows me to talk about a bad day and get the support and encouragement I need to make it through the day. Not that my life revolves around Xanga. I have other friends to help me along the way, too. But I have found Xanga to be a wonderful circle of support, encouragement and advice. Next time Pflaum writes about Xanga, try writing about the majority as well.

Name Withheld by Request

Poison Pen

Shades of gray: In response to Allie Johnson’s “Kill Thy Neighbor” (March 17): I would like to say that we have been neighbors and friends of the Eickhoffs for over six years now, and the allegations put forth by Donna Ozuna-Trout are totally false.

We are an interracial couple, and the Eickhoffs have never exhibited any racism toward us. As a matter of fact, they have gone out of their way to be nice to us. We are offended that Alonzo Washington and the NAACP took sides on the allegations without properly investigating the situation, as the Pitch did. We are tired of people playing the race card. The Eickhoffs are upstanding citizens of the community and don’t deserve this at all.

John and Melody Day


Package deal: In reference to the Allie Johnson’s “Kill Thy Neighbor,” I would like to point out one omission. The agency responsible for identifying the individual who mailed the package is the United States Postal Inspection Service.

The United States Postal Inspection Service Kansas City Field Office was contacted early during this investigation, given that the package was sent by U.S. mail. The inspector assigned to the investigation was able to identify the clerk who accepted the package and interviewed the clerk to identify the individual charged with mailing the package. The Postal Inspection Service worked with local law enforcement, including the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, which had the contents of the package analyzed, in bringing charges against the suspects in the case.

The Postal Inspection Service takes great pride in the work done to protect the public and ensure the sanctity of the mail. Working with local, state and federal agencies, we will continue to work to protect the U.S. Postal Service, its employees and customers from criminal attack, and to protect the nation’s mail system from criminal misuse.

John J. Salanitro

U.S. Postal Inspector

Public Information Officer

Kansas City Field Office

I fought the law … : I am amazed by the ordeal that Stephanie Eickhoff and her family and their neighbors are having to endure. How is it that the law — increasingly meddling swiftly and decisively in the most mundane and personal of our choices — allows such intimidation and harassment and offers so little protection to those threatened? How much evidence is needed before a neighbor from hell can be restrained?

My family and I have been in a years-long fight with a local city council that has allowed one of my parents’ neighbors to use city ordinances to bully and control us over a trivial issue. Perhaps I should cut the council a bit of slack. Perhaps its irresponsible behavior is driven in part by the awareness that, should it incur the tyrant’s wrath, the system offers its members, in spite of their position, no more protection than they are offering us. The law in its majesty ultimately treats all equally … badly.

Carole Brown

Matfield Green, Kansas

Band Aid

The son also rises: Loved Jason Harper’s “Wayward Son” (March 31), being an MA in English grad myself and working as a senior administrative assistant. And I wanted to say that the Band That Saved the World saved my life, too, in a way.

I sang backup on its Changes album, and getting to work with those guys really made me feel validated as a singer. They’ve since disbanded, with a few of the members in the Dan Pem Trio, a jazz act, and Rev in Boston or Chicago, I think. As for Shannon Savoie and Mike McFarland, they’re in a new group known as Apollo 13, named for the studio of the same name, which Mike rigged up in his closet to record that album.

Harper might know all of this, but they are great guys, and I think they deserve any attention they can get. Thought he might appreciate a little info on them, given his rocktastic experience of days gone by.

Shannon Draper