Letter for March 26th, 2009

Letter of the week
Accountability? Not so much.

Re “Accountability, not monarchy” (SN&R Letters, March 12):

Is anyone going to take on Steven Maviglio’s deceptive letter about [Mayor] Kevin Johnson’s “strong mayor” proposal, a.k.a. “K.J.’s power grab”?

Maviglio’s diluted and delusional interpretation of the proposal’s intent is ludicrous, and was largely debunked by the city attorney’s careful and thoughtful analysis and comparatives to other similarly situated cities in California and throughout the West.

The proposal, drafted by Tom Hiltchak (who leads the deceptively named Sacramentans for Accountable Government), is a study in authoritarianism, granting virtually unchecked authority in the mayor’s office, with little challenge afforded the city council.

There is virtually nothing in the proposal that assures “accountability” in the authority granted the mayor; quite the opposite. It can be reasonably surmised that the purpose of this proposal is to mask backroom details and deals to allow the mayor to steamroll pledged promises to backers in something reminiscent of Tammany Hall.

Sacramento’s current form of governance emerged out of a push-back against such corruption, and while it may be quiet and at times boring, it is effective, and virtually free of corruption that plagues “unitary” systems such as the one the proposal seeks to implement.

We are fortunate to have such a system and to have had very honorable people serve as mayor, every living elected one of whom is against this proposal. I should think their example might be informative.

Alex Berg

Ship out the homeless

Re “The Oprah inside me” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Race to the Bottom, March 19):

My idea for the homeless?

Assign certain families, men and women to ships in the Mothball Fleet in Benicia. I am sure the federal government will give total use to them, if communities will offer support for food and bedding. And I’m sure the people involved can maintain services in order to stay. There are no environmental issues, and it would not be hard to convert the ships to homeless shelters. Get the governor and mayor to support the idea and have an immediate task force to put it together!

Steve Graff
via e-mail

Try it—you’ll like it

Re “Why Twitter sucks” by Alexander Zaitchik (SN&R Feature, March 12):

Y’know, I have to say that this is a pretty horridly biased opinion piece. That being said, here’s my opinion. This is not a “local story” by any means. This is one curmudgeon’s opinion of a “new hotness” platform that I’m sure most people are pretty sick of at this point—at least, the “old-schoolers.” Then again, not to me, and I guess I’d be thrown in that group, technologywise.

Basically, what you’ve done is point out how annoying a portion of Twitter users are to you, whether the majority or otherwise. It doesn’t matter. Don’t follow them. I don’t.

The biggest point I’d like to make is this: Congratulations on landing a cover story on SN&R [where its] sole purpose is to try and get readers based on a shocking headline. This has just reinforced why I stopped caring about what SN&R has to say. Good luck with the shock-jock tactics!

Lou Wheeler
Rio Linda

Top this Twitter hate!

Re “Why Twitter sucks” by Alexander Zaitchik (SN&R Feature, March 12):

I hate Twitter so much I didn’t even bother reading the article. Top that, SN&R.

Joe Hill

Twitter is forever


Re “Why Twitter sucks” by Alexander Zaitchik and “Sacramento’s Twitteratti” by Nick Miller (SN&R Feature, March 12):

I think that your article is funny and insightful, but you failed to touch on one of the more pervasive problems with putting something out there on the Internet: its longevity.

As a business person, I love Twitter, because it gives me more timely input into a person/company/industry within minutes than I could ever have Googled in hours. With so many people currently looking for employment, I can do a quick search for someone on Twitter and learn far more about them personally than I could from reading a hyperinflated résumé. When searching for child care, you can bet that I scan any available tweet history before making any decisions. And as a means to keep an eye on my own kids, social media will help give me an edge to be a better parent.

While I agree with you wholeheartedly about the absurd waste of my most valuable resource from someone tweeting “good morning, time for some eggs,” I have to say that the precious tidbits of information that I can glean from wading through all the noise makes Twitter a resource that I keep in my digital tool belt.

Tripp Kuehnis
Elk Grove

Times a-changing …

Re “Why Twitter sucks” by Alexander Zaitchik (SN&R Feature, March 12) and “Bee very afraid” by Dick Tracy (SN&R Essay, March 12):

The irony of placing these two pieces in the same issue of SN&R is immense. First, Zaitchik explains how communication gets reduced to 140-character goatlike bleats; then Tracy reminds us of the days when print media were actually news-gathering operations.

Yes, the times, they are a-changing. But into what?

Jan Kline

… and he sez it’s a good thing

Re “Bee very afraid” by Dick Tracy (SN&R Essay, March 12):

You described exactly what was wrong with your form of journalism. It was owned and influenced by rich corporations.

You blame the current times and technology, but you don’t blame the root of the problem, and that is concentrated ownership of the media. Look what these capitalists were able to do with the newspapers: Sell it off for something more profitable. You should accept this as a godsend, because independent and civic journalism is what’s going to save the people and release the masses from the grip and the propaganda of the ruling few.

Charles Weinstein

Uh, check your (German) definition

Re “The 10 tenets” by Greg Lucas (SN&R Dish, March 12):

I always enjoy Greg Lucas’ playful food reviews, especially the parts where he displays his gentle fondness for all the Lucases, including the four-legged ones. I don’t understand Mrs. Lucas’ review avoidance, given that she’s presumably forgoing free meals and that the lack of her separate opinions must deprive Mr. Lucas of an additional perspective that would round out his reviews (excellent and amusing though they certainly are). Maybe the two have irreconcilable differences regarding what is fit to eat and what is not, and Mrs. Lucas keeping away from SN&R-financed meals may be necessary to keep their food-related differences from morphing into marital ones. Who knows?

But the reason for this note is to point out that the German word zeitgeist does not mean “quick or prompt.” It means the “spirit of the times,” as in, “Until Barack Obama’s election, one could have sworn that our county’s zeitgeist was exemplified by Rush Limbaugh.”

Karl Jaensch