Letters for April 1, 2010

Read the damn law

Re “Mind games” by Amy Yannello (SN&R Frontlines, March 25):

As a co-author of Proposition 63, I am thrilled to see the [online] comments on this article from those who have actually read the law—unlike countless local and state officials, stakeholders and Capitol lobbyists who repeat the fiction that Prop. 63 dollars are for new programs and new clients. A deceptive distortion of the law is creating a dual system of haves and have-nots.

The Mental Health Services Act allocated 75 percent of revenue to “expansion of existing county system of care services.” Didn’t happen, and an industry of planning consultants is enriched at the expense of direct consumer services (see Legislative Analyst statement to voters in November 2004, www.sos.ca.gov. Also see my formal complaint to the California state auditor, linked to MIWatch.org Recent Columns, “Whistleblower Says Prop 63 Not Working in Cal.,” Rose King, January 2010).

Amy Yannello and SN&R offer a front-page alert to everyone in our community—one missing from our daily news reports. Act now to end the cruel, unique and legal discrimination we inflict upon people with a medical diagnosis called “mental illness.” County supervisors and their agents can challenge the state—and read the damn law!

Rose King

Trademark this!

Re “Truth to power” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, March 25) and “Foreign affair” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Frontlines, March 25):

“Ya gotta love it.” Ooops! “Ya gotta love it .”

You laugh? My trademark-infringement lawyers lie in wait.

Cosmo Garvin should be nominated for a prize for Best Short (and Hilarious) Truth in 2010 Journalism. I fell on the floor laughing at the ironic truth in Bites possibly writing a book called Truth to Power: How the McClatchy Co. Screwed the Pooch and CEO Gary Pruitt Got Filthy Rich.

[Pause for interminably long commercial].

And now, the second award of the day: the prize for Courageous Commentary goes to R.V. Sheide for his article on the highly problematic Middle East foreign policy of the United States. But that’s a whole ’nother story.

Chuck McIntyre
via e-mail

Whose best interests?

Re “Mind games” by Amy Yannello (SN&R Frontlines, March 25):

I don’t think this is what the tax payers of Sacramento County want to see: Private nonprofits doing a better, less expensive job, but being forced to close so county workers can maintain their jobs—and their pensions! That’s outrageous.

There is no way the county can maintain the same service level. It’s another county shell game. Wake up, board of supervisors—try working in the best interests of all the citizens.

Sandra Cappelletti

Social disaster ahead

Re “Mind games” by Amy Yannello (SN&R Frontlines, March 25):

The social disaster that will inevitably take place will be seen in mentally ill people without meds who will do anything to get them if the four regional support teams cannot supply them with psychiatric services. This not only includes the increase in human suffering, but will cost the county astronomically when people commit crimes to get their meds. Some will try to obtain the meds that are not right for them and their mental disorders. We will see a spike in homelessness and the collapse of the local hospital system. ERs are already overflowing. Just wait until the RSTs close!

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors is not taking any of this into account. It will cost the county far, far, more to police us (police services have already been cut); the homeless programs will not be able to take additional people in; and jails will be overflowing. Mark my words! The board will wish they would have listened to people like me.

Lisa Jane Hanson

Failure to support

Re “Mind games” by Amy Yannello (SN&R Frontlines, March 25):

Five years ago, we were unhappy that California had never filled the promise to our mentally ill citizens that community supports would be in place to help them with their difficulties when they were emptied from locked facilities back in the Reagan era.

Now we are going to take away what little assistance they were given, so the only way left to get care will be to break the law and get incarcerated.

Most people on Social Security do not make enough to pay for a psychiatrist and medication, even if they never pay rent or food. Since rent and food are pretty important, don’t you think we should help? Please act in every way possible to make sure this travesty never happens.

Jessica Munoz
Rancho Cordova

What’s the agenda here?

Re “Mind games” by Amy Yannello (SN&R Frontlines, March 25):

We understand the economy is bad and that cuts are inevitable. My question is this: Is the county using the available funding in the very best interest of the clients, or is the primary agenda to save county jobs?

Karen Krugler
Fair Oaks

Glorifying poverty

Re “The new frugal” by Sasha Abramsky (SN&R Feature, March 18):

I understand the need to inform and clarify for the public the current state of our world. However, it would seem that this article, and many like it in recent publications, do a deeper evil than is apparent.

An article such as this seems to glorify being poor and needy. It would seem like this is part of a bigger issue than a recession. This is part of a conditioning effort, purposed to get the American public used to the fact that most of us are poor and that it’s somehow a good thing. What we have underway is the elimination of the middle class, leaving a wealthy elite at the top and the peasants at the bottom.

An article such as this serves to make us supposedly proud of the fact that our way of life has been sold down the river. It is hard to develop a sense of pride about being lied to and stolen from, and hard to be proud about being forced into the poorhouse. Feeling like we’ve been ripped off is going to prevent me from buying this bullshit, and all other manners of it, that tell us everything is not so bad.

It’s all bad, and it’s going to get worse, much worse. Wake up people, please.

Samuel Whittier

A promising start

Re “The new frugal” by Sasha Abramsky (SN&R Feature, March 18):

Widespread frugal living is indeed a promising start to a more interesting America. It’s promising because if we see frugality as a gateway toward greater self-reliance and sustainable living practices, it truly can rejuvenate our culture: Our values, expectations, consumption patterns, methods of food getting, and so on can be pushed in positive directions if we keep the right attitude. Hopefully these people will realize that they can be even more frugal and do things like grow their own tomatoes instead of wasting money at Safeway.

Lauren Hawley
via e-mail

Pretty callous help

Re “40 days of hassles” by Kel Munger (SN&R Frontlines, March 18):

I had been curious about the people carrying blue signs and rosaries. Their signs give a phone number and promise help to those who may be thinking about having an abortion. What kind of help are they offering?

When an opportunity arose, I approached to find out.

“My wife and I have been told we will have a deformed baby. What help can you give us?”

“We will pray for you and offer encouragement.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I tried again. “But we have six children already, and I’m out of work! Please help me!”

“You have six healthy children? God has blessed you!” came the answer.

“But we can’t support another child, especially a sick one! Please help us!”

“We will pray for you,” came the answer.

I kid you not. My story about my family situation was made up, but the unfaithful offer of “help” was not. I walked away in dismay that anybody supposedly supporting life could be so callous.

Jerry Paré
via e-mail

Praying isn’t protesting

Re “40 days of hassles” by Kel Munger (SN&R Frontlines, March 18):

Thank you for your article. However, from a journalistic point of view, it is sad to see the lack of objectivity by employing the clearly misleading title of “40 days of hassles,” along with your repeated use of the term “protest” and “protesters.” A more accurate and fair description would be to recognize the prayerful, peaceful presence of the vast majority who simply want to provide people with information that will assist them in making an informed decision.

You are correct that 40 Days for Life involves mostly Catholics. But the truth is being pro-life is a matter of fact, not faith. Atheists are welcome at the sidewalk. I am not a Catholic, but I am eternally grateful to them for standing up and speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

What is shocking is not that a few people defend the defenseless, but [that] there is not a torrential outpouring of American voices over this ultimate child abuse. A sobering thought should be that one day we will have to give an account of our lives and explain why we, as a nation, were silent while the holocaust of abortion happened on our watch.

Terry McDermott

Be careful where you pick up chicks

Re “Hens in the hood” by Audrey Medina (SN&R Essay, March 18):

Chickens can make wonderful companions. At Animal Place, a sanctuary for farmed animals, we provide safe haven to hundreds of birds, including more than 100 chickens.

We discourage the purchase of chickens from feed stores or hatcheries for a variety of reasons. Parent birds are housed in puppy-mill-style cages and rarely see the light of day. They are often debeaked and used strictly for chick production. Some of the largest hatcheries grind male chicks alive when they are sexed. Smaller hatcheries will often use rooster chicks as packing material—your order of hens could include unwanted roosters.

Day-old chicks are shipped through the postal service for up to 72 hours without food and water. While the yolk can provide nourishment for 2-3 days, mixed-aged chicks are shipped, and death from temperature shift, pressure change and lack of nourishment is not uncommon.

Adoption saves lives, so please check with animal control, your humane society/SPCA and sanctuaries first. We maintain a Web site called www.sanctuaries.org with a list of farmed animal sanctuaries. Give a needy chicken a home!

Marji Beach


In last week’s Sound Advice (“Beat beef?” by Nick Miller), DJ Admant’s and DJ Kool Kuts’ names were misspelled. Some day, he’ll get these local-deejay monikers correct. Oh, and C Plus eventually made it to perform at his Capitol Garage gig. Our apologies for the errors.