Letters for April 14, 2005

Challenging ADA

Re “Fix it, and there’s no lawsuit” (SN&R Letters, April 7) and “Right of passage” by Chrisanne Beckner (SN&R Cover, March 10):

Pillage has a new meaning, and that is ADA [the Americans with Disabilities Act]. The restaurant, River City Brewing, had a lower-level dining area, which D’Lil could have used but chose not to solely in order to sue for personal gain. She had a city full of restaurants to choose from. She caused a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and put many people out of work, as D’Lil took her 20 pieces of silver to the bank. The restaurant rightly chose to fight the ridiculous lawsuit rather than bow to intimidation.

Her lawsuit was a slap in the face for all challenged persons. More and more stores are hanging “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” signs in their windows thanks to D’Lil. There is one on my door, and I would be happy to show D’Lil the road.

Lou Meyer

Poor Jughead!

Re “A corporation ate my name” (SN&R Guest comment, March 31):

Yikes! Please give me a refund for the three minutes of my life it took to read the guest comment by Bonnie Veronica.

What is her point? Is it sour grapes for being a victim of her own doing (taking the payout) or shameless self-promotion? Her identity is gone because she sold her band name? How shallow and self-absorbed can one get?

The music should speak for itself. She failed to mention how much she was paid by Warner. If it were me, I’d kill to sell two words to some sucker with money. I’d do it again and again and then laugh in their face.

It is unfortunate, however, that the “sizeable base” of fans she touts will now be scrambling to find the new Web site so they may enlighten themselves to the spiritual meaning behind the pictures of herself naked in the bathtub. If I were Archie, I would sue her on behalf of Jughead and the gang at Riverdale High.

Kevin Neidich

Don’t fix it, Arnold

Re “In all things moderation” by Jill Stewart (SN&R Capitol punishment, March 31):

This column was hardly a balanced analysis of Schwarzenegger’s reform proposals. Other than the one sentence in which she states her opposition to his deficit-reduction plan, Jill Stewart’s essay basically congratulates Arnold for being a political risk taker, for successfully pissing off both parties.

Is this the same governor fighting California nurses over nurse-patient care ratios? The same governor planning to go after the assets of deceased Medi-Cal recipients? The guy who reneged on a funding promise to state educators and wants to hold a special election at a cost of $70 million to taxpayers?

Stewart also neglected to mention that Schwarzenegger’s pension-reform plan would double the employee Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) contribution of current state workers, or workers could opt out of making future contributions and take home extra cash. The potential impact of this “reform” is a less solvent pension fund for those workers who remain in the system, a more precarious retirement afterlife for those who leave the system, and diluted PERS accountability influence in corporate boardrooms.

If it ain’t broke …

Detria Thompson
via e-mail

401 kill it

“In all things moderation” by Jill Stewart (SN&R Capitol punishment, March 31):

Jill Stewart’s column sticks it to state employees who protested Governor Schwarzenegger’s now-withdrawn proposal to convert the solid Public Employees Retirement System to riskier 401(k)-style pensions.

Since it would have affected only those hired on or after July 1, 2007, Stewart says the governor’s plan “won’t affect a single one of the 325,000 current state workers, yet they bellyache about it each night on TV around the state.”

Stewart must be unclear on the concept of people being concerned for the welfare of others who follow in their footsteps.

Keith Hearn
editor, California Association of Psychiatric Technicians


Gouge away

Re “$56 million ÷ 74” (SN&R Editorial, March 24):

Thank you for the great editorial on the shame of the Senate in voting to gut the current bankruptcy laws.

Yesterday, we received our credit-card bill from Chase Bank. We have had this account since 1995 and have never missed a payment. They just raised our interest rate from about 7.5 percent to 29.49 percent because our available credit is only $575. Huh?

Out of a $180 payment, only $31.78 was applied to the principal. By our calculations, that amounts to approximately 82-percent interest.

How in the world can this be possible, let alone legal? It’s no wonder more and more people are going bankrupt. We can’t even imagine how much “interest” this will cost us by the time the bill of $7,500 (for kitchen renovation) is paid.

With this outrageous practice now starting, can other “cutting edge” banks be far behind? If the people at Chase wore shiny suits and had names like “No Nose,” we could understand this huge payment. Our only comfort is the fact that Chase can’t break our kneecaps—at least, not yet.

We have written to our state and federal senators and representatives, to the Better Business Bureau, etc., to express our frustration and anger. How can this be?

Jackie Wight
via e-mail

Positive violence?

Re “Hack job on Christianity …” (SN&R Letters, March 24):

I have been reading with interest and much amusement the letters from the bibliolaters bashing the essay by Jaime O’Neill. They certainly show a lack of tolerance for other views and a very selective reading of the Bible. The assertion by Mr. Sean Lemar that “Thou shalt not kill” excludes defense of one’s country is one commonly heard. I recognize that the concept of “positive violence” has been around since the crusades, but the real question is: Does it comport with the teachings of Jesus? The message of Jesus was about love, forgiveness and turning the other cheek to your enemies.

In applying the exception cited by Mr. Lemar, it does create a problem about the war with Iraq. There were no weapons of mass destruction, there was no nuclear-bomb program, Saddam had nothing to do with September 11, and Iraq represented no threat to the United States. In reflection, can a professed Christian say our country was justified in visiting “positive violence” on the Iraqi people? I think not.

James G. Updegraff III

Removing the eyeliner

Re “Ghost image” by Christian Kiefer (SN&R Clubber, March 17):

I am an avid reader of SN&R. I came across this article and found it extremely interesting. It is about time someone put a spotlight on the fact that a band’s image is, more often than not, overpowering the talent and musicianship of a band.

I attended the show at The Boardwalk in which the band you talked about performed. I originally went for Supermodel Suicide, but I must admit the Turnout stole the show for me. Like you, I am new to these guys. And, like you, I do agree that they are not the best band in the world. They have much to work on, but they are one of the most talented groups I’ve seen in this area in a long while. It is blossoming, but there. I was even more impressed after buying the demo and learning of their young age and how they have not been together for long.

Anyway, my question is: How did you decide on writing about that band as opposed to the rest of the bands that night? They definitely have those MTV2-ready haircuts (ha ha), however, the first thing I thought of when reading the article was how different they were and how much they stood out at the show. Not only was there no eyeliner or multi-toned hair, but there was not one scream or pretentious lyric (thought of that after hearing the demo). Every other band was sporting the all-black T-shirt or sport coat and tight-tight jeans, not to mention the overbearing screams that became monotonous by the end of the night.

What ultimately won me over was the humbled demeanor and the singer nonchalantly saying, “We’re the hardest band here tonight.” Obviously, they were not. In a screamo, eyeliner-saturated scene, they were a refreshing glass of water.

Tadyn Fox
via e-mail