Letters for April 3, 2014

SN&R's readers write in about marijuana legalization and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, pop-up-dining parties, Sacramento's taxi drivers and more

Feinstein on cartel payroll?

Re “Hello, legalization” by Ngaio Bealum (SN&R The 420, March 27):

Like all good drug warriors, Sen. Dianne Feinstein has a habit of using the drug war's collateral damage to justify throwing good money after bad public policy. Statistically, the vast majority of marijuana consumers do not move on to harder drugs. Those who do can thank Sen. Feinstein and her fellow drug warriors. Federal marijuana prohibition keeps violent drug cartels in business. When cartels control marijuana distribution, consumers are exposed to illegal cocaine, meth and heroin.

Marijuana prohibition is a gateway drug policy. Colorado has closed the gateway, and Washington state will soon follow. Marijuana legalization will raise new tax revenue, provide consumers with a comparatively safe alternative to alcohol, and close the gateway to hard drugs by taking marijuana distribution out of the hands of criminals. Perhaps Sen. Feinstein is on the payroll of Mexican drug cartels. It would certainly explain her efforts to protect their market share.

Robert Sharpe

policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy

Pop-up dining a blast

Re “Have restaurant, will travel” by Lovelle Harris (SN&R Arts&Culture, March 27):

Thank you for Lovelle Harris’ excellent article exploring our town’s stimulating pop-up-dining scene. I’ve been lucky enough to attend most of Kevin O’Connor’s Tree House dinners and attended Sylvanna Mislang’s Roaming Spoon dinner last week (Jason Azevedo is on my list). The dinners are exquisite without pretense and are eye-opening in their level of creativity. (Full disclosure: I worked with both O’Connor and Mislang in the past.)

These events allow Sacramento’s artists to work outside the confines of a restaurant kitchen, where economics often constrain execution of a fully developed concept. Learning how these talented young chefs think and watching them execute their craft is an invigorating experience. Their influence in Sacramento’s cultural scene should not be understated. They do this without the backing of a business association, corporate partners or opportunistic motivation. Evidently, they do it because of the experimentation, reaction and love of the process. Not to mention, the dinners are a blast.

Daniel Senecka

via email

Taxi drivers need to abide

Re “Taxi griper” by Raheem F. Hosseini (SN&R News, March 27):

In this article, cab driver Kazman Zaidi says, “Our taxicab business is almost really finished.” I read about the competition, as well as the new policies. Here’s the thing: The people setting the policies are either looking out for the public or jerks. American society doesn’t give a shit if taxicab drivers can’t survive. Most of society will be quick to use the catchphrases “You did it to yourself” and “You deserve it.” Drivers either need to follow the new policies or eat it.

Noah Kameyer

via email

Bravo, charter schools

Re “Wake-up call for California educators” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Greenlight, March 20):

Jeff vonKaenel’s observations about charter schools and the energized passion and enthusiasm in the charter-school movement is absolutely spot-on correct. I have been serving in the charter-school movement for 15 years, and I too have attended both traditional-school conferences and public-charter-school conferences. The differences in attitude are sobering.

At traditional school conferences, I have sat around tables and heard nothing but negativity from teachers and administrators bemoaning everything that is wrong with the “system.” Charter-school administrators and teachers are, on the other hand, energized to do whatever they can that is best for students.

Students’ lives are being miraculously transformed for the better in charter schools, and it is time for the public to wake up and applaud what the charter-school movement is accomplishing both for the health and well-being of our education system and for our society at large.

Jeff Rice

Penn Valley