Letters for April 4, 2013
Beach the whales
Re “Tale of two deals” by Nick Miller (SN&R Frontlines, March 28):
Only a place with a huge inferiority complex would find this con job a good deal. Constipating one of the city's major revenue streams to service a billionaire bouncy-ball franchise makes Sacramento the laughingstock of the rest of the country. “World-class suckers” is the message being sent. Why do you think the so-called whales are circling for all the free public money? Time to insist on a public vote.
Oh, I know we could lose out on all those important basketball-related jobs, like soda sales and janitorial careers. It's time to beach the “whales” and show the world we may be a top 10 city, but we aren't stupid. Or are we?
Smart growth = survival
Re “Battle for smart growth” by Robert Gammon and Nick Miller (SN&R Feature Story, March 28):
Misuse of the California Environmental Quality Act continues to threaten both the environment and the quality of life for millions of Californians. Granted, the law provides essential checks on development and infrastructure expansion, as well as protecting the state’s endangered species. But CEQA was never intended to increase our reliance on fossil fuels or hamper smart, sustainable growth. When special-interest groups exploit the process, pollution and sprawl are the unintended consequences. … Comprehensive CEQA reform is essential for thoughtful, streamlined growth that promotes public health while protecting the environment. … Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg should be applauded for his efforts on the issue. He’s one of many leaders who recognize that smart growth may be the best path to saving the planet and ourselves.
Adult education matters
Re “Adult schools threatened” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Greenlight, March 28):
Thank you so much for shining light on this situation. So many of us are working so hard to do that, knowing it is so worth it to save, rebuild and renew adult education, keep the K-12 programs, and obtain designated funding. There are two SignOn.org petitions circulating to that effect. The one I started is the Alliance for California Adult Schools, and has also sprung up on Facebook. Many of us are using that as a way to connect and share ideas, strength, strategies, experience, etc.
The California Council for Adult Education, or CCAE, is the only formalized organization that includes teachers, administrators, students and “friends” of adult education. They too are working hard to get the word out that adult education matters! …
Thank you for spurring more of us to be aware of the value of adult education and to speak up before it’s too late.
Booze is to blame
Re “Holiday crime” by Nick Miller (SN&R Editor’s Note, March 21) and “Pin the fail on the donkey” by Bill Bradley (SN&R Feature Story, March 21):
In [response] to Nick Miller’s question, “Is it the booze?” the answer is yes; not only the tragic incidents, but also the pattern of addictive and abusive behavior that is so costly to state and local governments for law enforcement, courts, corrections, medical care and social services—well-documented by researchers at several University of California campuses.
This week, I cleaned up shattered 32-ounce Corona and Mickey’s Fine Malt Liquor bottles on church grounds. The excise tax on the contents is a fraction of [what was] the “redemption” value of the bottles.
Bill Bradley’s analysis of California Democrats notes that polling shows same-sex marriage is supported by all the major groupings in the state except “conservatives, Republicans and Protestants”—the “folks who met at the Republican Party convention.” I protest that Protestants are more diverse than that in their views on marriage, drinking, party affiliation and other matters.
In any case, the Field Poll referenced did a survey on increased alcohol revenue a while back, as did the Public Policy Institute of California, and both showed overwhelming bipartisan support for increased alcohol taxes. Does anyone think we have sufficient resources for mental-health, substance-abuse treatment, domestic-violence programs and prisoner re-entry services? In the meantime, as we lament the tragedies of violence and traffic accidents (I watched dumbfounded as a drunk young woman broke a SMUD pole 200 feet in front of me as I walked on J Street near my home on St. Patrick’s Day 2012), the brewers, distillers and vintners have a lock on the Capitol, enforcing a virtual code of silence. Personally, I pray for the day when Jesus returns and transforms alcohol into tax revenue at the gay-marriage feast.