Letters for August 14, 2008
Letter of the week
Min-pen in Yolo has possibilities
The majority of Zamora-area residents oppose new state “mini-prison” construction, but they should collectively consider the advantages.
The mini-prison would reward Yolo County with $30 million in state funding to expand its jail in exchange for hosting the mini-prison. It would house state prisoners during their last year and provide rehabilitative training to help prevent those released from reoffending. The 500-inmate facility would offer vocational training, drug treatment and counseling. It would look like a residence, not a prison.
In addition to 350 or so mini-prison jobs, the new homes required will provide new jobs, as will the new businesses likely to be generated.
Infrastructure funding should include increased YoloBus service, which, I believe, now stands at but two to four runs on two days per week. The residents of the Zamora and Dunnigan areas should welcome this as they retire, when many will no longer be able to drive cars.
In light of our overcrowded prisons, this seems like a much more reasonable approach than massive releases (even with rehab training) or courts lacking space to house offenders.
While our state department of corrections and rehabilitation’s mini-prison program seems like a major improvement, one decades-old practice needs updating: providing only $200 and a bus ticket home upon release. But what if the person released has no job, home or family to return to? Then the $200 is a recipe for recidivism for the majority. Some [California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation] employees should try living under those conditions and see for themselves how hard it is to succeed with a criminal record and only $200. Any takers?
William A. Lowell
From Bee to Web
Re “All the news that fits” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Frontlines, August 7):
You’re absolutely right about the changes at the Bee. A longtime subscriber, I’ve been frustrated by what appears to be a nosedive in content and breadth of coverage. Yet there’s no alternative major daily newspaper for Sacramento. That’s dismaying, given we’re the capital city of a large state. Even Boston supports two major dailies.
The Bee has been my No. 1 source of info since I moved to Sacramento 12 years ago. Now, I’m sometimes not sure why I read it. Removing many popular items from the weekend editions and spreading [the Home & Garden section] over the whole week is a marketing tactic I personally find annoying, as I don’t have time to read the paper on a daily basis. Nor does a full subscription get priority with my shrinking discretionary income in these times.
I gladly welcomed the Bee’s change to printing in color a few years ago, but it’s driven me mad since, because very often the color plates don’t match up and the result is fuzzy graphics and photos. The new decision to print the daily comics in color is incomprehensible to me—of all the content a newspaper can have, are the comics really that important? They’re also more distracting than interesting now; I read them on their respective Web sites instead.
I now get most of my news, in fact, from the Web sites of other newspapers. I still valued the Bee for good local coverage, but that seems largely lost now. I’m sad to see the Bee slump like this, as I’m old-school and far prefer actually handling a wad of newsprint to rolling a mouse around and watching a screen. I can only hope it regains some of its former quality when the economy improves.
Re “Mass production” by Nick Miller (SN&R Sacreligious!, August 7):
I always manage to pick up a copy of SN&R. I do enjoy it. I don’t always agree with your points of view, but then why should I, right?
This particular piece I found to be quite, well, narrow. Seems Nick [Miller] might warrant getting outside some and getting some fresh air rather then hanging out in cathedrals around the world.
I myself often go into the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. It is a beautiful place to sit and think. But it is more then a place where children cry and the pastor murmurs. Unlike the Capital Christian [article] (“The new evangelical” by Nancy Brands Ward, SN&R Feature, July 24), you give no credence to the beauty of what goes on there.
Of course the Church is against the war in Iraq; has been from the beginning. Of course it prays for peace. Unlike the stereotypical right-wingers we so often read about, most Catholics are not warmongers.
I said all that to say this: Stop in, cool off, enjoy the music and the appeal of the building. The Church is a place for everybody. But much like you would at your friend’s house (or maybe you don’t), respect it for what it is. For many in and around Sacramento, it is Mother Church. It is where we gather together as a community to celebrate life, and yes, to pray for peace.
Fruits of their labor
Re “Strike that” by Seth Sandronsky (SN&R Essay, July 31):
As a student at the University of California, Davis, I have witnessed the labor strikes firsthand. I sympathize with the service workers. They work throughout the night to keep the campus clean, and judging from the condition of most student apartments, this can be quite a task. I am impressed by their work ethic through out this tumultuous economic crisis.
Service workers deserve the right to fair wages. I am personally disgusted by the recent UC actions. With a student population around 30,000 (half of the total population in Davis), rental rates can be murderous as demand overwhelms supply. With 96 percent of service workers earning poverty wages, it seems impossible for service workers to survive. Also, since the poverty line hasn’t moved in half a decade and given the situation of the economy, the poor working class is in much worse shape than many think. Furthermore, how dare the UC attempt to deny the workers and their union the right of free speech, using nonunion law firms in conjunction with corporate PR firms? More wasted money, if you ask me. I foresee a tuition increase for me.
Give SN&R away at the door
Re “The new evangelical” by Nancy Brands Ward (SN&R Feature, July 24):
Hey, great article on [Capital Christian Center]. I think you should hand out copies at the door next Sunday. It would give the churchgoers a wonderful insight into how the community is getting behind them.
In last week’s d’ART (“An energy,” August 7), Matt Crouch was mistakenly identified as William Haddad. Also, Short Center North’s Stephanie Skalisky was one of the coordinators for SCN’s Mural Project.