Letters for August 16, 2001

There’s more

Re “Is That All There Is?” by Melinda Welsh (SN&R Cover, August 2):

Thank you for the article about Ms. Delaine Easton, our state schools superintendent. In the mid-1990s, I was involved with the SJUSD’s campaign to fund school infrastructure repairs, and I was very impressed with Ms. Easton’s devotion to the bond initiative and to her overall involvement in child advocacy. It was hard to read about the criticism, by other politicians, of Ms. Easton’s programs and to realize the personal and professional sacrifices she has made for us. It shocks me to learn about the little support Ms. Easton received for her hard work in accomplishing the amazing things that she has been able to do for our children in the past few years.

The negative political environment in this country discourages a lot of extremely focused and capable women from participating in our political arena and thus making badly needed improvements to conditions for families and children. The welfare and education of our children has always been of highest importance to women in our country and must be our greatest priority as a nation. How will our children succeed without the support from all of us? How will they learn the tools to manage our future? We should all send thanks to people like Ms. Easton and refuse to re-elect people who undermine the welfare and education of our children.

In your article, Ms. Easton expressed frustration with our generation of “Baby Boomers” and said that as a generation “there’s no courage and there’s no heart.” I agree; we used to be ready to give it our all to change the world, and instead we have settled into self-absorption and isolation from political change. I feel that we need to wake up and have the sleeping giant of our generation inflame our children with the values that we once believed in and fought for. Our country’s spirit is failing, because we will not stand up and fight to take care of our nation and support our current and future politicians who are willing to give us everything they have to make the necessary changes to save our children and revive the spirit of our nation.

Ms. Easton, we owe you and others like you a huge thank you!

Elizabeth Hughes
via e-mail

The system (and its workers) is broke

Re “Nurses Aid” by Bill Hunt (SN&R Guest Comment, August 9):

I really hope you receive a rebuttal to his weak comments about how to solve the nursing shortage. I am not in the medical field per se, but have many friends in that area who are professional and their slant is very different from what is portrayed in the media. No one seems to get this story straight!

The comment Mr. Hunt made about “while these jobs do not reward with great glory or pay high salaries … ” is exactly the heart of the shortage. If we don’t pay people, they are hard-pressed to stay, not to mention any job satisfaction issues. You get what you pay for! How did plain common sense escape these policy-makers?

Also, in his article he wants to make recruiting/training a function of the government. While this is not totally a bad idea, I can’t see private corporations benefiting from another government handout. They are the ones that are providing a paid-for service (hospital or nursing home) that results in a for-profit gain for the business. This issue belongs to them. I understand they want profits—no business can exist without them. But they are short-sighted in their view. A decent wage would ensure obtaining good people that you can retain long-term instead of “job-hopping” individuals who have no emotional attachment to their job.

The heart and soul of the medical world is eroding away at a rapid clip. The medical profession (from doctors/nurses to aides, etc.) really cares about people. You can only fight “city hall” so much before giving up. Doctors who can retire do, nurses much the same scenario. Aides and medical assistants are not receiving adequate training to handle what they are asked to do. The for-profit business is out for the quick buck. This is the main reason for the shortages Mr. Hunt talks about—short staffing, no decent wage and no bending on job alternatives such as job-sharing (to lure semi-retired nurses back into the work force). The solution is there—if they care to look beyond surface issues.

Diane Kauffman
via e-mail

Lest we forget

Re “Is That All There Is?” by Melinda Welsh (SN&R Cover, August 2):

Melinda Welsh’s ad-copy cover story about state education boss Delaine Eastin was at least well titled. Welsh’s worshipful piece managed to avoid quite a lot, including matters being pursued by the FBI and U.S. Attorney.

Delaine Eastin has failed to streamline a bloated bureaucracy, tried to shield the department from public scrutiny, resisted meaningful reforms and made life difficult for charter schools, the deregulated schools that are favored by many inner-city parents. Eastin once sponsored a bill that would have allowed only 50 charter schools statewide.

A genuine piece of journalism, in a publication that styles itself as alternative, would have at least mentioned these matters.

Lloyd Billingsley
via e-mail

Fictional account

I am sending this letter in response to your portrayal of our Del Paso Boulevard and arts community (“Not a Pretty Picture,” SN&R, July 26):

Your writer R.V. Scheide could do a wonderful job in writing a fiction novel! He, above all, should realize that a writer is also an artist, his pen is his brush and the paper is his canvas. Most artists have a sensitivity and respect for that which is around them, but in his case, I noticed a lack of the above! His article painted a very degrading picture for all to see, with showing no concern to those of us who live, work and have an interest in the North Sacramento community.

I would suggest he get his facts right and talk to some of the people, not just a very few, and then take their words out of context!

For your information, the North Sacramento Chamber of Commerce has spent thousands of dollars to help get the “Phantom Gallery” started and the Uptown Arts formed. The Uptown Arts have been independent for the past five years. We are and always will be a strong supporter of the arts community.

Your tabloid asks for advertising from business owners with an implied reason that they would get results due to your great circulation. One of your accounts, the Enotria Café & Wine Bar, noted as one of the best in the Sacramento area, now you have proceeded to trash their intelligence and the very area they are located. I would say, as a marketing tabloid, you would make a better adversary than a friend.

You have insulted a community of wonderful people, business owners, creative artists and many others who live here, and above all, it disturbs me to think you have a writer on your staff of this caliber.

Allen R. Marcus

Bravo Leslie

Re “Protect Your Privacy” by Robert Speer (SN&R Cover, July 19):

Bravo on your article regarding Tim Leslie!

I was working with his son Scott at Hope Unlimited in 1998. I met Tim and he was such a great guy that it was hard to take when he was not only fighting cancer again, but didn’t get elected as lieutenant governor. So, it was wonderful to read his story—that where one door closed, another door opened. Also, I want to thank you for the refreshingly positive spin on a man of the Christian faith!

Jill Wright Todt
via e-mail

A Mensan?

Stephen James, the author of “The Ancient Evil of Usury,” made me take home a copy of the SN&R. That was buried by other paraphernalia, until 8-6-01.

Although I have a degree in financial management, worked in that field for 23 years and I’m a Mensan, two divorces and being forced out of my career because of disability retirement found me with a real need to seek a payday loan (I don’t, ever, again, want to resort to the food bank)!

After I obtained my first loan, I wrote a verbose letter to that store’s manager, stating that would be my only such transaction. I was shortsighted! Fortunately—at this time—I owe them nothing; short of a catastrophe, I can’t envision my using their services again. I researched the topic of usury for our state and the state in which the lending bank is located. I was appalled by the loopholes and rejection of corrective legislation! I felt impotent.

The bright side to all of this is that my vocabulary has been enhanced, by chief consultant to the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee, William George: Now, I know the meaning of concupiscence, profligacy and palliatives.

David A. Tozier
Rancho Cordova