Letters for August 16, 2007

Dreadful judges

Re “Judge dread” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R News, August 9):

It’s about time the media looked at what goes on in family court. Although I get the feeling that the other reason this story appears in SN&R is because of [Judge Peter J.] McBrien’s previous tree-cutting escapade. As Petey Greene (Talk to Me) would have said: “Wake up, Sacramento, goddammit!”

It’s about time you took a look at what really happens in divorce cases. McBrien’s behavior ain’t unique. He’s just part of the ongoing injustice played out in family courts all across America.

Dwain Barefield
Elk Grove

Reeps right on budget

Re “Pass the darn thing” (SN&R Guest Comment, August 9):

We want you to report the true facts regarding this state budget.

Republicans moved to approve $10 billion in continuing funding to allow the state to pay its bills until the budget is adopted, but Democrats killed the motion on a straight party-line vote.

Republicans moved to resume the Senate session the very next morning to continue discussions on the budget, but Democrats killed the motion on a straight party-line vote.

Republicans offered $800 million in spending reductions that Democrats voted not even to consider.

Bruce Norton
via e-mail

Bring back 15 Minutes …

Re “Why Mexicans covet surnames” by Gustavo Arellano (SN&R ¡Ask a Mexican! August 9):

I realize that ¡Ask a Mexican! is intended to either entertain or irritate, but for those of us who just think it’s kinda boring, can you move it somewhere else and put the 15 Minutes interview back on the last page? I miss it.

S. Miller

… but keep the Mexican

Re “Why Mexicans covet surnames” by Gustavo Arellano (SN&R ¡Ask a Mexican! August 9):

Orale, ese! I love your column! I laughed so much my compadres at work wanted to know what was so funny! Me, I’m so glad to see your column. Anyway, bienvenido a Sacra!

Espero que usted sera escribando por vida, mon! Please forgive my poor Spanish—soy solamente una gabacha!

Rita Brandes
via e-mail

Pink in the face

Re “Three Sacs full” (SN&R Bites, August 2):

I wonder if Bites reads the San Francisco Chronicle only online.

Bites says “the pink … hasn’t been pink for many a moon, to save money, mind you.” In fact, the pink has been pink again since November 16, 2003—including the issue with Neva’s farewell column.

If the print media are hurting, maybe it’s because people like Bites aren’t buying hard copies.

Art Shapiro

Smart, funny Fernandez

Re “What rhymes with suck?” by Josh Fernandez (SN&R Music, August 2):

Josh Fernandez is a great writer. Smart and funny! This article made me laugh out loud—it even cracked me up a second time when I read it to my boyfriend. I also really liked the David Bowie piece (“He’s the gateway drug,” SN&R Night&Day, August 2) and Scene&Heard (“‘Like a cruel angel whipping in the sun,’” SN&R Scene&Heard, August 2) was cool.

OK: What does “roll of the six-sided die” mean? Is it a [Dungeons & Dragons] reference?

From now on, I’m picking up SN&R every week.

Kristi Green
via e-mail

Josh Fernandez replies: Yes, six-sided die are used in D&D.

19th century SN&R

Re “What’s with the Russians?” by Pat Lynch (SN&R Essay, July 26):

SN&R is following 19th century tradition: the press stirring up disdain for various immigrant groups, including those whom are otherwise considered “Christian” and “white.”

However, immigrants from the former Soviet Union are not creating slums and ghettos, but appear to be building flourishing communities that stand out in the midst of urban society. They are reminiscent in their manners and religion of most Americans from some 50 years ago, and, like Korean immigrants, they go about in clean and neat clothes and mostly act politely around others.

Groups like the Pacific Justice Institute have had to handle obvious cases of religious discrimination against former Soviet immigrants, including not allowing their kids in public schools to quietly opt out of stuff like “gay pride day” activities, or being forbidden from sharing their beliefs as those of other religions do, such as the Muslims.

Michelle Kunert

Um, that’s why it’s an opinion

Re “What’s with the Russians?” by Pat Lynch (SN&R Essay, July 26):

This article talks about “Russians” obsessing with gays. The article leads the reader to believe the following things: Russians are “assholes,” they spend all their time praying for “the Almighty to turn his wrath upon homosexuals,” they “used to be Communist or atheists,” “the kids are taught to cleave to the hatred fostered by their elders,” and “they’re thugs.”

I moved from Russia in 1992. I am from an evangelical Baptist church. This was a very biased, poorly written article for the following reason: It only presents one side of the story.

The author talks about Russian boys in a drinking establishment. Those boys [she] talks about are most likely the outcasts of the Russian Evangelical community. That is why they are there. Drinking is strictly forbidden and by being there, they are showing rebellion against their church beliefs, rules and practices.

No place in the article did the author go to authorities in the church and ask them what their stand is on gays. Even though they will tell you that they believe gay lifestyle is immoral, not one would support the statement of hatred toward gays. To show the movement of evangelical Russians as “communists,” “atheists,” “KGB,” and to equal them to “Soviet tyrants” is very irresponsible of the author and sounds like a hate article.

One needs to ask: Was this a well-written, well-researched article about gay-phobia and gay-bashing or can we summarize the subject of this article by the last two paragraphs?

I believe that even opinion articles should not be biased, pre-judgmental and bashing. The author managed to mangle all of the Russian Evangelical population in Sacramento and call them anti-gay, communist, atheists and KGB.

Peter Reymer
via e-mail

Russians, please just say no

Re “What’s with the Russians?” by Pat Lynch (SN&R Essay, July 26):

Wow. This piece was funny, but sadly all too true, as well. I hope Pat Lynch is watching [her] back.

No, you can’t paint a whole group of people with the same brush, but geez, why isn’t anyone other than the gay community having a fit that so many of the recent Slavic immigrants are attempting to enforce their beliefs and customs on the rest of us? I thought they wanted to get away from Russia!

Look, guys, this is America. You’re free, but so is everybody else. If you don’t like the public schools, build private schools! If you don’t like gay people, stay away from gay pride and the corner of 20th and K! If someone offends you in a public park but they’re not breaking the law, leave! (And if they are breaking the law, call the cops.)

Really, no one cares if you pray about or protest politely (“polite” being the key word) government policies. It’s the screaming, spitting and hitting that’s starting to piss people off.

The religious nuts that hang out on K Street with their little magazines at least have some manners. They smile and hold up the magazines. All you’ve got to do is say “No thanks.”

The Russians ought to try that. Just say no. And organize your own “Day of Silence.” That would be a real relief.

Mitch Wilson
Rancho Cordova

Deep journalism

Re “Crime unincorporated” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R News, July 26):

This is why I respect the SN&R so very much. These are the stories that awaken people and give people the real insight to what is occurring so blatantly across this city and surrounding cities. The news goes far beyond one-sided law-enforcement approaches to influence, sway and create fear within the public. These news stories allow the reader to make an opinion based on facts and actual misconduct.

I especially enjoyed this article and the article on James Karis (“The making of a killer” by R.V. Scheide, SN&R Feature Story, July 5). These are stories that include but go beyond a crime and enter a realm of developing solutions. If we know why something occurred, we can prevent it from continuously reoccurring.

That’s deep journalism, not surface reporting.

Rhonda Erwin

Drink up, Cecelia!

Re “Head to toe” by Cecelia Brady-O’Quinn (SN&R Arnold Watch, July 26):

I’m not sure if it is Cecelia Brady-O’Quinn at “fault” or the editor(s), but her reporting of “the GOP moderate drink of choice” is not likely a vodka giblet, which Webster defines as “the edible viscera of a fowl” (as in “turkey and giblet gravy”).

My dear, departed grandmother Mart, a grand old Republican, enjoyed her vodka in gimlets, and I assume it is the same for the GOP ladies of today.

Candy Furlong
via e-mail

An editor sprawled under a bar stool responds: My mistake. Everyone knows the GOP moderate drink of choice is the blood of underprivileged children. Now pour me another giblet, rummy!