Letters for August 16, 2012

Killer cars

Re “Riches to rags in Roseville” by Corbyn Hightower (SN&R Feature Story, August 2):

The experiences shared about living car free really resonated with me. Having been a bit over two years car-free myself, I can validate the change in how I relate to my world now.

I’d like to add that I calculate savings of at least $20,000 that has not gone to fund the military-industrial complex or toward fouling the air and water we all need to live.

Sorry to be so harsh, but the daily experience of terror by speeding bullies in their cars racing each other to the next red light has had an effect on me. The author has identified something important here, which is the social disconnect drivers have from as a result of being enclosed in their bubble. Folks that are nice and friendly turn into dangerous killers behind the wheel of a car. Thousands of people are maimed for life, and 117 people die every day in car collisions. Our public roads are unsafe for people, pets and kids, because we have surrendered them to cars.

Too bad it takes economic disaster to help people find the benefits of slowing down, looking local and living simpler lives. Clearly, the kids get it. I really hope more drivers choose to get out of their cars before they are forced to by economic disaster. It really is a better view from “out here.”

Tim Castleman

Add menudo to the mix

Re “Behold the torta” by Becky Grunewald (SN&R Dish, August 2):

La Fiesta Taqueria is the best! I give them five stars. It’s so hard to find great ceviche, made Guadalajara-style, and they do just that. Fresh, mild fish is key, and yes, the unique add-on of mayo on the tostada is a real Guadalajara touch. I’ve been getting the tostada de ceviche for several years now.

The other winner for my family is the menudo (weekends only, and get there early or they might run out). It’s got a rich, meaty broth and generous portions. Ask for “con grano” or “sin grano” if you like or dislike hominy. You can even have patita, if you’re a fan.

I’m glad to read a review of them; I want them to stay right where they are!

Carla Castro

Do it to a dog, go to jail

Re “Who wants to be born in public?” by Mary Ellen Williams (SN&R Guest Comment, July 26):

Thanks to Mary Ellen Williams for her sensitive op-ed.

Despite having received nearly 3,000 emails and petition signatures protesting the “birthing exhibits” at the California State Fair, nothing has changed. Newborn calves were still immediately separated from their mothers, which stresses both. (One of the UC Davis vet students there told me that “the mothering instinct has been mostly bred out of the animals.” Yeah, right.)

Worst of all are the god-awful “farrowing crates,” where pregnant sows are imprisoned for three straight weeks, unable to turn around, barely able to move, and forced to give birth on a metal grid, without an ounce of bedding in sight: a true crime against nature. Do this to a dog, go to jail.

Every veterinary study I’ve seen recommends against transporting pregnant animals about to give birth. UC Davis should practice what it teaches.

Concerned citizens should contact Norbert Bartosik, Cal Expo CEO and general manager, and the board of directors at 2600 Exposition Boulevard, Sacramento, CA, 95815; or at <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">{ document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,97,32,104,114,101,102,61,34,109,97,105,108,116,111,58,99,97,108,101,120,112,111,98,111,97,114,100,64,99,97,108,101,120,112,111,46,99,111,109,34,62,99,97,108,101,120,112,111,98,111,97,114,100,64,99,97,108,101,120,112,111,46,99,111,109,60,47,97,62)) } </script>. It should be noted that ex-officio member of the board, [Senate President Pro Tem] Darrell Steinberg, has given his stamp of approval to these exhibits.

Eric Mills
Action for Animals

Gaga, God and steaming piles

Re “Gaga over God” by Mark Drolette (SN&R Essay, July 26):

Well, now that’s a steaming pile. “I once thought I touched God, then shit happened, I was wrong, and no one knows any better than I do there is no God.” Really? Kind of like saying, “When I was a little kid, I couldn’t dunk a basketball. Then, one time, I was able to. Now I can’t again. Therefore, no one can dunk a basketball.”

Get real. The only point I can see of publishing this logically fallacious and shallow piece is to get comments outta people like me.

Yeah, [I] built my whole life around studying God. God is, though, I don’t know that you and I have the same conception thereof; the truth is beyond our words and conceptions.

I still can’t dunk a basketball and am working to make my steaming piles much smaller. Less fiber in the diet and all. Maybe this one will be small enough to print.

Geoffrey Wood

Bike education FTW

Re “Steal this bike” by Raheem F. Hosseini (SN&R Feature Story, July 26):

As 30-plus years of Reaganomics continue to drive us into the ground, a cheap ride will be increasingly valuable. This is especially true of one that uses no fuel, requires no insurance, testing, license or registration to operate.

But as with any activity, there is a right way and wrong way to go about it. Many sports for example, can be enjoyed without harm even when corners are cut or when “not playing by the rules.”

But with cycling, the wrong way can get you hit in more than one way. The impression I get from our local bike-advocacy groups is “build it and they will ride.” And it’s great that more people are getting on bikes from their efforts. But how to ride—and lock? They gave us lanes, but nothing on safely navigating traffic or intersections. They gave us bike racks, but no info on how to lock up. I often see bikes insecurely locked, and have you seen a white ghost bike?

As there are no testing requirements for bike use, people must educate themselves—even if they “know” how to ride. Hopefully, they will shed the childhood misinformation from parents, etc. Motorcyclists must get special instruction and testing before getting a license. So, cyclists: Open a book or take a course. It will still be fun.

Brian Lambert