Letters for August 16, 2018
Re: “Out of the dark” by Felicia Alvarez (Arts & Culture, August 9):
Aang (hello) Aang Qagaalakux (Thank you) for the article regarding the Southern Winds dancers. Alaska native culture is alive and flourishing all over Northern California. There are actually about 800 Tlingit and Haida in the Bay Area, plus about 400 Aleutian Island (Unangax) and Kodiak Island (Sugpiaq) people as well. We meet each year at Fort Ross, where many [of] our families were taken by the Russians in the 1800s to hunt sea otter.
Our culture and languages are not “lost.” They have survived genocide, slavery, colonization, forced boarding schools, and even imprisonment in WWII. It flourishes a thousand miles away from our homelands. It is actively practiced in community centers and garages and around dinner tables. People all over Alaska and the West Coast practice language weekly in person and online. To say it was “lost” reinforces the idea that we don’t exist anymore. Unangax alix. We exist.
A bum’s rush push
Re: “Nestlé’s secret water deal” by Steph Rodriguez (News, August 2):
We can never forget about the dirty backroom deal that Kevin Johnson and his cronies struck with Nestlé at the taxpayer’s expense. There was no public meeting, there was no contract, there was no vote, just a bum’s rush push to get Nestlé to set up shop in Sacramento. The #crunchnestlealliance called for major reforms in the business of water bottling for mass profit. With 110 water guzzling bottling plants in California—the most drought-affected area of the country—these businesses cut “special deals” with public officials where they locate, often at taxpayer’s expense. Sacramento officials have refused to investigate and make public Nestlé’s water use. Alliance members have addressed the Sacramento City Council a number of times and requested that Nestlé either pay a commercial rate under a two-tier level, or pay a tax on their profit. The City Council refuses to act. … In 2009, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson cut a deal with Nestlé to come to Sacramento and set up their water bottling plant, and giving them the right, for pennies on the dollar, to drain local aquifers, bottle the water, and then sell it back to the people at exorbitant profits. This bad deal continued unabated in the midst of a severe drought and the ever expanding environmental issue of plastic waste ending up and damaging our oceans. Furthermore, our oceans are dying and single-use plastic water bottles are a major contributor to that fact. Though their publicity team crafts very nice and consumer-friendly statements on their website and on their packaging and advertising, and they continuously greenwash their public image, Nestlé is anything but consumer-friendly. This is profiteering during the time of crisis.
A wide reach
Re: “A friend in need” by Rachel Leibrock (Editor’s Note, August 9):
I think it’s impressive that it isn’t just the music community jumping in [to help local music promoter Jerry Perry]—he’s touched a lot of lives!
Due to an editing error in last week’s Greenlight column, Ken Stuart, the administrative manager and chief financial officer for the San Diego Electrical Health and Welfare Trust, was incorrectly referred to as Ken Smart. SN&R regrets the error.