Letters for August 23, 2001

A new view

Re “Stumped” by Stephan James (SN&R Cover, August 16):

I am writing in response to the article on the oak trees that were cut down in Ancil Hoffman Park by Judge McBrien. It seems obvious that the only way to settle things fairly would be to take away his ill-gotten view.

How about a nice high fence, with a lovely mural of oak trees, that shelters the area where new trees can be planted to take the place of those so tragically lost.

Julie Parker
via e-mail

Stumped by this story

Re “Stumped” by Stephen James (SN&R Cover, August 16):

For God sakes, this is news? A judge whacks some crappy oak trees so he and his family can watch drunk rafters float down the American River and, for his offense, he’s fined $20,000.

I’d suggest to those who care, that the judge’s twenty large was excessive, compared to drunk drivers [who], behind the wheel of a two-ton weapon, receive lesser fines.

Nor did it appear that the judge’s exorbitant punishment satisfied Mr. James, whose attempt to breathe life into the most boring story ever reported, made a pitiful case for the judge’s balls to be nailed to the very scrubs he felled.

Let’s face it Sacramento, we’re mind-numbingly dull. We’ve got no more exciting, compelling, riveting news than a judge’s urge to see a sunset? It’s no wonder we’re observed by urbanites everywhere as a cow town.

Mr. James, I can hardly wait for your next exposé: “Fat lady poisons shrubs in front of North Highlands duplex.”

Mick Malaney
via e-mail

Begging to differ

Re: A lesson in conservation by Mark Willstatter (SN&R Letters August 9):

Mr.Willstatter raises some valid objections to my rate structure. I see no way in which a conservationist can have a rate advantage without some contact with the energy producer. I see no way different rate tiers can help him unless he shows that he conserves. Then he can be given a higher baseline.

Averaging usage before a tier system is discussed to establish a rate system would help. However without knowing what equipment a consumer has, any baseline must be from a wild guess. Any variable rate structure has problems.

Mark Schindler

Big labor

Re “Open or Closed?” by Jim Evans (SN&R News, August 9):

Heath Langle is of a generation reaping the rewards of past generations’ hard-won battles for safe working conditions, eight-hour work days, and meal breaks to name a few.

Mr. Langle’s selfish attitude shows a clear lack of knowledge and understanding of America’s labor movement both present and past. Unions represent many people with one voice: Split this up, splinter the voice and you stand at the mercy of Big Business. “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”


Brain death is funny

Re “Make Mine a Zombie” by Jeff Hudson (SN&R Theater, August 9):

I disagree with the “fair” review given Six Women with Brain Death.

My best friend suggested my husband and I would love the show. Because she’s always right, we went, and had the greatest time. I don’t know when we laughed so hard! The word apparently has spread across the country—my husband’s sister and two nieces visiting from Pennsylvania couldn’t wait to see it, unfortunately the theater was closed the nights they were here; it was a great disappointment.

There’s a reason Brain Death has a large following—it’s hilarious.

Amanda Patti-Fox

Wilde on Scheide

Re “Not a Pretty Picture” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Cover, July 26):

Del Paso Blvd. has been mugged! The artists, merchants and politicians have been rendered dazed and bloodied by an alleged journalist who deliberately set out to write the obituary for the uptown arts scene. Just because The Michael Himovitz Gallery went out of business doesn’t mean the arts scene here is dead. Good grief!

Oscar Wilde said that literature is not read and journalism is unreadable. What R.V. Scheide wrote was not only unreadable; it was also untrue and unfit to be called journalism. It was the ultimate journalistic cliché: the hatchet job.

Two weeks ago Scheide wrote that Little Joe’s was “an anachronistic island in a sea of progress,” that it was a “quintessential diner circa 1935” and he went on to praise the food and prices. In this grim, gruesome article he calls the same establishment a “greasy spoon.” How did it go from one extreme to the other in just two weeks? How did Del Paso Blvd. go from being a “sea of progress” to being “a work in non-progress” in the same short time? This guy will write anything for a buck.

He excluded most of the positive interviews he conducted. The owner of the Pegase restaurant (where he spent [time] eating and drinking “on the house”) was interviewed and she had many positive things to say. She and her restaurant were not even mentioned—a butcher and an ingrate.

Joyce Doiron (owner of the Doiron Gallery) was too busy to be interviewed (contradicting his perception of a dead second Saturday) and told me she was wary of him anyway because his approach to her was so negative.

When Mr. Scheide interviewed me it was easy to see just how full of booze, snide disdain and smug self-righteousness he was—so much for objective journalism. The Actor’s Theatre of Sacramento has very successfully produced more than 40 plays in the past four years on the Blvd. (several by other local companies) and he completely left us out of his article. His agenda to bash the Blvd. was better served by focusing on an art gallery that has been opened less than a month than even mention an award-winning theatre on the Blvd. Nor did he mention the many positive comments he heard from the actors and patrons of the well-attended performance of our one-act festival (to which your paper gave an excellent review). His intentions were sinister and his friend was overheard to say he was here to write an obituary. He simply did not have the talent, the wherewithal or the motive to write a well-balanced article, so he wrote the distorted picture you printed complete with dramatically ugly photographs. Next time at least try to send someone with a smidgeon of talent, integrity and honesty.

Edward Claudio

Scheide responds: I’ve been reading the responses to the cover story I recently wrote about the Del Paso Boulevard art scene with interest. The purpose of the article was not to kill Del Paso Boulevard, as some letter writers, Mr. Claudio included, have claimed. The purpose was to generate a dialogue within the community about a redevelopment project millions of public dollars have been spent on. Judging from the voluminous replies the SN&R has received about the story, it’s safe to say that goal of creating a dialogue has been achieved.

Mr. Claudio’s insinuation that I was inebriated and drinking and eating “on the house” at Pegase is a total distortion. I had a couple of beers at Pegase, which I bought with my own money, over the course of an hour in which I interviewed Mr. Claudio and his troupe.

During the interview Mr. Claudio informed me that he planned to renew his lease and keep the Actor’s Theatre on Del Paso Boulevard. I also interviewed most of the actors in that evening’s play, all of whom told me that there was no way they would live on Del Paso Boulevard. One actor had a quite chilling story about being mugged (twice!) at the light rail station.

I would have liked to keep all of this material in the article, but it had to be cut for space considerations.

Sick and tired

Re “Cell Divisions” (SN&R Editorial, August 2):

I have had Behcet’s and Sjogren’s Syndromes for as long as I can remember. Both are chronic, though not fatal, autoimmune diseases.

No cure yet exists for these types of diseases, but stem cell research has proved promising. Instead of a lifetime of painful ulcers, and extreme fatigue, I could be cured with just a few weeks of treatment. It made my hopes sink when I heard Bush might hinder the important research on these cells. Why don’t we let Bush and his “buddy” Ashcroft try Behcets, MS or Parkinson’s out for a week or two? I wonder how he’d feel faced with the reality that is all too common these days.

Jillian Remner


In the cover story, “Gray & Green” (SN&R, Aug. 9) we mistakenly said that Governor Davis signed Assembly Joint Resolution 69. Such resolutions do not go to the governor for signature. SN&R regrets the error.