Letters for August 23, 2012

Midtowner speaks up about booze

Re “Battle for Midtown continues” by Nick Miller (SN&R Frontlines, August 16):

So what, exactly, are BarWest and its patrons doing for Midtown? Miller says “a few things,” then only mentions hiring private security. [The California Department of] Alcoholic Beverage Control notes that our census area has an undue concentration of alcohol licenses. There is clear evidence relating undue concentration to community costs. Undue concentration effects community safety and stability. That is unarguable.

Miller also repeats the allegation that opposition to undue concentration of alcohol venues in Midtown is a small but vocal group and implies that the “cranky neighbors” either have no right to complain or are unrepresentative. He—and others—have cited no data for the assertion that “thousands of others” are in support of undue concentration. He goes on to assert that BarWest’s owner may be “the future [face] of Midtown,” implying that those opposed need to step aside.

With all that said, let me ask whether Miller came to tell a story, or to sell a ready-made opinion rebuking opposition to the vision of Midtown as an alcohol-based “adult-entertainment” district where those opposed to that vision—and those who live with its negative consequences—need to step aside or be silent?

Thomas Wendel

Chick-fil-A tolerance—or McDonald’s

Re “Chick-fil-A change from within” by Ben Phillips-Leseñana (SN&R Guest Comment, August 16):

Ben Phillips-Leseñana seems to be for tolerance when it comes to his beliefs, but not for others and their beliefs. The CEO of Chick-fil-A stated that it was his personal religious belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. The First Amendment guarantees that right.

If Phillips-Leseñana does not like his beliefs and just cannot get past it, he should go to McDonald’s. But trying to force someone to change their personal religious beliefs because you do not agree is wrong. Phillips-Leseñana should try a little harder to be the righteous, tolerant person that he seems to think he is. But if he cannot, McDonald’s is awaiting him.

Dennis Johnson

Juvenile BDSM experiment

Re “50 shades of Sacramento” by Josh Fernandez (SN&R Feature Story, August 9):

I can’t believe this article not only made the cover, but was even published in SN&R. One, the author couldn’t have been more juvenile in his “experiment” with the dom-sub culture. Second, I don’t feel like enough “research” was done on the author’s part.

In attempting to make comparisons with a wildly popular “erotic” trilogy, it may have been wiser to have it come from a female’s perspective. I’ve talked to a lot more people in this subculture and have gotten a completely different perspective from what was portrayed in this article, and I have had very little dom-sub experiences.

As someone who is actually curious about this subculture of society, it would have been nice to read a serious article about how a true dom-sub relationship is. If it was meant to be a funny piece, it definitely fell flat.

Fair Oaks

Less cool-guy snark

Re “50 shades of Sacramento” by Josh Fernandez (SN&R Feature Story, August 9):

It would have been nice to skip the cool-guy snark and have a serious discussion of the emotional and psychological elements involved in [bondage, discipline and sadomasochism] and the people who practice it. I suspect that Josh Fernandez, having allowed himself to be spanked until it obviously hurt, could have gone a little deeper into what motivates such an act, rather than just playing games with words.

Jan Kline

No sisterhood until they act like sisters

Re “No sisterly love” by Christopher Arns (SN&R Frontlines, August 9):

Does Councilman Steve Cohn represent the Jewish Federation [of the Sacramento Region] or the city of Sacramento? Why did he do this to Sacramento, with his patently dumb 2009 resolution to placate one ethnic group by adding “their” sister city because they didn’t like the other group’s city? What about the Greeks, the Sikhs and the Swedes, and all the rest of us who call Sacramento (first and foremost) our home? Where does it end, Steve?

Here’s a new proposal for you. The day that Bethlehem and Ashkelon declare each other “sister cities” and bury that hatchet we’re all sick and tired of, then Sacramento can proudly become the American leg of the three-legged stool! Your silly and cynical contention that we can’t—we can!—easily find another city in the world that is admired for embracing all its citizens is easily swept aside. We can even find one whose members will not try to draw us into their interminable, unacceptable and sordid embrace of intolerance for the other.

Greg Hill

Sports do us all good

Re “Zen of sports” by Todd Walton (SN&R Essay, August 9):

It sounds as if Walton’s neighbor doesn’t understand the role that sports has played in human history, and that it is not mutually exclusive from social justice. As the [Olympic Games] played out in London, does he not see what athletes from the developing world mean to their countries? Does he not understand that Jesse Owens won something more than a footrace? Is he saying that Hank Greenberg, Jackie Robinson and Ichiro Suzuki meant nothing? From the ancient Olympians of Greece to Native American stickball games, sports and recreation are vital components of culture and history and provide ultimately superior ways to channel humanity’s more aggressive and competitive instincts.

I’m not saying that Mr. Walton’s neighbor isn’t right to lament some of the “bread and circuses” aspects of our modern-day corporate-sports structure, but he’s missing a chance to communicate his ideas to others using sports as a common currency that cuts across ethnic and class lines.

It also sounds like Mr. Walton’s neighbor needs to get off his high horse and understand that sports are a component result of the peace and prosperity he is fighting for.

James May