Letters for August 25, 2005

Directionally challenged

Re “Drinking problem” by Josh Indar (SN&R Cover, August 18):

Not that it has any impact on the content of the article, but, for the record, McCloud is not on the east slope of Mount Shasta, or at least it wasn’t the last time I was there. It’s south-southeast of Mount Shasta and actually not on the cone itself at all. If you treat yourself to a trip on Military Pass Road, you will observe that there’s nothing but shrub steppe on the east slope of Mount Shasta, which is OK by me.

Art Shapiro

SN&R asks the wrong question …

Re “Do you think parents have a right to know if their minor daughter seeks an abortion?” (SN&R Streetalk, August 18):

I could not believe my eyes when I read the topic of last week’s Streetalk. The question asked in the community is in itself misleading to the public.

Of course parents want to be involved in their children’s lives, and they want to support and nurture their children’s growth. The question should be: “Would a constitutional amendment foster healthy communication within our families?”

If parents want to protect their daughters, they must begin to discuss responsible sexual behavior at a young age, building a strong foundation of trust and love. If daughters are unable to go to a trusted parent regarding an abortion, we must ensure that they receive safe and professional medical attention. I fear that the safety of our teens will be compromised by the desire to be informed.

Margaret A. Young

… and forgets ‘safety first’

Re “Do you think parents have a right to know if their minor daughter seeks an abortion?” (SN&R Streetalk, August 18):

SN&R, the question itself concerns me. Parental rights are simply not relevant when the safety of their children is in question.

Statistics support the conclusion that minors who feel they can discuss the issue of pregnancy and abortion with their parents eventually do so. These young adults are typically better informed and may regularly seek advice and support from their parents.

The young adult who does not trust her parent(s) is hopefully, then, in the hands of a licensed and regulated health-care provider. Or, worse, and one hopes extremely rare, the young adult facing pregnancy due to child abuse is under the care of a trained professional.

All rules, regulations or laws regarding the human condition must allow for a variety of circumstances. Unfortunately, not all children are raised in an environment that allows for communication with their parent(s). For example, our nation sustains the need for foster care, child protective services and even youth incarceration. Even when youths are passed on to those new guardians, we have all heard disparaging stories about mistreatment.

The danger in putting parental rights before the safety of their children will be disastrous for many. We will begin to see illegal procedures performed outside the watchful eye of state regulation and trained physicians. The situation could turn from a young adult making a decision without parental knowledge to a sick teen irreparably injured, or, worse, to that youth’s obituary.

Stephani Crespin

Necessary info on thimerosal

Re “Mercury and meds” (SN&R Editorial, August 18):

Thanks for printing your editorial on thimerosal and its link to autism. This should be a huge story. Next week, my baby boy starts getting his vaccinations, and without bold reporting like this, I would not have known to ask the tough questions beforehand. I agree that this story is being covered up, and that’s tragic.

Dave Mason

It’s about money, not stained sheets

Re “The media sex police” by Jill Stewart (SN&R Capitol punishment, August 18):

You’ve got to be kidding, Jill. “Journalists generally ignore the sex lives of pols”? What rock have you been hiding under? Let me list ’em for you: President Clinton (can you say “blue dress”?), Gary Condit, Jack Ryan (GOP Senate candidate in Illinois), Bob Packwood—heck, go all the way back to the concern about Andrew Jackson’s marriage or even further to Thomas Jefferson’s illegitimate black children.

Crying about media attention to Arnold’s sex life is a neat way to avoid the real issues. The governor took money from a company that had a vested interest in legislation before him. That same company purchased exclusive rights to a first-person account of the governor’s extramarital shenanigans and then “decided” not to publish it. Don’t worry about stains on the sheets, Jill; follow the money.

Then there’s the issue of Schwarzenegger’s incredibly narrow and self-serving definition of “special interest.” If it’s a union, it’s a special interest. If it’s a business—like those muscle magazines—it’s just plain regular folks.

Sort of like the definition you use, Jill. So, who’s paying you?

Janet Klein
via e-mail

Who cares about the hair—what about the music?

Re “Part mammal, part machine” by Eddie Jorgensen (SN&R Music, August 18):

It would have been nice to read more about Abominable Iron Sloth’s sound rather than its—and Jorgensen’s—opinions about other musicians’ hair choices.

In the old days, playing in a band as a duet usually meant no one wanted else wanted to play with you.

Next time, have him write something a little more obvious. Like the fact that the band members are all lefties. What are the odds?

Spike Murdock
via e-mail

More than one shadow

Re “Cartoon” by John Kloss (SN&R Opinion, August 11):

Interesting how the shadow only covers the United States. Could we run that cartoon again, only this time insert the words “Pearl Harbor” and “Bataan Death March” shadowing Japan?

Lou Meyer

Revolting lack of care for downtown

Re “Eminent revolt” by Ryan Rose (SN&R News, August 11):

After reading previous articles regarding the proposed facelift and revitalization that much of downtown needs, especially the K and L street corridors, I can’t help but not feel sorry for property owners such as Moe Mohanna.

I work in downtown, and, day in and day out, I have to see the blight and run-down buildings that people like Mohanna own. It makes me sick to my stomach to think that he and other property owners have the nerve to complain about the city using “eminent domain” as a last resource to help rebuild what was once such a beautiful downtown area. Nowadays, a walk through downtown in the K or L street corridor (especially in the evening hours) could leave a person traumatized for life and never wanting to revisit the area, with all the mentally ill sitting in front of the single-occupancy hotels and living in front of the run-down properties.

If Mohanna and other property owners are so concerned with the downtown area and would like to keep their property, why aren’t they investing money into their own properties to build them up, give the buildings a facelift and finding better tenants?

I applaud the city council for wanting to use steps such as eminent domain when owners neglect their property. Sure, it might seem like the city council is getting a little dirty while trying to sell the property off to other investors that can profit from it, but in the end everyone that visits or works in downtown will come out winners when it becomes a safe, bustling Mecca of nightlife, shopping and residence again.

Justin Barrell

Eminently irresponsible owners

Re “Eminent revolt” by Ryan Rose (SN&R News, August 11):

With all the populist talk about limiting eminent-domain acquisitions by the city, it’s easy to forget the truth of the matter. Sacramento Citizens for Property Justice is really just a front for protecting the rights of a few lazy and negligent property owners and has nothing to do with “citizens” or “justice.”

I would applaud any initiative by the city to get badly run properties out of the hands of landlords who contribute nothing to the common wealth and vitality of Sacramento. I would also strongly encourage the city to do anything within its power to encourage new owners with vision and responsibility to step forward.

Wouldn’t we all prefer a vibrant, prosperous downtown to the current slew of slum rents, vacant lots and empty storefronts that currently dominate our city center?

Please don’t be swayed by fake grassroots movements designed to protect the interests of a few to the detriment of us all. We should be asking that the city acts to give us a downtown to be proud of, instead of seeking to limit its powers to do so.

Shawna Crossland