Letters for August 9, 2007

Why kill the chickens?

Re “Chicken George” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature Story, July 26):

I raise gamecocks in Sacramento County. I show my roosters and hens, and I am a member of the American Preservation for Gamefowl and the United Gamefowl Breeders Association.

I have a problem with the Humane Society killing these birds when there is a place called Second Chance for Chickens that is working to save the lives of these birds. They have a Web site at www.secondchanceforchickens.org. I wonder why animal control is so anxious to kill animals when they might still have productive lives?

Manuel Azevedo
via e-mail

Put him on display …

Re “Second Saturday freeloaders” (SN&R Guest Comment, July 26):

I think for the next Second Saturday, I’d like to see an exhibit called “The Art of Whine.”

Instead of having a blank gallery and a table with an assortment of cheeses, crackers and wines—as the artist known as Johnny Flores suggested—I would like to see a table with Johnny Flores sitting on it, as well as various paintings and art depicting Mr. Flores.

So Johhny, if you are reading this and I seem annoyed, it’s because I am. Your whining rant was completely misdirected.

People are simply people, and human nature is what it is. The sooner you accept it, the happier you will be. Wine at a formal art exhibit is status quo and etiquette applies. It is painfully obvious that Second Saturday is not one of these events. And the morons are not the crowds loading up on free wine and snacks; the real morons are the people serving it up.

My wife and I go to Second Saturday to look at art with a possibility of buying a piece that one of us falls in love with. We meet up with friends for the art walk, make it a social event and wind down the evening with dinner and drinks at one of the local restaurants. We stay away from the places that lure the crowds in with free wine and snacks. We are not there to try to score some cheap drab hooch, stale crackers and slices of cheese that are starting to crust. We are there to see the art and possibly reward some talented starving artist for creating beauty.

Paul Eusey

… and get free whine with the crackers

Re “Second Saturday freeloaders” (SN&R Guest Comment, July 26):

Why would anybody want to drink any free wine when they could skip it and read plenty of whining from [Johnny Flores]?

Get a life, man. Second Saturday is a community affair. Galleries offer wine and crackers as an enticement to get people in to look at the gallery art.

Let me explain this to you: Most people don’t go to Second Saturday to buy art. They go to socialize, to experience a bit of community and look at good and bad art. If any of them do end up buying, it’s what is called an “impulse buy.” That’s where somebody not intending to buy a piece of art starts to feel relaxed after a couple of cheap glasses of wine and suddenly falls in love with a piece of art created by an ungrateful artist like you.

Maybe instead of perfecting your art, you should take a marketing class. You’ve much to learn.

Robert E. Oakes

Unfunded and unsupported

Re “Sitting on de fense” (SN&R Bites, July 26):

I recently surveyed (by phone) a few counties around the state. It seems that prosecutor’s offices are funded at about four times that of the public defenders, an apparently well-kept secret. The Yolo County deputy public defender had no complaints about this situation when I spoke to him recently at a social event.

It’s tricky getting exact figures, as the DA’s offices get money from different sources for different types of crimes, and clerks trying to read department budget numbers find it difficult to add it all together. Going online to look at county budgets would be better than my phone calls!

If you add in the fact that the DA’s offices are well assisted by law enforcement and other public agencies, then public defense is a joke—as it is in the 14 counties that have no civil service public defenders.

Those on contract are usually allowed to handle as many private cases as they can manage, which means they do little but pocket the county’s steady paycheck and show up in court [for the public cases] and spend the rest of their time with private cases building up billable hours.

Besides the problem of an unhappy public defender who resents being forced by the innocent defendant to go to trial, defendants who are employed are usually required by the public defender to keep showing up in court, so they must choose between losing their jobs or pleading to something and just taking the fines, probation, weekend jail time and criminal record.

J.M. Miller

In defense of defenders

Re “Sitting on de fense” (SN&R Bites, July 26):

After a week spent helping train young public defenders in the skills necessary to do a great job representing our clients, I came home to read your attack on me and my colleagues. You rely on an anonymous former highly placed staffer with the Sacramento Superior Court and apparently made no effort to contact people with a different viewpoint. Wow. That seems like the caliber of journalism of which you accuse the Bee. At least in my work one retains the right to confront one’s accusers.

You make the general charge that public defenders try to settle their cases at an early stage, and at all costs, avoid trials. Are you aware that the number of felony trials completed by the office is approximately 50 percent higher than a mere few years ago? Are you aware that the public defender’s office in Sacramento takes a higher percent of cases to trial than most other public defender’s offices in the state? Are you aware that our success rate in trial is very respectable?

Like most public defenders, I have chosen to make this my career. To fight for the rights and the lives of my clients on a daily basis is an honor. I have worked in several different offices in my time and am extremely proud of the quality representation that this office provides. Perhaps you should spend a morning in Department No. 4 watching the assignment of cases for trial. One morning should be sufficient to make clear that ours is a litigation-based office. We are going to trial. We do our best. Every day.

D. Mickey Sampson

Boinking beats praying!

Re “What’s with the Russians?” by Pat Lynch (SN&R Essay, July 26):

Terrible cover headline aside—who wants them to go home? We just want the Russians to grow up!—Pat Lynch’s essay was wonderful.

Here’s to boinking! Boinking beats praying any day!

Marci Mills

Find the killers

Re “What’s with the Russians?” by Pat Lynch (SN&R Essay, July 26):

This essay was right on the money!

At the last two Sacramento Gay Pride parades, my partner and I were subjected to vile name-calling, having signs (held by small children no bigger than their signs were!) waved at us telling us that homosexuality is “caused by hatred of parents,” and that “sodomy = sin,” all courtesy of the local Ukranian/Russian contingent.

Now a young man, only perceived to be gay by Russian males who have the temerity to call themselves “Christian,” has been murdered by these thugs who think they are “men.” They also have shown up at a local public high school, waving their signs of hate, and illegally stalked a high school principal to his home and place of worship.

Those of us in the GLBT community, as well as decent people in the straight community, don’t understand the lies that are being spread by these people about us. Let’s work together to find the killers and stop the hate.

Alex Brown

An idea for reuse …

Re “Freecycle, reduce, reuse” by Amy Radbill (SN&R Green Days, July 26):

I liked the article and will check into the group.

I live in an apartment building where there is a common area (washers, dryers, etc.) and started a practice when I have items in good condition that are no longer useful to leave them in that area. Others in the complex picked up the idea: I have found a hibachi, some wonderful art magazines, etc. So if joining the group won’t work for some, act locally.

G. Kelly

… and for recycling

Re “Freecycle, reduce, reuse” by Amy Radbill (SN&R Green Days, July 26):

First of all, I must say that I enjoy your newspaper.

But something has been irritating me for months and reminds me of the newspapers (rags) that I do not read. The point is the recycling issue. It is printed throughout each issue of the newspaper to recycle, but you do little to facilitate recycling the paper.

May I suggest that you put bins out—or at least a bin—to make it possible for your readers to follow your suggestion? You could be a good example for other papers, as well as reap financial benefits by off-setting the cost of your paper. Printing paper comes at a pretty price; recycling yours could help pay for it.

My point is, let’s see some action behind those words, rather than idle prattle. We can get enough of that from those other rags.

S.F. Ludovina