Letters for December 16, 2004

Don’t forget the drunken monkeys

Re “Sacto blogo” by Chrisanne Beckner (SN&R Cover, December 9):

Just wanted to mention that somehow you guys overlooked His Eminence Archbishop Dave Smith’s blog Drunken Monkey Motorcycle: Geek Round the World.

The adventures of Sacto’s favorite No Kill I, bass-holdin’, wise-crackin’, epileptic punk rocker as he rides his 40-year-old Italian motorcycle around the world can be found at www.nokilli.com/rtw.

Read. Enjoy. Send hate mail. Repeat.

Kellye Smith
via e-mail

Jingle all the way!

Re “Heaven help us” by Jill Stewart (SN&R Capitol punishment, December 9):

I find it interesting that in the SN&R Letters section, writer Kevin Schultz comments about the Americans United for Separation of Church and State (“Keep it running”), followed by Jill Stewart’s column on page 13.

While I wonder if the Americans United would agree with Ms. Stewart that no restrictions on Christmas exist in the school system, my real reflection on her comments is that if each of us boldly expressed our opinion, like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver did, then maybe some of this “PC” mayhem would abate.

Merry Christmas all.

Mel Billingsley

Karmic graffiti revenge

Re “Trampled by progress” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R News, December 9):

Paul Petrovich, you are looking like a pompous ass. Where are your manners? Does your affluence excuse them?

You are a public figure. Try some respect and kindness.

So, you didn’t like Kevin Price’s art. If I got a dollar for every negative comment I’ve heard about the horse and water tower, I would be competing with you and your downtown development projects.

Monetarily, I don’t feel like you owe Price anything, but isn’t it “the right thing to do” to contact him to let him know you’re whipping his art off the planet? And isn’t it the “wrong thing to do” to slam his art publicly by gathering the opinions of others, especially a city-council member (I guess to give the bashing some “clout”). But it’s lower than low to boast on your principles when he was obviously offended.

You don’t seem to get it: Art can be personal. Artists leave a piece of themselves in their art. This may be hard for you to understand with your neck all bowed up.

Mr. Petrovich, public art is for the public, but the entire public is not going to like the same thing. Art is subjective, and your opinion isn’t an authority on what art is prized and what isn’t.

As I watch you publicly humiliate a fellow artist, I would think twice about participating in a public art project with you. Too bad. You had a decent name. With a public apology, you could reclaim it. Until then, may you be tagged by really bad graffiti art.

Gale Hart

Let Midtown be heard

Re “Trampled by progress” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R News, December 9):

The destruction of the Price mural is a sad example of what happens when an arrogant developer with a pocket full of cash decides he knows what’s best for a community.

If Mr. Petrovich had taken the time to poll anyone who lives in or uses the neighborhood, as I do, he would have found out that everyone liked Mr. Price’s art. I have no use for the opinions of folks speeding down 19th Street on their way to the freeway. And, for the record, true art doesn’t need a hefty price tag for it to be valuable.

As for the $850,000 water tower, it might add some visual interest to the Safeway parking lot, but by no stretch of the imagination can it be called art. Mr. Petrovich and other Midtown developers need to be accountable to the people who have lived in and contributed to the quality of life in Midtown long before they decided it was a good place to make a buck and who will be here long after they move on to their next capitalistic venture.

Steve Haynes

On the trail of old news

Re “Trail of fears” by Jason Probst (SN&R News, December 2):

Please explain the point of this article, in which the author seems to cast a shroud of terror over the American River Bicycle Trail.

Nowhere in the article does he mention how many people per year actually use the trail without incident. Nowhere in the article does he note even the frequency of incidents. His “evidence” for instilling fear, however, does speak vaguely to this issue. Because, among the events he uses to imply a lurking danger, he writes of a cyclist who was Maced three years ago, and a person who canoed across the lake and was then attacked—presumably without provocation—by a group of skinheads at the river’s edge in Goethe Park.

What canoeing in the river has to do with the dangers one might face on the bicycle trail is certainly up for debate. In addition, the aforementioned incident occurred in July 2000—that’s four-and-a-half years ago!

This community respects your journalistic approach, which often skirts the fear mongering that is the bread and butter of commercial journalism. In addition, you are apparently here to report the news, as in recent events. The meat of the article in question is not news at all. These events are stale. Please pay closer attention the next time you are reporting the news of the trail.

Howard Parr

Is Donald lying about his age?

Re “Happy birthday, Donald!” (SN&R Night&day, December 2):

I am a huge fan and supporter of SN&R. However, after reading about the scheduled festivities to celebrate Donald Duck’s supposed birthday, I am left a bit perturbed.

Normally, who would care about any of this? But I happen to share Donald Duck’s “official” birthday, which is June 9. It is easy to verify this. His first appearance was on June 9, 1934, in Disney’s “Silly Symphony.”

I realize this is pretty goofy (no pun intended), but history is history, and there should be a strong respect for all truths.

Matthew Gottschalk
via e-mail

Move us to rage or tears

Re “Child molesters are terrorists” (SN&R Letters, December 2):

I’m inspired to write to you by the responses you have had to your story on sex offenders (“Branded” by Chrisanne Beckner, SN&R Cover, November 4), especially Geoff Lilley’s letter in the December 2 issue.

At a time when we are all being expected to toe the line and make no waves in every aspect of our lives, I sincerely hope this publication will continue to offer stories that move readers to rage or to tears, stories that refuse to conform to any one view of morality or religious belief but that urge readers to open to a greater sense of inclusiveness, understanding and forgiveness. All I expect is that these stories be well-researched, well-written and without bias.

Thank you for your work and your courage.

Kleya Escamilla

Only rigging can produce Republicans

Re “Buckle up” by Jill Stewart (SN&R Capitol punishment, November 24):

In her recent error-filled rant, Jill Stewart suggests that the state’s current congressional- and legislative-district maps “shut out Latinos, Republicans, women or whoever else isn’t in power.”

Then how does she explain that California’s legislative delegation is the most diverse it ever has been—and the most diverse in the nation? The 2005-2006 Assembly will have a record 25 women, 19 Latinos, seven Asian-Americans and four African-Americans. For the first time ever, it will have a (Republican) Vietnamese-American. A decade ago, there were only 12 women, four Latinos and no Asian-Americans.

In this year’s Assembly races, nearly 57 percent of California voters chose Democrats, and nearly 43 percent chose Republicans. That’s mirrored in the Assembly, where Democrats hold 60 percent of the seats. Schwarzenegger and his big-business, special-interest allies spent close to $20 million to attack Democrats in competitive seats and were turned back by voters in nearly every one. The exception was a San Diego Republican legislator who was re-elected in a seat with many more Democrats than Republicans, disproving Stewart’s theory that the elections are rigged by partisan shenanigans.

Let’s face it: California is a Democratic state with a strong independent streak. Only serious rigging of the legislative maps would produce more Republicans. In Sacramento, the city would be split up in several parts. We’d have to add Republican areas as far away as El Dorado and Placer counties to achieve 50-50 parity in party affiliation. The same goes with Democratic strongholds in the Bay Area and Los Angeles—and for Republican areas in the Inland Empire, Orange County and San Diego County. Is that good for democracy?

No, California voters have not been “tricked” eight times by attempts to change the way they are represented. We know exactly what we are doing.

Russ Lopez