Letters for December 3, 2015

Weak food-stamps reporting

Re “The dinner game” by Nick Miller (SN&R Feature Story, November 26):

The problem with all of these so called “challenges”—I remember Cory Booker doing something similar years ago—is that it reinforces a longstanding myth that you should be able to survive on “food stamps.” CalFresh or SNAP is true to its name, it is intended to be supplemental, not to provide your entire food budget.

CalFresh is an important and necessary program that serves the very neediest of our society; it would be refreshing if someone would do some accurate reporting and try to fact check stories people tell them.

Daniel Witherell


Botched, hardly!

Re “Metal heads” by Jason Smith (SN&R News, November 19):

The term “botched” is hardly the correct term for this travesty. Judges and juries routinely confer law-enforcement witnesses with an assumption of credibility. But when undercover agents claim to have “no records, no notes, no tape recordings” of transactions that allegedly formed the basis of a criminal complaint, one has to wonder.

That “evidence” was the very basis of an arrest warrant to begin with. If the “evidence” never existed then the warrant was based on lies. How often does this happen? How would we have any idea, since most defendants just roll over?

When it comes down to a question of whether to believe cops or (alleged) crooks, the average person is going to opt to believe officers and their informants (employees). But who are jurors supposed to believe when the cops are crooks and the prosecution knows that but still goes forward with a case?

Neil Cook


How many homeless?

Re “20,000 homeless in Sacramento” by Ronald Javor (SN&R Letters, November 19):

Great over-the-top letter by Ron Javor. He says the county supes are doing “less than needed to save lives as a monster El Niño begins.” Hmm … all the coverage I hear is that there very likely will be an El Niño, probably big, but no one knows how big and where it will actually hit. And he knows people will die. His certainty is breathtaking.

Then, he says “county’s schools” have reported 12,000 homeless children in attendance last year. Following Rahm Emanuel’s famous “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste” advice, he blithely speculates that 20,000 children would be more like it. Doing some rudimentary math: If all the kids are single-parented, that gives you about 20,000 adults, plus 2,000 or so single adults with no kids; he would have us believe there are at least 42,000 homeless in the county.

You’d think homeless advocates would have learned after their Time magazine advertising debacle of a few years back, where they ran a full-page ad that there were 10,000 to 20,000 homeless children in Sacramento. When challenged, local advocates that produced the ad hemmed and hawed, tried some magical thinking in connection with the numbers they used to make their startling revelation, and wound up embarrassing the city and county and all homeless supporters. Here it is a few years later and it is being tried again by someone who should know better.

SN&R should go to Javor’s vague “county schools” sources and do an article on what the numbers he cites really mean. I am willing to stand corrected. Is he?

Paul Tsamtsis


Nothing pro-life about extremists

Re “The right to lose” by Raheem Hosseini (SN&R Feature Story, November 12):

There’s nothing pro-life about anti-abortion religious extremists and crazies who get in women’s faces day in and day out and who kill innocent victims at a whim.

These pro-life political activists who have embedded themselves in the Republican and Tea Party are great at pointing fingers at abortion providers and women, screaming “murderers” while one of their own ilk goes on a killing spree. What a bunch of hypocrites.

Ron Lowe

Nevada City