Letters for December 5, 2013

Housing, yes!

Re “58,000” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, November 21):

Bites is spot on in calling for more housing in Sacramento. No development will succeed unless there is a population base to support it. Put a high-rise at the east end of K Street Mall, for example.

Evan Jones


Sacto DA’s office needs change

Re “Word of the law” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R News, November 21):

Thanks for the interview with Todd Leras, candidate for Sacramento district attorney.

I am a certified specialist in criminal law and a former prosecutor. I have worked in our criminal-justice system for over 30 years. Sacramento desperately needs a change from Jan Scully’s rigid and conservative practices toward the more reasonable and flexible approach offered by Leras.

I represent many individuals charged with marijuana offenses that are related to state medical-marijuana laws. The Sacramento DA’s office, under the Scully-Anne Marie Schubert administration, routinely presents a grudging and aggressive approach to dealing with such cases, as if they saw no difference between medical producers and foreign cartels. They have taken positions in court that—if the court actually adopted those positions—would eliminate dispensaries completely. Fortunately, our courts have put a check on the district attorney’s aggressive views.

In other contexts, the Scully-Schubert “tough on crime” persona does not fairly consider the individual circumstances that bear on the ultimate question of what penalty will be imposed on offenders. There is a wide spectrum of individuals who cross legal lines: No doubt some need lengthy incarceration. On the other hand, all of them do not. The ability to differentiate between the seriously bad and the not so bad, who can learn a lesson and probably not re-offend, is the mark of a good prosecutor. It has been missing in Sacramento County.

John Duree


Homeless shelter at arena?

Re “58,000” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, November 21):

I have suggested on official arena-input websites that the arena complex include a homeless shelter and service center. They say they want it to represent Sacramento, and we’re known at least as much for our homeless population (even at the United Nations) as for our barely professional basketball team.

Jan Bergeron

via email

Not so poor Chelsea Manning

Re “The forgotten news,” by Project Censored and Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez (SN&R Feature Story, November 21):

Your most recent issue bemoans that poor Bradley, née Breanna, née Chelsea, Manning’s release of classified documents wasn’t well covered by the media. Perhaps you missed the very early, well-researched long-form documentary about Manning. PBS Frontline included the 911 tapes from his butcher knife threat on his stepmom, and the affidavit from the female army soldier he punched. Ms. Manning is no heroine, driven by ego, not love of country.

Christine Craft

via email


In last week’s news feature on McKinley Village (“Here comes the (newest Sacramento) neighborhood,” by Nick Miller, SN&R News, November 28), it was reported that the current council member representing East Sacramento has voiced support for the project. That is false: Councilman Steve Cohn has neither approved of nor taken a position on McKinley Village.