Letters for February 1, 2001

Curb the homeless, not the cars

Re “God, Cars and Shoppers” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Environment, Jan. 18):

I vowed years ago to never read bylines in the Snooze and Review but I still pick it up for the Arts & Culture section. As I was arranging Vol. 12, No. 42 to fit our dog’s litter pan, I spied your articles and my blood pressure began rising. Now come on guys … everyone knows the real problem with K Street (you, me, the shop owners, the police, our elected officials) and it’s the same problem it’s had since its inception! AND NO MATTER what the city fathers do, it will remain a wasteland after dark unless the indigents and their hotels are removed. Cosmo, I love your understatement, “like any busy downtown strip, there are a fair number of panhandlers, people talking to themselves in loud voices and others who look like they just have nowhere to go.” Sorry, K Street has an abnormally high indigent population that the city refuses to deal with and what’s even worse they refuse to acknowledge the maxim “us middle class Americans … remember us with the bucks? … we want to feel safe and don’t care to rub shoulders with the homeless, the babblers, and the unwashed on our shopping, dining, and theatre excursions.” Show me ONE successful downtown redevelopment that does not curb its “homeless” population and the “flea bag” hotels they live in! OK, now I feel better … come here Max, your litter pan is ready!

Bill Gottschalk
via e-mail

Guns and the Second Amendment

Re “Gun Groups Try to Make Hay of City Repeal” by Amy Yannello (SN&R Sidelines, Jan.18):

In all the fuss and fury over handgun control, one gets the impression there is only one interpretation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Not so, numerous people, including myself and many constitutional authorities, think the amendment does not confer an individual right. Rather it gives a collective right to states to maintain militias.

While the U.S. Supreme Court has not ruled on this matter, the case of Quilici vs. Village of Mortongrove (1983) should give your gun-owning readers cause to pause and reflect. The Supreme Court declined to review a finding by a lower court that a city ordinance banning the possession of handguns was not repugnant to the Second Amendment.

Given the current court’s tendency to uphold states’ rights, perhaps the time has come for the state of California, probably through the initiative process, to ban the ownership of handguns. The state National Guard does not need private citizens with handguns in its ranks.

James G. Updegraff

Right-wing felons

Re “The White House: Where the Sun Won’t Shine” by Walter F. Mueller (SN&R Letters, Jan. 25):

Let me preface this letter by saying that I am not a Republican nor am I a Democrat. I just get really tired of the type of partisanship demonstrated by the likes of Mr. Mueller.

Regarding the Ashcroft nomination: Ashcroft stated that abortion is the most morally reprehensible act. Taking the job of attorney general would mean that he must arrange to (legally) escort a woman to have an abortion. This being the case, Ashcroft is either a hypocrite or a liar. But wait … according to lots of “conservatives,” he’s taking the job in order to help change the laws on abortion. Whoops … isn’t that just what they complained about Janet Reno doing? Hmmm … makes you think, eh?

Finally, Mr. Mueller refers to the “left wing felons.” To the best of my knowledge, neither Clinton nor Gore have been convicted of a crime while our new president has been (DUI). Mr. Mueller’s personal beliefs about the “left wing” felons may be morally correct but not legally correct.

LR Waldman
via e-mail

Cell of hope

Re “Highway to Cell” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Cover, Jan. 11):

Reading this I felt a sense of hope hearing about a new type of non-polluting car being made. Anuvu, the company mentioned in the article, will succeed in making this Hypercar where other major automakers have not, simply because they want to and it profits them to do so.

The major automakers are too comfortable producing millions of air-polluting gas-powered vehicles every year. Why should they go against what’s worked for them in the past? Not to mention the added pressure from oil companies, it’s no wonder that ZEV’s and other Low Emission Vehicles are put on the production back burner at every turn. Plus, legislation to force automakers to make more ZEV’s and LEV’s is watered down as the year wears on. It’s as if no one wants cleaner air through better cars. And where are the suggestions from those who share the dream of cleaner air? If a liquid fuel is the only way to go to easily to equip our gas stations, why not make an onboard electrolysis device a priority and use water as the Wonder Fuel? Can you imagine the visits to the gas stations? Instead of the sight and stench of spilled gasoline, only clean and odorless water would dribble out of the pumps at these water stations.

For today, mass-produced Hypercars may be only a dream, but I’m not alone in preferring a pleasant dream to an air-polluting reality.

Troy Billings
Midtown, Sacramento