Letters for February 10, 2011

Letter of the week

The damn dam

Re “After Doolittle” by Jason Probst (SN&R Frontlines, February 3):

Concerning the article on [U.S. Rep. Tom] McClintock and the fractures in the GOP district machine, I’d have loved to see an exposé of Mr. McClintock’s proposal to revisit the twice-dead Auburn Dam construction. If one follows the money trail behind his support of this effort, it would be interesting to see which bunch of deep-pocketed developer types were actually pushing for it and providing generous campaign contributions to boot.

Twice [former Rep. John] Doolittle tried to do the bidding of the same cadre, and twice it went down in flames and was pronounced dead. Now his successor is attempting to raise this corpse from the dead at huge expense to the general public.

James D. Taylor

Not an ‘open’ primary

Re “After Doolittle” by Jason Probst (SN&R Frontlines, February 3):

This article would be even better if it referred to California’s new election system as the “top two” system. “Open primary” has been defined in U.S. Supreme Court opinions (since 1972) and in political science textbooks (for over 100 years) as a system in which each party has its own primary and its own nominees. But Proposition 14 sets up a system in California in which the parties don’t have nominees.

It is not good writing to use the same term used to refer to two very different things, especially when there is so much confusion.

Richard Winger
San Francisco

Charge for garbage by the pound

Re “Let’s get our mojo back” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Greenlight, February 3):

One very effective way to reduce waste would be for the city to charge by the pound for [waste] disposal. A really effective way to reduce vehicle use would be to make biking seem safe to people whose bikes are gathering dust in the garage. Another great concept for smarter, healthier kids and reduced recidivism would be to support mothers in their mission of civilizing their kids, and children’s rights to bonding, breastfeeding, and caretakers who care about them more than anyone else is likely to.

The sooner we start living more in the ways we were evolved or created (whatever!) to live, the sooner we can start reducing the costs of trying to fix the side effects of our oil-addicted lifestyle.

P.S. Don’t forget the chickens!

Muriel Strand

They stink, but you smell

Re “Unhappy meal” by Jimmy Spencer (SN&R Frontlines, January 27):

Why do business owners and their customers have to tolerate smelly people in their place of business? Why should they be tolerated in any public place, like a library or on public transportation? Your writer exposed himself as an “agenda journalist” by making this story about the homeless and not [about] people who smell. You’d have a real story if you could demonstrate that this McDonald’s he writes about allows smelly, disgusting people who aren’t homeless to stay, while asking the homeless who smell to leave. But it would be a hard one to write, because people who aren’t homeless are rarely disgusting or even smelly.

There are other issues surrounding the homeless in restaurants. I was in one fast-food site on Howe Avenue last week and a transient came in and took a table. He smelled. After settling in, he took his food out of a plastic bag he brought with him. He took a cup out and helped himself to a soda, and sat there for about 20 minutes. He later went into the restroom and stayed in there until we left. One thing he didn’t do that has happened on other occasions was to panhandle from table to table.

The food business is highly competitive. People who invest their money have the right to police their business so that customers don’t have to think twice whether or not they should stop to get a bite to eat. A loss in business means fewer people hired and that would be much worse than a smelly homeless person’s being asked to leave, particularly when there is free food available at Loaves & Fishes.

Kenneth Lauszus

The vibe’s just fine

Re “What’s vibe worth?” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Greenlight, January 27):

Trust me, the next generation does not have more wisdom (I am 32).

Sacramento is already a dream place to live for hundreds of thousands! If you just think of all the places in the world that are less prosperous, etc., your view is myopic. You only see what is missing, some very superficial things.

It’s as if you are saying that if we feed the superficial appetite of the new generation, they will stay here. What a joke! You do a disservice to the many generations that have come before us to turn this area into a rich and prosperous place.

Corbin McMillen

More than one violent religion

Re “Arrival of Fred” by Bob Schmidt (SN&R Essay, January 27):

Bob Schmidt’s piece about the friendly extraterrestrial whose visit could stop people from killing each other is actually quite disgusting in its open prejudice against undocumented residents as well as Muslims. I’m not sure why it’s even in SN&R.

Schmidt ends up blaming only one religion, Islam, for killings around the world. He seems oblivious not only to those who profess to be “Christians” in the government of this country that have slaughtered millions in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Central American, South America and now the Middle East, not to mention the original “Christian”-led genocide of the native peoples in this country. Schmidt is equally oblivious to the “Jewish” led government of Israel, which is continuing its 60-plus-year-old practice of ethnically cleansing native non-Jews from what is now Israel and the rest of historic Palestine.

Furthermore, Schmidt completely ignores the Jews, Christians, Muslims and people of other faiths who practice the life-promoting values of all those religions against killing and intolerance.

At the end, Schmidt himself seems to be an advocate for killing, which is the goal of war.

Maggie Coulter

Betting on the new downtown

Re “The new downtown” by Rachel Leibrock (SN&R Popsmart, January 27):

I just relocated my massage therapy business to K Street in anticipation of the redevelopment efforts underway there. This time next year, K Street is going to be more lively and full of interesting things than in decades!

Paul Brown

Give ’em a chance first

Re “The new downtown” by Rachel Leibrock (SN&R Popsmart, January 27):

Her story started out with a negative tone (doomed from the start/nagging skepticism).

News flash! K Street is where a lot of the homeless are, because they do not have anywhere to go!

The waiting for a table: You must give these three new ventures time. If you were to open these, you would not know exactly what to expect on opening day as far as what the turn out would be. The hostess did a splendid job in letting you know the wait time and that they should be doing “better” next week.

I thought her review was negative when something so positive was trying to happen. From a regular reader of SN&R, for her review: “No, thanks!”

Tina Mattis

Legal, but not necessary

Re “38 years later” (SN&R Editorial, January 20):

The editorial on Roe v. Wade made me write regarding thoughts I have had for many years.

First, let me say that I am a second-generation supporter of Planned Parenthood. I do not consider myself pro-life or pro-choice, as abortion is a woman’s decision and she has to live with the consequences. I also support the court’s decision on Roe v. Wade, even after it was discovered to be a complete fabrication and none of the acts actually occurred. The Supreme Court decided that case on the facts presented to them. I also remember news stories of dead women being found, victims of botched illegal abortions. I have been there.

What I have a real problem with is this: After 38 years, what progress have we made?

We have two sides of this issue. One side wants to stop the murder of unborn children, and the other wants unfettered access to abortion on demand and no interference from the “unenlightened right-wing religious nuts.” My concern is: Why in all this time have we not been able to come to a common ground? I think both sides (if you listen to them talk) want the same goal: A reduction in the number of abortions performed. Well, why haven’t we been able to do that?

We have a pretty good idea of how babies come about, and we also have many ways to prevent pregnancy. My wife and I did a pretty good job (I think) of making sure [our kids] knew how babies are created and how to prevent them (back to the education side of Planned Parenthood).

But WTF, folks? Are women so intelligent that they can be CEOs and senators and anything else they want, but so stupid or irresponsible that they can’t prevent an unwanted pregnancy? (Here he goes, “right to lifer nut ball,” but not quite!) I just know that guys don’t care; hell, it’s not their bodies. They are just having a good time!

The pill and women’s lib made it OK, and empowered women. OK, well, wise up! Let’s hope that 38 more years don’t go by before we all wise up. Abortion should be legal, yes, but it should not be necessary!

Derek Corson
Citrus Heights

Don’t like it? Don’t smoke it!

Re “Not medicine, no matter what” (SN&R Letters, February 3):

I’m writing about the not-so-thoughtful letter from Rudy Venegas about medicinal cannabis. If Venegas is opposed to the use of marijuana, medical or otherwise, I have some simple advice for him: Don’t buy it, don’t grow it and don’t use it. Period.

But don’t try to dictate to me what I may put into my body in the privacy of my own home. The right to self-medicate should be a fundamental right.

Kirk Muse
via e-mail


In last week’s issue, SN&R printed an advertisement, with copy provided from the client, which contained an incorrect phone number for Highlands Healing Center. The correct number is (916) 993-6017. We apologize for any inconvenience.