Letters for February 17, 2011

A happy comeback kid

Re “Comeback kids” by Sasha Abramsky (SN&R Feature, February 10):

As a Chinese-American college graduate, I find myself living out an interesting dichotomy as a result for both cultures. I, too, fall under the category of the “comeback kids,” having returned from Berkeley in 2009 to live with my parents in our Greenhaven home.

Even though I, too, envisioned a life of decent job, shared apartment with friends and an independent life in a major city like San Francisco, there was still a part in the back of my mind that knew I would move back into my parents’ house, and be comfortable doing so, simply because of culture. Many Chinese young adults, particularly those who are actually in China or Hong Kong, live with their parents until they are married and some even afterward, living either with their own parents or their in-laws. Of course, times have changed even for Chinese in Asia, and growing up in America allowed my identity to take on American values of independence just as much as Chinese values of parental, filial piety.

I don’t envision myself still living with my parents past my mid-20s (and would sincerely hope I wouldn’t), but I mostly have no qualms living with them at the moment (I will be turning 24 this upcoming August). I am currently on an intensive job search, and may potentially land a job within the month, while attending courses at Sacramento City College in hopes of earning an [Associate of Science] (which may seem like backtracking, after having earned a [Bachelor of Arts]).

Even though I want that independent lifestyle like many of my peers, and even though my parents do occasionally “nag” about chores or cleanliness—or “What are you going to do about your future?” (after all, they are just being good parents), I don’t feel myself to be so downtrodden regarding my current predicament.

Floreta Liu

Proud mom

Re “Iron woman” by Hugh Biggar (SN&R Frontlines, February 10):

Thank you for the wonderful article on Davis-reared adventurer Gracie Sorbello. What a nice surprise (as her mom)! Her first competitive race was only last summer when she competed in the Vineman Ironman Triathlon.

One further interesting and touching point is that the marathon was run on her dad’s birthday; his sudden and unexpected collapse at work from an undetected birth defect in his brain coming the day after she arrived “on the ice.” I’m sure it gave Gracie one more motivation to finish the race in spite of the pain in her foot from running in Yaktrax—ice cleats. In spite of all this, she came in second among women.

Gracie also shipped her mountain unicycle to the ice and has ridden on the ice and on the mountain there. Now she has been promoted to base recreation coordinator and accepted to “winter over,” a new adventure on her list as the base enters months of permanent darkness and severe weather and isolation from the world. She is quite an amazing young woman. Thanks for the acknowledgment.

Kim Sorbello

Less car seat time, happier kid

Re “Carpooling with toddlers” by Cat Jones (SN&R 15 Minutes, February 10):

This preschool sounds awesome! I wish they had one when my children were young.

It seems like once I went back to work, all I did was drive, and my kids spent half the day in the car seat.

Less time in a car seat makes for happier little ones. Mrs. [Judi] Arnold sounds like a wonderful teacher.

Jean Hellstrom
via e-mail

Conversations lead to understanding

Re “Breaking bread, building peace” by Seth Sandronsky (SN&R Frontlines, February 3):

Congratulations on Sol Collective’s conversations about anti-Muslim bigotry.

Anti-Muslim and anti-Arab racism is now so common in the United States that it’s been termed a “societal cancer.” Unfortunately, there are individuals and groups encouraging us to hate and fear. Some examples: the Clarion Fund; groups headed by folks like Robert Spencer, Steven Emerson, Daniel Pipes; media personalities like the Fox [News] crowd; Pam Geller; TV ministers like Franklin Graham and Pat Robertson; and, of course, politicians.

Among this last group, several were presidential candidates in 2008, and two will chair important House committees: Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), Homeland Security, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, (R-Fla.) Foreign Affairs.

Women haven’t achieved full equality in any country or society, including those with Muslim-majority populations. But why do we seem so bothered by the fact that some Muslim women choose to cover? Why do we assume they’re forced to do so? In fact, some Muslim women cover even though their families/husbands object to their doing so.

As we can see on TV, among the protesters in Egypt and elsewhere, some women don’t cover. Some wear the scarf (hijab). Some wear the face veil (niqab). Clearly these are women who not only know their own minds, but choose their own attire!

Please, let’s follow the Sol Collective example: lots more conversations and lots less ignorance, hate, and fear.

Brigitte Jaensch

More wack to try

Re “The balance of power is wack” by Nick Miller (SN&R Scene&Heard, February 3):

Power Balance does provide healthy energy, but the energy it provides is minuscule so that only those who are very sensitive to these type of energy can feel it and will benefit from it.

Quantum Pendants provides stronger healthy energy, but the energy is still too weak to convince many skeptics. It is a big fallacy for those who are immune or insensitive to this type of energy. But it is a big health benefit to those who can feel the healthy energy of the pendants.

One should remember and consider that every individual is different, so it is but natural and expected that reaction to this energy will also vary with each individual.

Woe to you if you cannot feel its benefits. But do not lose hope. You will feel this amazing healthy energy if you will try the Zing Charm Card.

Raul Ceniza
via e-mail

Help for families in pain

Re “The OxyContin kid” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Feature, January 27):

This story is right on the money.

My organization is called Prescription Abusers In Need (PAIN). We assist families of addicted kids in the Fresno/Clovis area, and we are experiencing an enormous problem, like Granite Bay with OxyContin abuse and addiction.

The high-school student using always turns into full-blown addiction as a young adult. As big a problem that it is with the high-school student, it’s even a larger problem with the 18- to 27-year-olds. We have spoken to over 70,000 high school students in 2010, and every one of them knows what [we] were talking about.

If parents don’t think this can happen to their child, they need to think again. This epidemic is spreading faster than the plague, and it’s tearing families apart. I went to five funerals in 2010 of kids who overdosed.

You can visit our website at www.gotpainusa.com to find out more about us.

Flindt Andersen

Kind at the Arches

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

The people working at this McDonald’s are very hardworking and kind. I’ve been there numerous times and never had any problems with the staff.

Some of the homeless people that surround this restaurant are very rude and aggressive. I’ve seen it firsthand. I’m kind of glad that McDonald’s is doing something about it.

Second, if these homeless people are looking for a cheap meal, Del Taco is across the street!

Paul Smith

Holy smokes

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

Come on, Jeff. That was about the most sophomoric piece of crap that I have ever read, even by SN&R standards. The only things missing from your Utopian pipe dream for a “new and improved Sacramento” is manna falling from heaven and unicorns dancing in the streets.

Here’s reality, Jeff: California currently has one of the highest combined state and local tax burdens in the nation, a $25 billion budget deficit, and a Sacramento unemployment rate of 12.8 percent. Sacramento leadership has consistently failed to fulfill promises for a vibrant and revitalized downtown area since at least the 1970s when I first moved here. We’ve thrown many millions of dollars at the problem, and all we’ve gotten so far is a rail system operating in the red and cutting services, greedy developers and corrupt (or inept) politicians working the system to reap huge profits, and a lousy dive bar.

And, when you hand over the bill for the $14 trillion national debt to the “wiser” next generation, their youthful idealism will rapidly turn to disillusionment, cynicism and anger.

So you can smoke another bowl and imagine all you want, but I don’t think your “magic wand”—or skimming another $3 billion to $4 billion more from a gullible public—will solve that.

Steve Maslowski

It’s about the bullets

Re “Post Arizona” (SN&R Editorial, January 13):

My granddaughter Chelsea asked me, after watching the latest news about the shooting in Arizona, “Why don’t they take the guns away?”

Because, I tried to explain, “One of the rules in our Constitution says that Americans have the right to own weapons.”

“Hmm,” she mused. “Then what about bullets? Is their anything that says Americans have the right to own bullets?”

“No, there isn’t,” I remarked.

“Then they should take away the bullets. Bullets are what kill things, not guns.”

Smart kid. Her logic is sound, but how can I tell her that, here in America, the National Rifle Association has/exerts an undue influence and are in essence lobbyists for the weapons industry? How can I tell her that Second Amendment rights advocates cherish their guns with a fervor bordering on religious fanaticism?

Gun violence will continue in America because nobody will stand up to the NRA, because of the easy accessibility of weapons and because a few egocentric NRA talking heads are dictating the debate on guns.

Ron Lowe
Nevada City