Letters for January 31, 2013

Make Sacramento a destination city

Re “Life after the Sacramento Kings” (SN&R Editorial, January 24):

Whether or not Mayor Kevin Johnson can convince the NBA to stay in Sacramento remains to be seen. But regardless of how that endeavor turns out, the city must press forward with development of a new entertainment and sports complex, preferably in place of the deteriorating Downtown Plaza. The article suggests we “rethink” downtown with a return of streetcars and an intermodal-transit station, yet those are hardly new ideas. Neither is “more urban housing.” Streetcars to shuttle people past bail bondsman and stoic state office buildings isn't a recipe for a vibrant downtown. Neither is a spending a couple hundred million dollars on a new transit facility to move people to and from their private-sector jobs and entertainment venues in the Bay Area.

While I'm not against streetcars or an intermodal facility at some point, a new ESC paid for with a public/private partnership will do more to attract urban housing, retail and dining, and it will result in increased light-rail ridership. It will also bolster the number of visitors and conventions downtown. Denver, Phoenix, Orlando and Charlotte, [N.C.], are just a few examples. Downtown Sacramento should be the arts, entertainment, dining and cultural destination for this region. Anything less is selling ourselves short at the opportunity for a vibrant city center.

James Battles


Get over it

Re “NBA Kings: Sleepless in Sacramento” by Nick Miller (SN&R Frontlines, January 24):

Message to Mr. Kevin Johnson: Let it go. [The Sacramento] Kings are finished. No one wants a new stadium. No one cares except the contractors that have you firmly wedged in their back pockets. Move on.

Jack Chandler

West Sacramento

Kings good, SN&R bad

Re “'Maloofed'” by Nick Miller (SN&R Editor's Note, January 24):

It's a miracle you don't work for a bigger newspaper. Are you even from Sacramento? Your editorial is so off base. Measures Q and R were ridiculous. And I guess streetcars, light rail and K Street are going to revitalize downtown. Way to go. Why don't you move to Seattle? All the articles you guys have put out are negative. The [Sacramento] Kings are good for Sacramento and you obviously are not. Find something better to write about, because you know nothing about what you are talking about.

Name withheld

via email

Easy riding on the herd

Re “We're not all Jenny McCarthy's sheep” by Eve Dias, (SN&R Letters, January 24):

SN&R did Eve Dias no favors by publishing her foolish anti-vaccination letter. It will undoubtedly expose her to well-deserved ridicule, especially for saying “polio is a lot easier to live with and causes way fewer problems than autism.” Apparently, [Jonas] Salk and [Albert Bruce] Sabin labored in vain, and we should open our minds to the delightful resurgence of crutches, leg braces, kid-sized wheelchairs and iron lungs. Iron lungs are so convenient. Way better than polio vaccines! Dias thinks she is making some kind of point here, although polio vaccines are in no way related to autism-spectrum disorders (nor is any other vaccine, Jenny McCarthy and her fellow travelers notwithstanding).

Dias styles herself as a “holistic-health practitioner” (that is, not really a medical doctor). For keeping kids healthy, she cites “homeopathic medicine.” Anyone who accepts the efficacy of remedies with many iterated trillions of dilutions has crippled her reason with magical thinking. The sensible consumer can reliably take the label “homeopathic” as “don't waste your money.”

The clusters of otherwise educated parents who refuse to vaccinate their children and enroll them in certain private schools generate a self-reinforcing groupthink, reassuring each other that they are doing the right thing by denying modern medicine to their children. They are the easy riders on the back of herd immunity, whether Dias recognizes it or not.

Anthony Barcellos


Munchkin army?

Re “Trade all guns … for muskets?” by William Doonan (SN&R Feature Story, “Letters to Obama,” January 17):

The gun industry and its progeny, the [National Rifle Association], want to arm everybody and arm all the teachers in the schools. Arming every teacher in America would be expensive and intrusive. Arm the students.

Consider: A gunman enters a first-grade classroom and is met with a hail of .22 hollow points fired conveniently at the groin level, effectively taking him out. And I bet the kids of today are good shots after playing all those video games.

Such a plan meets NRA's gunslinger-in-chief Wayne LaPierre's axiom of bad man with a gun is met by a good man (in this case, a good munchkin) with a gun—15 of them.

What a wonderful surprise: A win-win for everybody except the “harvested” (gun) terrorist.

Ron Lowe

Nevada City

Let’s hear from the ladies

Re “Roe v. Wade at 40” (SN&R Editorial, January 17):

You stated “Abortion will always be a painful and difficult personal matter. And it will always be controversial.” For many women, abortion is a relief. Pain is not the primary emotion. For many, it's not the disaster-driven affair the anti-choice camps have painted it as. Nearly one in three women have an abortion in their lives. I would like to see SN&R feature a story about what it's actually like to have an abortion in Sacramento, from various women's perspectives, and from their male partners. Too often, we editorialize the experience. Let's hear about abortion in a woman's own words.

Emily Loen