Letters for July 19, 2001

Taking it to the man

Re “Do You Know The Most Powerful Man In Sacramento?” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Cover, July 5):

Thought I was reading a 1950’s article about Chicago’s City Hall. Describing our manager as “authoritarian and a bully, of using intimidation to get what he wants.” Is this the new millennium?

This last mayor’s election led me to believe the city was going to be more open, inclusive and responsive. I guess I swallowed a bunch of hype. It’s also insulting to read about developers saying how great “Colonel Bob” and the Council is, when we know they are lining their pockets from being subsidized downtown.

Wish Jerry Brown would come back to Sacramento!

C. Williams
via e-mail

Bye Bob, and good riddance

Re “Do You Know The Most Powerful Man In Sacramento?” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Cover, July 5):

I have been a Sacramento County employee for over 15 years. I was there when our union went nose-to-nose with Mr. Thomas and the Board. This man’s house didn’t get picketed by county workers for no reason. I don’t think I’m speaking out-of-line when I say that most county workers have never felt less appreciated and disrespected as when Mr. Thomas was county executive. Quite frankly, I was very happy to see Mr. Thomas take the city job.

John Gruber

The ghost of Joe

Re “Do You Know The Most Powerful Man In Sacramento?” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Cover, July 5):

Could you hear Joe Serna rolling in his grave?

Civics class 101: you elect a mayor and council members from your peers to represent you and run the city. How pathetic for “Weak Mayor” Fargo and the rest of the Honorables to have Thomas revealed as the hand in the puppet head!

Wake up City Council, return this city to the people from the hands of the bureaucrats! Make Joe proud, show some leadership, let’s get things moving again.

Mark Tillford

Oh, the humanity

Re “Humane Beings” by Peter Lopez (SN&R Guest Comment, July 5) and “What corporation would you most like to see dissolved?” (SN&R Streetalk, July 5):

I agreed 100 percent with Peter S. Lopez’s Guest Commentary. His comment of “a human being is a two-legged animal with the greatest potential to help or hurt the entire environment on a global scale” reinforced my total concept of life! We are here to take care of the world, environment, each other, our children, and the sea and animal world. But we are slowly destroying life, humans, children and wildlife. Thank you to the people who care enough to take a stand and express how they feel.

Also, kudos to SN&R for the great question, “What corporation would you most like to see dissolved?” My answer is the HMOs. When are we going to wake up and get smart like our Canadian neighbors and incorporate socialized medicine?

Vera Farris

Beating the standards

Re “How I Became a Dot-Com Whore (and lived to tell about it)” by Jim Evans (SN&R Essay, July 5):

Jim Evans’ account of his two years at the Industry Standard is interesting and a lot of it rings true based on my experience in the Internet economy, although I would not go as far as he does in dismissing all participants as motivated only by greed.

But the question I’m left with is: now that Evans is on a new beat, is he going to bother to learn something about this one? Of his Standard days he writes, “ … from the start, business journalism seemed like a racket to me. … The only thing that was hard was writing authoritative articles on things that I knew little about. … Many of us openly ridiculed business.”

It’s all too common that reporters cover beats about which they know next to nothing, and business is a prime example. But just because you can get away with it doesn’t mean it’s OK. I’m sure the Standard has its failings, along with so many other news outlets, but they’re all made up of individual journalists, all of whom ultimately have a choice about whether or not to live up to the responsibilities of the profession.

Spencer Critchley
Palo Alto

Clearing the record

Re “What corporation would you most like to see dissolved?” (SN&R Streetalk, July 5):

This is in response to reading what was written in your “Streetalk” section. I was misquoted and I would like to “clear the air.” The sentence that starts with “If it were eliminated,” should not contain the words “crime in.” With those words the entire context of what I was trying to say becomes the opposite!

If someone can come up with a solution to our giant crime machine in this state, I wish they would put it into action because I am getting tired as a parent and grandparent of having to be on guard every second of the day when my beautiful, successful, productive and caring children are somewhere in California society. Even in the Bible, and I am not church religious, it states: “A tooth for a tooth, and eye for an eye.” If we can’t apply this age-old principle to our modern time killers, rapists, kidnappers, etc., then we, the upstanding citizens, become the felons’ prisoners!

Karen Schauer

A waste of space

Re “The Skinny” (SN&R Capital Bites, July 5):

It was disappointing to see you give printed media to Walter Mueller. Mueller, now associated with the Council of Conservative Citizens, is a nut case who flits from one nut case cause to another. He loves to see his name or face in the media. Apparently he thrives on the publicity. Several years ago he was against the poor and the downtrodden of this community and violently attacked the good works of Loaves and Fishes. His next cause was the National Rifle Association and then rights for free speech. Now it appears that he is waving the flag of his German homeland and advocating Hitler-like activity.

My suggestion is twofold: Stop giving Mueller and his alleged brother Han Huber a platform. If denied the press, they will fold. Secondly, perhaps we can have them sent back to their native Germany. You can be sure that their diatribes will not be tolerated there. For you to tolerate such unacceptable actions and give them one more word in your publication is unacceptable.

Jeanette Stein

Dunce cap

Re “The Power Principle” by Stephen James (SN&R Cover, June 21):

There is an old adage that makes sense to those of us who work in the public sector—“Never pick fights with those who buy ink by the barrel.” But one cannot stand by mute when good people are treated unfairly and their reputation damaged. The headline, front-page picture and tabloid-like article about the Hiram Johnson principal, followed by a “Name withheld upon request” attack letter are most troubling. Mr. James, the headline writer, and whoever decided to put the picture on the front page sensationalized a non-story. The anonymous letter to the editor spiced it up further. What a shame. The Hiram Johnson principal is a hard-working, extremely competent man. He has courage and integrity. He demonstrates it daily in one of the toughest jobs in America. And it just got tougher. He deserves better. We all do.

Jim Sweeney

Missing the opening act

In the July 5 Scene and Heard column “S’been a Long Education … ” Peter Castles talked about the return of ’80’s rocker Ronnie Montrose at the Roadhouse in Rio Linda. However, he made only a fleeting reference to the local “warm-up band,” One Pump Chump, who really blew many of us old timers away with their funky jams and deft guitar playing abilities. While Castles and his friend, “took our beers out back to eavesdrop on slurred conversations,” they missed out on one hell of a local band. I think Mr. Castles did an excellent job on the article, but I also thought he overlooked a great band in the process.

James Gelder