Letters for July 24, 2003

Supernatural stories lurk below

Re “The past below” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Cover, July 17):

I was thrilled to read your main article regarding Sacramento’s “underground city.” It surprises me that as much as Sacramento tries to attract a bustling tourist industry, one of the most distinguishing hallmarks of this city lies right below our feet, completely neglected.

Who wouldn’t be interested in exploring such a fascinating place ripe with history? One of the largest tourist traps in Sacramento is Old Sacramento. There is no doubt that people are intrigued with the past.

I grew up here and first heard of Sacramento’s underground city when I did a play in the Old Eagle Theatre, the oldest theater in Northern California, located on Front Street. The basement below the theater is vast, and today, it’s put to practical use as dressing rooms, offices, restrooms and a rest area.

When I was alone in that basement at night, a cold feeling would sometimes creep over me. Perhaps it was nerves, but I swore I felt something in that very old basement. Needless to say, I spent as little time as possible alone down there. I have also had the opportunity to explore the basement of a building on K Street, now home to a tattoo parlor. I remember seeing these brick buttresses. How extremely fascinating it was!

Something about history intrigues me to the core, especially if “haunted” is added to history. If you live downtown, there is no doubt you have experienced or met someone who has experienced something supernatural. It is as if something about this city’s past needs to be told and preserved; the key to that is below our feet.

Sacramento must do more than it has to protect what little remains of this grand city’s past. What stories lurk below us? We may never have the opportunity to really know. Don’t do this for tourism alone, but for the city itself.

Dorena Hardin

France may not suck, but it’s kind of lame

Re “France does not suck” by Jackson Griffith (SN&R Editor’s Note, July 10):

I truly enjoyed your note about France, with the exception of the old myth about the French reverence for sensuality (bed, kitchen and life). Come now, how so? Having done my fair share of traveling, fine dining and sleeping around, the French are no better or worse than many other racial or ethnic groups.

But if harboring the sociopath Ira Einhorn for years is diplomacy, I’d hate to see their idea of bellicose. The French government disagreed with the death penalty in our country (as do I) yet chose to harbor this insecure, jealous, possessive and manipulative lily-white male who proclaimed himself an “activist” and said that his killing of Holly Maddux was a CIA plot!

Please, this was a man who, like O.J. Simpson and many others, could not handle the fact that he could no longer control the woman he “loved.” Here in the United States, we would describe what Einhorn did as domestic violence, spousal abuse, etc.—not something the folks at Women Escaping a Violent Environment or the National Organization for Women would take lightly.

It took years to finally convince the French government that the United States would give Einhorn a new trial and not sentence him to death for them to finally do the right thing. Our friend Ira is now doing life where he belongs, in a rotting prison cell still trying to convince the rest of us of some paranoid delusion about the CIA having him pegged.

So, maybe the French don’t sucer any more than any other group of people. But they are kind of lame and hypocritical, don’t you think?

Patrick F. Feeney

Jesus would drive a Ford pickup …

Re “What would Jesus drive?” (SN&R Streetalk, July 10):

Jesus was a carpenter. He’d drive a 1989 Ford F-250 pickup with a bolted-in toolbox.

Luke Reinhart

… and we’re sure about the toolbox

Re “What would Jesus drive?” (SN&R Streetalk, July 10):

Come on, guys. Jesus was a carpenter. He wouldn’t drive a car; he would drive a truck—probably a black Ford F-150 with a big toolbox in the back. Nothing fancy on it, except maybe air conditioning, if he lived in Sacramento.

Nathan Villa
via e-mail

SN&R should consult RONR

Re “Cartoon” by Kloss (SN&R Opinion, July 10):

The merits of the cartoon by Kloss are not the subject of this letter.

The inclusion of the following in the diagnosis: “Then you switched to two-thirds majority to pass a budget,” draws the comment that there is no such thing as two-thirds majority.

Majority means more than 50 percent of the votes cast. If 100 votes were cast, then 51 votes or any number of votes higher than 51 constitute a majority. This means, in the case of 51 votes, that two-thirds majority equals 34 votes (divide 51 by 3 to get 17 and then multiply by 2 to get 34). Thus, 34 votes out of 100 should qualify to pass the budget.

The statement “two-thirds majority” is a prevalent misuse of the very important rule of two-thirds vote to protect the rights that already exist. Two-thirds vote is an essential part of parliamentary rules on voting. Please consult the latest newly revised edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, abbreviated as RONR, 10th edition.

Brahama D. Sharma,
registered parliamentarian governor,
Region VII (American Institute of Parliamentarians),

California had loyalty oaths, too

Re “Cartoon” by Kloss and “There’s nothing patriotic about the Patriot Acts” (SN&R Opinion and Guest Comment, July 10):

Bravo for your cartoon! The moron voters of California started the ball rolling by passing the Jarvis-Gann initiative, later known as Proposition 13, which benefited the slumlords and other big-time property owners at the expense of everyone else in our formerly great state.

Another bravo for your Guest Comment! In the 1950s, if one didn’t sign the Loyalty Oath when taking a state job, not only was there no job, but “they” would try to see to it that there was no job anywhere; this was in California. If one didn’t sign the DD Form 98 when entering the military, it was asking for a less-than-honorable discharge. The DD Form 98 included a list of “subversive” organizations.

I signed a lot of DD Form 98s and a couple of California state loyalty oaths while wondering why they were necessary but knowing that not to sign them would result in being branded even if there was absolutely no disloyalty involved. A few of my friends didn’t sign, and they suffered for their principles.

In the current atmosphere of distrust, the airport people seem to assume that old people are terrorists while letting young guys stroll on through without extra checking, or so it seems. We who have served in the military for 30 years or so are especially irritated when we’re directed to take off our shoes because the moron with the wand thinks we have a nuclear device hidden in the heel.

Pat Morrison

All politicians have money people

Re “Money for something” by Jill Stewart (SN&R Capitol Punishment, July 10):

Jill Stewart’s partisan article about the money people involved in keeping Davis as governor was rather amusing. Does Ms. Stewart really think that some saint is going to pop up and run for public office in this country ruled by money? Does she really think that there is a Saint Republican waiting in the wings to balance the budget of the state of California? Can anyone be so naive?

Until at least the money is taken out of the electoral process by the elimination of marketing our office holders, it’s just going to be business as usual, Democrat or Republican. At least if brilliant ad masters aren’t allowed to make mentally challenged people like G.W. Bush seem like viable candidates for the world’s most powerful public office, we might at least have the possibility of intelligent world leaders.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Why not just public media-aired debate by those that would be king?

Frans Stracensky
via e-mail


It was inaccurately reported in last week’s story “Sac High struggle still raging” (SN&R News, July 17) that former Superintendent Jim Sweeney planned to stay with the Sacramento City Unified School District until Sacramento High School’s current transition was complete. In fact, he was replaced by interim Superintendent Chuck McCully earlier this month. The story’s online version has been corrected.