Letters for July 3, 2013
Delta plan a bad movie
Re “Water fight!: Will Jerry Brown's tunnel plan save or destroy the Delta?” by Alastair Bland (SN&R Feature Story, June 27):
This sounds like a job for James Bond 007. It would seem that the governor is under the spell of a multinational water conglomerate owned by an evil mastermind. Bond must stop a plan to siphon all the water from the nation's food basket, the California Delta, and send it to a warmer climate in the south. The sea will push more salt into the Delta, laying waste to rich farmlands. The catastrophe will be blamed on global climate change and bureaucratic bungling. Naturally, the villain purchases billions of parcels of tumbleweed desert for $6 per acre and hopes to strike it rich with this transfer of liquid wealth! In the final reel, our governor will be rescued, and the good people of California will be spared this calamity.
Now, who will they pick to play the part of James Bond?
Re “Smart money” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R News, June 27):
It is with a sense of awe that I read the interview conducted with California Controller John Chiang. As someone [who has] recently arrived in California, I find it almost Kafkaesque that one of the chief financial officers of a state that was bordering on bankruptcy last year, and is the home of several large cities who are in various stages of bankruptcy, would be able to chastise the financial skills and morals of those who run large-scale financial institutions with a straight face. But, then again, given the featured photo of the controller, perhaps it is all a joke to him.
Perhaps it is as the Bible says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Or, perhaps, it is merely the shrewd calculations of a politician looking at running for another political office to appeal to the 1 percenters and populists that make up a large portion of the California electorate.
Art over dollars
Re “Restaurateur Randy Paragary yanks controversial paintings off new bar’s walls” by Rachel Leibrock, (SN&R News, June 20):
After reading this article, it appears bullying isn’t something reserved for the schoolyard. Shame on you, Randy! You should have stuck with the artist and not let someone (a lobbyist, no less!) bully you. I guess dollars are still the motivation for everything nowadays. Even though the artist’s works were sold en masse and it turned out positively for her, the public loses out on the artist’s freedom of expression. So sad.
More on bicyclists and sidewalks
Re “Should Sacramento ban outdoor smoking at bars?” by Nick Miller (SN&R Midtown&Down, June 20):
I felt compelled to respond to the subject of sidewalk bikers. First, let me state that this is also a pet peeve of mine, because it is dangerous and makes all bicyclists look bad. I am a bike commuter and get frustrated when bikers fail to offer pedestrians the basic courtesy that bikers expect from cars. Your piece did not have much information on your location on N Street, but quite unusually for this area there are portions of N Street where it is legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk. Specifically, the city of Sacramento bike map shows that it is legal to ride on the sidewalk on N Street from Third Street to 13th Street. You will see signage to that effect on the sidewalk itself.
Unfortunately, in that area, N Street is one-way, with three lanes, no bike lanes, and parked cars on both sides, and is thus unsuitable to biking on the street. However, please do not misunderstand my point; what happened to you and your dog should never happen, even if the bikers were riding on the sidewalk lawfully. When bikes are allowed to share the sidewalk with pedestrians, the bikers are obliged to ride slowly and cautiously, taking extra care around pedestrians. Pedestrians always have the right of way, and the bikers should act as guests until they can turn off onto a more suitable street for biking. There are always a few bad apples, but most bicyclists that I see are following the rules. Hopefully, your next encounter will be with more courteous bikers.