Letters for July 31, 2003

Ghostly vision needed

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

I read your article with interest. How sad that Sacramento did not have the good sense to save and restore this awesome historical treasure.

Seattle and Atlanta are cashing in. If Sacramento had any sense, it would do the same and even recreate it if possible. I hope someone with the money and vision appears before it is too late.

Sally Mitchell

Preservationist goes underground

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

Many years ago, in the late ’60s and early ’70s, an acquaintance was making his way into the “catacombs” and telling us about his adventures. It fascinated me, the thought of such a place.

I’ve worked downtown for 20 years and am always fascinated by the architecture and the history of it. When I see the old buildings with their brick walls and rusted grates on windows, the ones I can see in my alley travels, it makes me think of life in the 1800s.

I loved the article in SN&R and wonder what we can all do to promote preservation of the underground. It would be great to actually be able to make use of it. How does one go about making something like that happen?

Linda Moffatt
via e-mail

Public financing benefits advertising outlets— like SN&R

Re “City limits” (SN&R Editorial, July 17):

I completely agree with your first line: “Give lots of money and get lots of influence.”

Yet, I’m having a hard time digesting the idea that the public financing of council campaigns as described in your editorial will somehow thwart political patronage.

The campaign-finance-reform ordinance you describe would give candidates a loophole, allowing them to opt out of limiting their fund-raising. If candidates aren’t required to cap their campaign fund-raising, I don’t see how a $30,000 public stipend to their campaign will provide incentive to the high-rolling politicians (or puppets of high-rolling corporations vying for city-council influence) to do so.

What I do see potentially happening is more candidates throwing their hats in the ring who will be eligible to collect the $30,000 from city coffers—candidates who still won’t have a chance of beating the well-endowed corporate-sponsored candidates but who nonetheless will have a chunk of taxpayers’ change to buy advertisements.

Who really will benefit from a system like this? Taxpayers won’t, but I suspect ad agencies and newspapers like SN&R who sell advertising space will.

Carol Runge

Tu CASA a conflict of interest

Re “Sac High struggle still raging” by Chrisanne Beckner (SN&R News, July 17):

Chrisanne Beckner deserves congratulations for this article. Ms. Beckner included in the article at least two items that are of utmost importance.

First, the analysis of Judge Trena Burger-Plavan’s decision: The deciding factor regarding the invalidity of the charter petition rests with the fact that a school previously existed at the site, even though the school board voted to close the school. Thus, the charter petition needed the signatures of at least a majority of the teachers at the school. St. Hope did not obtain those signatures.

The other item is the connection between the district forming CASA (California Administrative Services Authority) for the purpose of an enriched retirement system for an elite few and to provide administrative services to charter schools. The school board votes to confirm many charter schools, and the district promotes CASA, which provides services to charter schools. Sounds like a conflict of interest to me.

I praise Ms. Beckner for her in-depth reporting and also [SN&R], a weekly newspaper that reports to the public information that the “other newspaper” refuses to report. Keep up the good work.

Ruth Holbrook

Bada boy with a badge

Re “Hard time at the Bada Bing” by David A. Kulczyk (SN&R News, July 17):

Well, at least now I know where at least one of the sheriff’s deputies in my neighborhood is while he’s supposed to be out preventing burglaries, as Ron Wimberly said in this article. He’s sitting in the Bada Bing parking lot cracking down on “crime,” while my boyfriend and I are watching our neighborhood go down the toilet and having a car stolen out of our driveway.

No matter how many times we call the sheriff’s department regarding suspicious activity and request assistance, neighborhood drive-throughs, anything, we are brushed off. We have yet to see a patrol car in the area and have not during the five years we’ve lived here. Meanwhile, the Bada Bing gets constant officer surveillance when nothing happens, despite the fact the bar already has on-site security? Um, OK.

For the record, I’ve been by the Bada Bing numerous times at night and have never seen any “activity,” other than a few patrons in front of the establishment. I suppose loitering will be the next “offense” taking precedence over grand theft auto?


Flush the ad

Re “Reason #791 to work at the Sacramento News & Review” (SN&R Advertisement, July 17):

This employment ad with a man sitting on a toilet does a disservice to your paper, men in general and Assemblyman [Darrell] Steinberg. It demeans; would you people portray a woman like this? Please do not run another edition with this promotional piece for your newspaper.

I have been picking up your otherwise fine newspaper since its inception.

Robbin Ware

Thumbs down on movie passes

Re “Columbia Pictures & SN&R invite you…” (SN&R Promotion, July 17):

I’m an avid movie fan. I picked up your paper Thursday morning and, in it, found the ad for tickets for Bad Boys II.

I start work at 8 a.m., so there was no way that I would have been able to come down there and get the tickets. I thought that this was unfair to myself and others that read the paper and want the chance to go and see movies, especially when that pass is for the same day the paper is released.

I am an avid reader of SN&R, as well, but this is very upsetting. I think if you are going to give passes away the same day as the movie, you should release them in the afternoon. That would give us working people time to look at the paper and to try and get a chance to come to your office.

Amanda Soward
via e-mail

Asleep in civics

Re “Would you support a recall of Governor Gray Davis?” (SN&R Streetalk, July 17):

This is in response to the person who thinks we should recall the governor because “he’s really screwed up the budget.”

Gray Davis has neither screwed up the budget nor taken all California’s money. Where did you learn about government?

The governor only suggests a budget, and it is up to both houses of the Legislature to come up with the budget. This has to be passed by two-thirds of the Legislature, meaning the Democrats and Republicans have to agree on a budget and all the spending that goes with it.

How does this become a screw-up by Gray Davis?

Wayne M. Rascon

Misusing and abusing the recall

Re “Would you support a recall of Governor Gray Davis?” (SN&R Streetalk, July 17):

The students in Streetalk on whether to recall Gray Davis need to take a current-affairs course in politics. Let me save them time with a California-recall primer.

The Republican recall of Democratic Governor Gray Davis consists of two interrelated aspects of which most Californians are still totally incognizant. The Republican minority, in its death throes, is misusing and abusing California’s recall system to usurp political power and office.

At the same time, Republican anti-tax zealots are trying to cast Gray Davis in a negative light by holding the state budget and the $38 billion deficit hostage. So far, the GOP mantra to drive California “over the cliff” is holding sway over an indifferent populace.

Have you heard any of the possible Republican recall candidates for governor explain how they will resolve California’s stalled budget and $38 billion deficit? The Republicans may be able to steal California’s governorship by stealth, but how will they handle the gargantuan problem at hand?

Californians with a conscience need to send a strong message to the Bush Republicans in Washington who stole the presidency: Not in our state!

Ron Lowe
Nevada City