Letters for June 11, 2009

Letter of the week
He’s no Rove

Re “Does K.J. have his own Rove?” (SN&R Letters, May 28):

It’s unfortunate that SN&R chose to publish a personal attack letter on me and Mayor Kevin Johnson by Jeremiah Mayhew, someone neither of us have ever met but [who] was an active backer of the mayor’s opponent in last November’s election.

Given that, here’s a simple public message to Mr. Mayhew: Dude, get over it. You lost. It was an old-fashioned ass whoopin’ by Sacramento voters who rejected smear politics (you know, the kind that you’re still caught up in) and wanted change. And while I’m flattered at some level by being compared to Karl Rove, I can assure you that I knew Karl Rove, and I’m no Karl Rove. Thank God. I’m proud to be a Democrat, as is Mayor Johnson.

For the record, the letter writer need not just believe me that the Bush-appointed inspector general making the allegations against the mayor is a right-wing publicity hound. Three weeks ago, the (Republican) acting U.S. attorney for Northern California found the IG’s conduct so outrageous that he’s filed a formal complaint against him—almost unheard of in judicial circles. Perhaps Cosmo Garvin and SN&R could surprise us all by using its pages to write about that instead of publishing letters chock-full of hate speech.

Steven Maviglio

Crocker deserves art

Re “Museum piece” by Greg Lucas (SN&R Frontlines, May 28):

The fine article on the Crocker Museum’s expansion by Greg Lucas was well-done.

The last time I was in the always-awful Crocker Museum (I always find it hard to add “Art” to the [name of the] Crocker), Chris Webber’s wonderful collection of historical African-American memorabilia was being displayed in a half-lobby/half-hallway setting. Awful.

With great anticipation, I await the grand opening of, finally, the Crocker Art Museum.

William J. Hughes

Taking the bait

Re “Hell is an intersection” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Race to the Bottom, May 28):

OK, I realize that R.V. Scheide is trying to bait us with these articles about the Freeport [Boulevard] road diet, so I’ll take the bait.

First, it’s not “traffic calming” (wing nut), it’s a road diet. Traffic calming is a narrow attempt to reduce speed, though in practice it’s usually a NIMBY measure to displace traffic from a street with organized, rich residents to one with disorganized, poor residents.

On the other hand, a road diet reduces excessive road capacity to encourage walkable neighborhoods and local business, to decrease long commutes and enhance safety. Road diets are going to be a big part of our future because so many roads were built too big to begin with (take a look at North Natomas from the air), and now we have to spend money redressing past mistakes.

Any change involves a learning process, and Freeport’s in the thick of it.

Personally, I believe that the only number of traffic lanes a road should have is either zero or two (one in each direction), because multilane roads nix any possibility of mixed-use development, localization of trips or vehicle miles traveled (VMT) reduction. Multilane roads also make it a bitch for cyclists to turn left, so we have a particular ire for them (at least, those of us wise enough not to ride on the sidewalk).

So keep up the articles, R.V.; your efforts don’t go unnoticed.

Owen Howlett

Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates

Where was R.V. before the change?

Re “Hell is an intersection” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Race to the Bottom, May 28):

Mr. Scheide says that he wrote about the $3.4 million spent on the 21st Street conversion a year ago, and ends the article by saying we could have saved ourselves a lot of time, money and trouble by not doing anything at all.

But nowhere in the article does it state that he spoke against this work before it was done! Don’t they have public hearings before major changes like this?

James Sakauye

More bland for Blandramento

Re “How to make Sac blander” (SN&R Letters, May 28):

About Collin Crisp’s suggestions for Blandramento, I have another suggestion—oh, wait, this suggestion is already being carried out!

Every time a large group of citizens legally gathers at the state Capitol to exercise our constitutional right to protest the harmful actions of our government toward us citizens, make sure to send dozens of nervous Sacramento Police Department and California Highway Patrol officers to glare hostilely at us, and send city and state police photographers to photograph these “crime scenes” (what one police photog called these legal and constitutionally guaranteed protests).

And if these protesters—who as citizens, voters and taxpayers legally own the state Capitol—wish to enter the Capitol building to state their disapproval in person to the officials they elected, make sure dozens of huge and intimidating CHP officers on horseback block the entrance and tell these law-abiding citizens they are not allowed into their own building.

Yup, these types of disrespect for citizens’ rights—each of which my friends and I have personally witnessed on several occasions—will surely make Sacramento the greatest city in the greatest state in the greatest nation in the world.

Ed Hass
Elk Grove


In the SN&R Flash Fiction Contest winners (“Incredibly, defiantly, unbelievably short fiction,” SN&R Feature, May 28), the story “Pounding” was written by Patrick Powers.