Letters for June 17, 2010

Letter of the week
Cool your jets, coconut

Re “No cuts, no butts, no coconuts” by Nick Miller (SN&R Scene&Heard, June 3):

I wanted to give you some info about what’s going on at Hazel Avenue and the bike trail. We have a project underway to widen the bridge and make other improvements, including better facilities for bicycles and pedestrians.

As part of the construction process, we had to close the portion of the bike trail that goes under Hazel Avenue. This area is part of the construction zone and it’s not safe for cyclists, so we needed to temporarily route them across Hazel Avenue at Gold Country Boulevard.

This is a fully signalized and safe intersection. As with any traffic light, vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists need to wait their turn as the light goes through its cycle. Safety is our biggest concern for any roadway project and for roadway users.

We are reaching a big project milestone when large, pre-cast concrete girders will be lifted into place on the bridge. After this happens and other construction activities are completed, we hope to have the bike trail under Hazel Avenue open to the public in September.

On the positive side of things, when the project is completed, the bike trail and bike lanes on Hazel will be much improved for cyclists and pedestrians.

Dan Regan
communication and media officer
Sacramento County Department of Transportation

Classic rock—it’s not new

Re “Radio-free radio” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, June 10):

I’ve been missing KDVS, since it’s usually the only thing I have on in the car. The past few weeks, I’ve been sampling the vast wasteland of corporate radio and reminded of why I decide not to work in that industry after years of wanting to long ago.

Nice that KDVS can still stream online; about 10 years ago they were off the air for a couple months. I have to wonder how this can happen when the commercial stations only get knocked out for a few hours at most before getting back on the air, if something happens to break. If the Eagle were to go off the air, I could just buy every song that they play. It’s not like there’s going to be any new classic rock!

Jesse Skeen

What teachers do

Re “Teachers get schooled” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Frontlines, June 10):

The [Sacramento] Bee and Jonathan Raymond are so anti-teachers. Thanks, SN&R, for writing about the facts these two don’t want people to hear.

Why doesn’t the district close low-enrollment schools? Millions would be saved. Instead, they continue to open low-enrollment high schools. This superintendent has not taught a day in his life; he has no idea what teachers do, how much of their time they put into their work, unpaid time.

Lynne Hocking

Pony up for education

Re “Teachers get schooled” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Frontlines, June 10):

Teachers’ benefits are not the reason we are in this mess. The truth is, this budget crisis has most middle- and working-class people, in both the public and private sectors, fighting like starving dogs over the few scraps of meat that our “masters” deign to toss us. Teachers are one of the last groups of workers still represented by reasonably strong unions, and they are charged with educating the children of a generation that has nothing but scorn for intellectual pursuits, or for that matter, for anything that requires more than 15 seconds of undivided attention. So educators seem to be everyone’s favorite scapegoats at the moment.

The real problem is that, in spite of being the wealthiest state in the wealthiest nation on Earth, we can’t seem to find the resources to support the many worthwhile things that the public sector cannot or will not reliably provide for. We have stopped thinking about, let alone planning, where we want this country and our civilization to be going in the long term. For the past two to three decades, we have been living under the delusion that short-term thinking, motivated by greed, would take care of everything and somehow we would be able to “have it all” and not pay for it. It’s time for us to pull our heads out of the sand and to pony up.

Erica Wagner

Warts, tumors—what’s the diff?

Re “Are cell phones killing us?” by Nancy Brands Ward (SN&R Frontlines, June 3):

Holy mother of Elvis! I thought I was just getting brain warts!

Dale Threlkel

Taco in a bag rocks!

Re “To the ballpark” by Ginny McReynolds (SN&R Essay, June 3):

I really enjoyed Ginny McReynolds’s essay about her renewed love for the game of baseball as a loyal spectator of the Hot Rods baseball team. I, too, am a fan, and a parent of one of those 8-year-olds, and am amazed at what a growth year machine-pitch is and how the kids are young enough to not let the competitiveness ruin the sport and the experience. Combine that with Dooley Field in Land Park, along with a Delta breeze and taco in a bag from the “snack shack,” and it really makes it really hard not to love the game.

Leslie Huffman

Baristas need people skills

Re “Sacramento’s best baristas” by Nick Miller (SN&R Arts&Culture, May 27):

I think this list is hilarious! I thought being a barista meant a little more than just making a good cup of espresso or coffee. I thought it meant conversation and getting to know your customers on a first-name basis, letting the person feel completely comfortable at your cafe. Ambience and customer service has more to do with being a barista than just making latte art.

I’m disappointed that SN&R didn’t do more research on coffee shops that actually provide these excellent qualities, such as Coffee Works, Pangaea [Two Brews] Cafe, 16th Street Cafe or United Coffee [House]. All of these shops have always had the best customer service and are very knowledgeable of the coffee bean and the loose-leaf teas. And they have made the best cappuccino and macchiato. The counter staff and owners are always courteous and the consistency is impressive.

I give two thumbs down to Temple for upsetting customer service and a tasteless iced mocha, three negative stars to Old Soul for stuffy, prude baristas and the $2.25 12-ounce cup of amazingly bad, over-roasted coffee. But I will give kudos to Old Soul for vegan eats.

Chocolate Fish [Coffee] is somewhat of an embarrassment. I feel like if I order a latte and I ruin the art, the owners might bite my head off and scold me on how I ruined the robust flavor of the espresso by the lack of care I show by sipping the latte. I also feel like I am underdressed and stared at if I’m there for more than 10 minutes.

All I can say is good luck to all the coffee shops, and I really hope the overlooked will be looked at.

Anna James