Letters for March 1, 2001

Disabled issue

The Sacramento News & Review issue “Sacramento’s 100” (SN&R Cover, Feb. 22) is a fun read. The topic is an excellent anchor for this week’s issue, and I hope you do it every year.

The only quibble that I have is that your list includes no prominent persons with disabilities—and Sacramento has plenty. You might counter by pointing out SCC President Robert Harris, but you really need to meet people like Frances Gracechild, director of Resources for Independent Living (RIL); or Ramona Garcia, chair of RIL’s board of directors; or HolLynn D’ Lil, or Ralph Black, or Catherine Campisi.

These folks, and many others, are having a tremendously positive effect on the quality of life in our community. Thanks for your contribution!

Tom Burns
via e-mail

Fat cats on the prowl

Regarding Russell Birdlebough “You’ve Got the Wrong Bird” (SN&R Letters, Feb. 22), he’s an idiot.

His defense of PG&E and the Republican Party demonstrates his ignorance. He probably also believes the country is going to pot because of the evil “liberal media” (and yes those six multibillion-dollar corporations who control 98 percent of America’s media market, are such wonderful progressive institutions). The public’s number one enemy, isn’t those sell-outs we call politicians—it is the public themselves. It is citizens like Mr. Birdlebough who are led around by the rings in their elephant/donkey noses and think the two corporate parties are somehow representing them.

It’s amazing. Here we have the biggest failure in deregulation history (while California consumers and small businesses are being taken to the cleaners) and this guy is still defending the Republican scare tactic of, “Oh no, we can’t have public ownership that reeks of communism.”

I want to set the record straight: Yes, Sen. Steve Peace wrote the deregulation bill, but at the behest of Republican Gov. Pete Wilson. Let us not forget that both the Republicans and Democrats voted almost unanimously for deregulation. At least Sen. Peace is admitting his egregious sins against Californians and has repented. He is calling for public power now, to stop the likes of Enron and Duke from gouging the public even more. The Republican’s wonderful solution for this chaos is to deregulate even more, (especially those nasty little clean air laws) and build more gas fired plants of which Enron and Duke can own even more. Then they can stick it to us even more in the future. The Texas oil and gas barons who are truly calling the shots in Washington and California, are sitting back and laughing at chumps like Mr. Birdlebough who, because of their ignorance and blind party loyalty, keep fat cats like them in power.

Rose Taylor

Ever heard of Walden?

Re “Reverse the Roadless Decree” by Russ Brooks (SN&R Guest Comment, Feb.15):

How funny Russ Brooks is, how intelligent, using an economic perspective to view Clinton’s conservation measures. Brooks sites fire damage, loss of homes and what not, as an excuse to access every acre of forest to automobiles.

I wonder if Mr. Brooks, and his development minded friends, realize that homes built in forests burn because roads allow people to build there in the first place. It’s an inherent hazard you must accept for living in such isolation. The same is true when building a home in a 100-year flood plain and being shocked when the river overflows and destroys property. Or, when houses on fault lines fall to pieces during earthquakes. Brooks may have a legal line of reasoning to pursue, but that’s it. We currently have ample roadways for forest and park access via the automobile.

“Comprehensive Forest Management” born of an arrogant anthropocentric attitude, ultimately leads to forest decline. I bet Brooks knows nothing of forests, ecosystem fragmentation or a guy by the name of John Muir.

Steven Stetson

Faulty diagnosis

Re “Tragic Reminder in Rosemont” by Nathan Fairman (SN&R Guest Comment, Feb. 8):

Thank you young Dr. Fairborn for saving us from those evil guns. Did you tire of pummeling midwives and alternative healers already?

You may decide not to own a gun for any number of legitimate reasons. I, on the other hand, choose to exercise my rights as guaranteed by our Constitution. Legitimate defensive uses of guns happen more than the good doctor admits. My own grandparents shot and wounded a dangerous felon who demanded money in a home invasion. Without a gun, their lives would have been in that criminal’s hands in a remote farm house. For some of us, hiding and calling 9-1-1 is not an option.

Randy Chapman