Letters for March 19, 2009

Letter of the week

Teach them all

Re “Schooling the Mamolas” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Frontlines, March 5):

After reading Cosmo Garvin’s in-depth coverage of this controversial local school issue, I believe he deserves recognition for his dogged pursuit of the facts. He continues to give investigative journalists a good name. The piece clearly was intended to allow both sides equal say in their defense, but the result is as obvious as the comments from readers (full disclosure: I’ve had no children at West Campus High School, nor any connection with the administration or staff).

Clearly the debate between teaching all students inclusively through a truly open enrollment vs. pushing test scores and practicing selective student admissions is a larger issue. That ongoing issue will continue to be debated as students are scuttled through the system.

At West Campus, it appears there are other issues at hand (maybe too numerous for even the esteemed Cosmo Garvin to cover), but at this point it’s clear to anyone that the administrator(s) will have to answer to a larger number of disgruntled parents, teachers and students than they have in the past.

Mark Hanzlik

Twitter mania

Re “Why Twitter sucks” by Alexander Zaitchik and “Sacramento’s Twitteratti” by Nick Miller ( SN&R Feature, March 12):

I am a fan of Twitter’s Evan Williams (think Blogger and Odeo) and Biz Stone, but I think Twitter is as stupid as an iPod Shuffle that talks.

It seems you have to be as self-absorbed as a UC Davis Human Resources staff member to think that people care about what you are saying. You’re not Wil Wheaton (actor/blogger/Star Trek icon), and even if you were, I still wouldn’t have the time to follow you on Twitter. And now, when employers want to know what type of tool they are considering hiring, they can read your tweets.

As far as citizen journalism, I believe Twitter is a new way for businesses to get loyal fans to work for free, sort of like crowd-sourcing and Craigslist.

It’s funny that the writer called this an “autistic culture unable to focus on anything but the tiny feed box in front of it, and even that only when medicated.” The culture may be full of retarded, uncaring, narcissistic pricks, but I wouldn’t call it autistic.

Noah Kameyer
via e-mail

Identifying the inquisitors

Re “Divided flock” by Ted Cox (SN&R Frontlines, March 12):

I have to confess something. Today, for the first time in over 10 years, I have found that I share a similar opinion of the Christian Bible with a fundamentalist.

It seems Jehovah divinely inspired some pretty fiery words on the subject [of homosexuality], and this is one of the few points that his best seller is actually pretty clear on. Leviticus 20:13: “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.”

Please accept my kudos on getting “Dr.” Donald Baird to send one of his patently bigoted statements for us, your adoring public, to read. It makes an excellent point about the usefulness of a human being with a “Doctor of Ministry” that actually puts the “Dr.” in front of his name. Yes, medicine men like these prove very useful when you want to use a tome full of murky, superstitious rhetoric and various reasons to justify murder, genocide, rape and terrorism to focus a mob of sheep people on one or another of the aforementioned classically pious endeavors.

We know where to look for an inquisitor once the flock forces another fantastic display of religious expression on us. Thanks for all the great reporting, SN&R; it’s important for us to keep tabs on these people so we can have some warning before they start lighting the ovens, ya know?

Mike Krebsbach

How’d that pingpong ball get there?

Re “One cup at a time” by Jenn Kistler (SN&R Arts&Culture, March 12):

You forgot to mention that one of the winners of the World Series of Beer Pong chugged a bottle of Jack Daniel’s before the last day. That’s binge drinking if I ever saw it.

Jonny M.
via e-mail

It’s a public school

Re “Schooling the Mamolas” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Frontlines, March 5):

In the Sacramento City [Unified School District], many languages are spoken by students and, as your article points out, about 30 percent are English-learning students. It is shocking to read that West Campus High School has set their entrance requirements so that few of the ESL students, regardless of their other qualifications, will be admitted.

That type of discrimination is unconscionable and should not be acceptable in a public school. Aside from the discrimination, it denies students the educational benefits of having classmates from other cultures.

I would think it would be most appropriate for the SCUSD board to address this matter through a public meeting that would invite comments from parents and supporters of ESL students who have been or will be denied admission to West Campus because of the language requirement.

James G. Updegraff

Ink-stained nostalgia

Re “Bee very afraid” by Dick Tracy (SN&R Essay, March 12):

[Dick Tracy] is an excellent writer. And I am sure there are hundreds, if not thousands, of similar vignettes to be shared as a result of the demise of this once-great institution, The Sacramento Bee, and of the culture that newspapers once were.

It would be a great thing to compile all of these unique stories into a volume to show us all the wonder and excitement that was a real, smelly old newsroom with real, smelly old men pumping out ink-soaked copy for mass consumption of workaday folk. It is so sad to me that this all is coming to pass, for once there were organizations of camaraderie and compassion that provided the depth of information necessary to keep a literate public aware of the news in a world far apart from today’s hyped and hyper blips and blabs that speed by like Einstein’s streetcar, allowing only glimpses of forgettable phraseology and pabulum for the masses.

Alex Berg

Lovin’ Downtown James Brown

Re “Filthy words” by Josh Fernandez (SN&R Music, March 5):

DJ Filth is totally right, and Downtown James Brown is my hero. I remember going to my first open-mic ever at True Love as a 17-year old, and being amazed at the sheer enormousness of his personality. He scared the crap out of me, actually.

But even to this day, when I stop by, he remembers me. He remembers I used to have red hair. He’s actually one of things I miss and love most about True Love, and I wish he could win a Sammie. That would really make the world a much cooler thing to be a part of.

Downtown James Brown, we love you!

Autumn Sky


In last week’s Essay (“Bee very afraid” by Dick Tracy), a caption refers incorrectly to Eleanor McClatchy as the legendary newsman C.K. McClatchy’s wife. She was actually his daughter (and aunt to initial-sharing grandson C.K. McClatchy). We apologize for the error.