Letters for March 20, 2003

Liteky’s taken Saddam’s side

Re “An American in Baghdad” by Melinda Welsh (SN&R Cover, March 13):

Charlie Liteky is in Baghdad for humanitarian purposes. I commend him for that.

On the other hand, he is also there for other reasons. He is against U.N. sanctions. He is against the use of force to disarm the Iraqi regime. In fact, the article doesn’t indicate what he thinks of Saddam Hussein’s regime or how to deal with the fact that Iraq is still not in compliance with U.N. resolutions and the cease-fire agreement that the Iraqi government agreed to.

He claims that he supports the U.N. inspectors, but he ignores the fact that they wouldn’t be there without the threat of war. Why wasn’t Mr. Liteky in Kuwait to help the refugees and homeless caused by Saddam Hussein’s illegal war? Why doesn’t he try to obtain Saddam Hussein’s cooperation with the U.N. inspectors?

In fact, why doesn’t Mr. Liteky demonstrate against the brutal Iraqi regime while he’s in Baghdad?

In effect, Mr. Liteky has taken a side.

H. Michael Sarkisian

If I wanted suburbia, I’d move there

Re “A Hole in the Middle” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R News, March 13):

I am very saddened to read the article about New Helvetia coffee house. I have been a Midtown resident for over 13 years and love the feel of it. Midtown feels very comfortable and safe to me. I hate the urban sprawl of the majority of Sacramento.

Midtown represents diversity in Sacramento, which we have waited for so long to happen. It has taken several years for it to develop into the charming little area some of us call home. Yet now we have another corporate piece of crap moving in on our territory. It seems this is a step backward.

If I wanted to live in suburbia, I would. Why does Krispy Kreme have to invade our Midtown piece of world?

They should go out to Roseville or Folsom for their corporate office and leave our Camelot to the Midtowners. Krispy Kreme will not get my business, and I shall spread the word to my friends, as well.

This is a very sad day for Midtown.

Terri Thompson

That Bush will take our trees

Re “Life and Limb” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Cover, March 6):

It is with great pleasure that I read this story. It’s good to know that there are still some of us who are dedicated and focused enough to keep attention on our disappearing national treasure, the old-growth redwood forest.

If the current administration had its way, we would forget all about these environmental concerns, as well as civil and human rights, education, health care, sustainable energy, free clean water and air, Social Security, public transportation, the economy and all other issues that affect the common people of this country. I believe the intent is to keep us so afraid of impending doom and war that we will forget about these other issues.

But guess what? When (if) we wake up, we will find that Bush and his oily boys have absconded with all the goodies, leaving us holding an empty bag. Thank goodness for our forest defenders, who are putting their lives on the line to help save these ancient treasures that we can show our grandchildren.

Paulette Cuilla

Join a ‘Mass Tree Sit-In’

Re “Life and Limb” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Cover, March 6):

Thank you for this wonderful article. It could not have come at a more opportune time.

I am trying to organize a group to support the Humboldt tree-sitters here in Sacramento. Please feel free to e-mail me at altman53@attbi.com if you are interested in joining.

On April 26, there will be a one- to 24-hour mass tree-sit campaign to save old-growth forests and natural areas and to slow suburban sprawl. The event is being called “Mass Tree Sit-In.”

We are encouraging legal and “political” tree sits or grass, desert, wetland, base-of-the-tree sits. Legal tree sits could be in one’s yard or with permission of a landowner or agency. We are trying to mobilize urban and suburban communities to participate in this peaceful form of environmental activism.

We are hoping that local environmental groups will take interest in this call and facilitate the implementation of banner-making, educational, press and climbing-safety committees. The theme is “Protect Forests—Protest Sprawl.”

This is a legal action to get the public’s attention on: forest issues, out-of-control suburban sprawl and support for continuing actions to save the Earth, such as corporate- land tree sits.

Join the “Mass Tree Sit-In” campaign by sending a blank e-mail to: worldtreeclimbday2003-subscribe@Yahoogroups.com. The moderator will send you to a regional or planning group for further contacts.

Simona Altman

He can walk and write

Re “You, Sir, Are No Hunter S. Thompson” (SN&R Letters, March 13):

As one who is privileged to “know” Dennis Yudt, I would suggest that his detractors check themselves before they wreck themselves, as Dennis is a man who can walk the walk—unlike you wussy hacks still writing letters to the editor. Homeboy Yudt has got a fine writing style.

And, as one who didn’t attend the peace rally (I had laundry to do), I thought he did a cool job of popularizing and mythifying your little gathering. I finished the article respecting the people of Sacto and the world.

Kurt Foy Booker
via e-mail

More than one way to skin an ant

Re “Don’t Crawl for Me, Argentina” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R News, February 27):

Thanks to Cosmo Garvin for an informative and unique article on Argentine ants. More knowledge of the biology of these very persistent creatures will help us deal with them more effectively, while reducing our reliance on pesticide use.

Unfortunately, many people automatically turn to chemical pesticides to control ants in and around their homes. Many applications of pesticides to control ants in the home are done on a monthly schedule, even though Argentine ant problems are mostly seasonal, and alternative control methods are available. This results in unnecessary exposure of humans and pets to poisons, and excessive release of pesticides to the environment.

Easy availability of pesticide products is no guarantee of their safety. Two formerly extremely common ant-control products, diazinon and chlorpyrifos, recently have been voluntarily withdrawn from registration for use around homes and schools because of their threat to children’s health. Information on the effects of likely replacement products on humans and the environment is incomplete.

Unnecessary impacts on aquatic life occur when pesticides applied in urban areas are carried into creeks and rivers by storm runoff. Currently, pesticide toxicity is observed virtually every time urban creeks are analyzed for it, and much of it is likely the result of ant-control products applied outdoors. It takes only about a teaspoon of these pesticides to make millions of gallons of water toxic, but many thousands of pounds of them are applied outdoors in Sacramento urban areas every year.

The Sacramento Stormwater Program supports the Water Wise Program (www.sacstormwater.org/wise), which provides information to the public on alternatives and reduction of pesticide use, including ant control. As part of Water Wise, the UC Master Gardener Program ((916) 875-6913) provides free pest-control advice. The information provided was developed by the UC Integrated Pest Management Program. The program’s Web site has additional information at www.ipm.ucdavis.edu.

Dave Tamayo
pesticide control program manager,
Sacramento County Stormwater Quality Program