Letters for March 24, 2011

Letter of the week

Save the Domes!

Re “Last days of the Domes” by Nick Miller (SN&R Frontlines, March 10):

I am outraged by the conduct of administrators at my alma mater. The university’s website touts “close relationships” and feeling of “community” at the school. How hypocritical! What greenwashing!

Look, the Domes have near 40 years of practical institutional memory for a housing community dedicated to environmental and social sustainability. The university would jettison that for a price tag of $5,000?

Students have not made outrageous demands. Instead, their level-headed proposals have been met with iron inflexibility and preemptive dismissal. This is the epitome of condescension! (To me it suggests political calculation and ulterior motives.)

I’ll be calling the Student Affairs office until they can give me something other than the nonanswers they’ve been stonewalling with so far. Thank you for this article, SN&R. I look forward to reading the follow-up article this spring when the Domes are saved!

Michael Devin Gordon

Watch out for the agenda

Re “The future of parks?” by Hugh Biggar (SN&R Beats, March 17):

Thanks for this article. I have been concerned about Gibson Ranch, partly because I know [Doug] Ose is a financial contributor to some [county] supervisors, and partly because I believe the board [of supervisors] is trying to establish a method to use in general with parks. This may be a “privatization” method that could destroy public parks as we have known them.

In contrast, the Bay Area years ago agreed to a small parcel tax to protect their parks. I think this option should be put to a vote in Sacramento County while we have time to save our system.

Installing pet motels and RV parks in Gibson Ranch does not keep Gibson Ranch as an example of historical Sacramento County. I would rather sell off part of the park for commercial purposes and keep the remainder in the spirit and function of an old-fashioned “public” park. The county says this is similar to a golf-course lease, but I don’t think pet motels and RV parks are like golf courses.

This is the same ideology that created small cities within Sacramento County that, I believe, led to the financial collapse of the county. The small cities have no financial responsibilities for county parks, and this is not an accident.

I hope those who want “public” parks will follow the supervisors closely, because there is an agenda in this action and it is worth watching.

Alfreda Weiss
Fair Oaks

Follow Egypt’s example

Re “Teaching moment” by Jessica Einhorn (SN&R Essay, March 17):

Yes, I hardly knew anything about Egypt until revolutionary events got underway, then I started to follow the story—getting drenched in news online via Newslink, following Egyptians on Twitter and watching CNN. Thus I have learned a lot more than I did before.

We here in the United States really need to be aware of what is going on in the Middle East. Be open to learning about the rich history and cultures of other peoples in the world. So thanks for sharing this little article. I am straight up in support of the Egyptian revolutionary movement, especially the way it was relatively peaceful.

Peter S. Lopez

Don’t waste a good dome!

Re “Last days of the Domes” by Nick Miller (SN&R Frontlines, March 10):

As a former student/disciple of R. Buckminster Fuller in the 1960s at the University of Detroit School of Architecture, I recall fondly Fuller’s emphasis on picking up and delivering domes by helicopter to any local destination.

My simple suggestion is: Let’s locate funding/donations from city/county/university officials to pick up the UC Davis domes, rehab them for new livability and replace them in Davis—or in Sacramento’s Discovery Park for a new lifespan. I hate to see a good dome go to waste!

Further, the university’s $43,000 per structure [estimate] is off-the-hook incorrect!

Carl Maletic

Stop population growth, save the world

Re “Hot on the move” by Kel Munger (SN&R Green Days, March 10):

The Northern Hemisphere has long been faulted for its greed, and properly so. For some reason, the Southern Hemisphere gets a pass on its significant contribution to overpopulation.

From India to Africa to South America, there are waaay too many people. China, of course, leads the way. It doesn’t matter where you live. Global warming is the result of global problems. While the United States is rightly castigated for its wrong values, its primary failure has been one of leadership (or should I say the lack thereof?).

Leadership entails both privileges and obligations. The United States scorns the latter when it comes to curtailing greenhouse-gas emissions.

Vicki Lipski
via email

Don’t tax, incentivize

Re “Tax, baby, tax” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Greenlight, March 10):

The idea of “Tax, baby, tax” works where there is adequate public transportation. In Europe, there are many ways to get around the different countries—lots of trams and trains. It’s a small continent; the rural areas are compact.

Not so in the United States, so when we tax gas to cut use, we penalize the rural areas. Many people that live in the outlying areas are poor; many more run our farms and grow our food. We tax them and we bite the hand that feeds us. There are no good public-transit options now in the rural areas and nor likely any time soon. Groups like the Public Policy Institute recently said the same thing: Inflict pain to change habits. How callous. How cruel.

Better to incentivize our businesses to produce vehicles that use natural gas, are low-emissions. Make diesel-engine cars easier to import, and then develop the systems so forest and agriculture waste can fuel these engines or ones that can use them. Ever been to Europe and see all the great, small diesel cars and diesel-electrics? Why don’t they have them here? Because of regulations. Reduce these and for cutting forest slag, and we can help solve the problem of foreign-oil reliance and vehicle emissions.

That’s the way to do it. But “Tax, baby, tax”? That doesn’t fix anything but give our government more money to waste.

Hal Silliman
via email