Letters for March 27, 2003

Never again war!

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

I have just read the superb and moving story about Charlie, Judy and Charlie’s extraordinary witness for and from Iraq.

You cause me to ponder at the tons of relief supplies, stockpiled for those left, and meanwhile hunger so keen it causes a child to devour a banana without peeling it or to try to rob men. Feigning friendship to betray surely carries a U.S. trademark.

May we spit out the deadly fruits of deception, treachery and destruction we are being fed and expected to consume, peel and all. May we insist with Pope Paul VI: jamais plus, la guerre.

May we become at last sufficiently mature to spare children from hunger, harm and poisons—first and foremost those our country now goes to such great and efficient lengths to inflict upon them.

Barbara Deutsch
via e-mail

Is the NAACP black-supremacist?

Re “White Like Me” by Stephen James (SN&R News, March 13):

I found James’ article quite interesting. Is it not true that the media are owned by Jews? Is it also not true that today it is OK when blacks show black pride by celebrating Black History Month? Or when Hispanics show pride by celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month? So, why is it then white-supremacist when European-Americans celebrate their heritage at Euro-Fest?

Is it not natural to only show the achievements of your fellow European-Americans? Black History Month certainly doesn’t celebrate any achievements of white people.

But I know what you will say. It’s the group you have a problem with. Guess what? I have a problem with the NAACP, but I don’t go around calling them black supremacists.

History tells us that black militant groups are just as violent as you have accused the white-supremacist groups of being. How about writing about that?

Johann Pantosch

Another SN&R slap at European-Americans

Re “White Like Me” by Stephen James (SN&R News, March 13):

If SN&R can show me documentation that anything on the flier of the National Alliance isn’t true, then I would agree with the article.

As the chairman of the European American Culture Council, who also hosted Dr. Tomislav Sunic three days later, I find this article just another hit piece against European-Americans. But, then again, I forgot SN&R considers anyone who is white and shows pride in their heritage a white supremacist.

Walter F. Mueller
chairman, European American Culture Council

Anti-corporate khakis

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

I am frequent customer of New Helvetia and sad to hear of its closing. I am even sadder to hear that in its place we will find bread with a hole sold by a corporation with no soul.

Since I do not currently eat Krispy Kreme doughnuts, I cannot say that I would stop eating them were a franchise to open up shop in Firehouse No. 3. I do promise to sneer an extra-fierce sneer when walking by the red, white and green doors, should they appear.

My complaint is this: Cosmo Garvin, lay off my pants!

I am a Midtowner, and I wear khakis. A friendly anti-corporate reminder: James Dean wore khakis. Rachel Carson wore khakis. Cesar Chavez wore khakis. And so, you say, do the boys and girls from Krispy Kreme. Khaki pants are comfortable, lightweight, wrinkle-resistant and match just about everything in the closet. They can stain but tend to stay much cleaner if kept clear of greasy chains.

Jay Matthew Dickenson

Doughnuts talk, the community walks

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

Cool! Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in my backyard. I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it. I can just envision all the little chain-like features diminishing the cultural value of our eclectic and amazing Midtown.

It never ceases to amaze me that money talks, while the community walks. Those with the corporate backing (a.k.a. Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, Chipotle, etc.) tend to receive wider welcoming arms from leasing companies than those of us who have a dream to enhance our community by opening shops that contribute to the diverse ideas, art and culture that attract the kind of people we have in our downtown and Midtown communities. What happened to preservation of a unique community?

I have lived in Sacramento my entire life, and I have seen it transform drastically. What I have noticed are all the corporate chains that have inundated downtown Sacramento since I was a kid. What will there be in 10 years if people are swayed more by money than cultural ethics to preserve what little there may be left? It disgusts me to see this place become a corporate suburbia with a Starbucks moving across the street from a mom and pop coffee shop, and a Krispy Kreme moving in down from where I live into a place I prized for portraying great ambience, darn good Mexican mochas and a hip and cool staff—literally a place like no other.

Dorena Hardin

Can’t see the forest for the tears

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

Your article made me cry twice! Once when the author was talking about hugging the redwood and again when describing his experience climbing a redwood.

Your article touched me. I am not a deranged enviro-weirdo. I am a middle-class, 52-year-old woman. But I feel very much as those young people do. I just do not have the courage to act on my feelings.

I “discovered” the giant redwoods about five years ago. Shame on me for taking so long. I am a native Californian. I fell in love with them. Now, I have a compelling need to visit with them at least once a year.

And, yes, I hug them every time, and I cry. Let’s hope someone is able to stop these thoughtless lumber companies soon. We need to leave these giants alone as nature intended.

Carmen Mintzas
via e-mail

Stop KQED empire

Re “Radio Clash” by Jeff Kearns (SN&R News, March 6):

I am disappointed and angry to read about KQED’s intention to horn into the Sacramento market and compete with Capital Public Radio (CPR).

I’m over 50, a lifelong public-radio fan and a longtime member of the station nearest where I live. When I travel to the Bay Area, I tune into KQED. If people in Sacramento really want to listen to KQED, they can do so on the Internet.

One of the great things about public radio is that, even with all the National Public Radio (NPR) programming, each station has its own personality. It is a community asset and reflects the community in which it is based. KQED is violating that community-based heart of public radio by seeking to build its empire in another community.

KQED’s data about CPR formats is wrong. KQED and KXJZ will go head to head at least half of the broadcast day. It can only hurt KXJZ to divide its listeners with KQED’s station in Sacramento. This move squanders KQED’s precious contributor and sponsor dollars on purchasing a station in another community where it doesn’t belong.

CPR should contest KQED’s application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), although I don’t want them wasting our membership money in a battle KQED shouldn’t make necessary. The FCC is ill-equipped to referee this fight anyway.

CPR President Mike Lazar is on the NPR board, but maybe he feels he shouldn’t use that position to get NPR to refuse to franchise two sets of programs into the same market in such a divisive way—or is NPR only in it for the money, too?

SN&R readers and CPR members should tell KQED’s board it made a mistake and should give back the license and spend its money elsewhere. Let the FCC put the license back up for bidding. Write NPR and object. KQED go home!

Joel Ellinwood


The story “A Hole in the Middle” (SN&R News, March 13) inaccurately suggested a laundromat across the street from New Helvetia once had been the location of illegal drug use, and that is not the case. We regret the error.