Letters for March 5, 2009

The book on Tony

Re “Brawl in the Family,” “Tiger by the tail” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature, February 5):

My name is Carol Rhines-Canepa, and I’m the opposing party in the story written about Tony Lopez in “Brawl in the Family.” R.V. Scheide should have done much more in-depth research; in fact, I was never interviewed to give my side of the story and [provide] the readers facts.

If the research had been done, Scheide would have discovered that we have not even been in Judge Peter J. McBrien’s courtroom in four years. Scheide would have also discovered that I haven’t been in the dancing industry in two years, and that I am a full-time housewife and mother to a new baby girl as well as my daughter [fathered by Lopez]. Instead, Scheide allowed himself to be manipulated by Lopez and his status as a boxing celebrity.

I feel that this article was just another ploy by Lopez to further damage my character. It’s evident that Mr. Lopez is not only desperate for sympathy from readers but fishing for his seventh attorney. I hope that if readers felt any sympathy at all, it was for the child involved in this never-ending tug-of-war.

Because this case has dragged on for so long, I had to spend my entire pregnancy in Sacramento, living separate from my fiancé in Reno, [Nev.]. I had to raise our new baby the first eight months basically by [myself]. We are married, stable and ready to begin building our new family together. I pray that this case will be settled soon for both my own and my child’s mental well-being. One of my best friends has been telling me to write a book for years. Dancing With the Tiger, coming to a bookstore near you! Maybe I’ll take her up on it.

Carol Rhines-Canepa
Reno, Nev.

At least she can still afford SN&R

Re “Will work for minimum” by Nick Miller (SN&R Feature, February 19):

I really appreciated your article on the experiment of surviving on $8 an hour. Like you, I often wondered how people did just that.

It happens all too quickly. Right before the holidays, things were tight, even though I made between $11-$15 an hour (I was working on-call for several different companies, since I have not been able to find permanent full-time work with benefits for a year).

When I lost hours at one job, I went to Macy’s for holiday work. I was saddened to see all the people who’d been laid off just looking for any job. I got hired. Whew! I still could not afford luxuries (like Internet or cable), and that’s because I have a car payment.

January rolled in, and I was doing just fine. My employment with Macy’s came to an end, and I was down to one on-call position. I thought I’d just find another part-time job.

Big problem: There’s a hiring freeze for most companies. Since many employers have their pick of workers, it wasn’t that easy. As thousands of people run to wait in long lines for an $8 position, I am busy borrowing other folks’ Internet to search for jobs. I walk into places and inquire about work, go to job fairs if I can, but no immediate work is available.

So I’m at part-time hours, not able to make ends meet. I had to give up my apartment, put things in storage and move in with my sister. It only took two months for everything to go away!

I am keeping on, not giving up, remembering to laugh and tell others who is hiring. I just keep smiling and say my prayers, and I am very thankful for my family helping as they can through my rough time.

Denise Tompkins

This way to the artisan bread line

Re “Will work for minimum” by Nick Miller (SN&R Feature, February 19):

I just read Nick Miller’s article about his attempt at living on minimum wage for 37 days.

I think his article would have been much more effective if he’d interviewed people that are actually living on minimum wage for real. I find his article condescending, with overtones of snotty, spoiled kid. People living on minimum wage do not shop at Trader Joe’s, and they don’t complain about going to Wal-Mart.

If Mr. Miller really wants to know what it’s like to live on minimum wage, talk to those who are living it. Find out where they shop, what they eat and how they pay their bills. I’ll bet they don’t buy $3 cheese or whine about not being able to buy organic natural food.

Valerie Parks

Mormons think and feel just like we do

Re “Naming names” by Kel Munger (SN&R Frontlines, February 12):

I had to write and express my appreciation for this story, as well as to voice my approval of [Judge Morrison] England’s ruling “that there was no compelling reason to shield donors [on behalf of Proposition 8] from the public.” Transparency in campaign finance is an indispensable element in a free and fair election process.

I was especially pleased with the comment by [an] Equality Action Now founder, Tina Reynolds, that she doesn’t “believe that most of the people who voted for Prop. 8 meant to hurt other people.”

My own “yes” vote on Prop. 8 was the most well-thought out and heart-wrenching vote I have ever cast. I was saddened, however, that many opponents to Prop. 8, far from sharing Reynolds’ view, were so outraged by what they saw as intolerance that they vented their rage in such an intolerant manner.

I have been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints my entire life, and despite our “mysterious” appearance, the fact is we Mormons think and feel just like everybody else. While some members may have cast their votes and participated in campaigning with a spirit of spite, intolerance and homophobia, the majority of the members I have associated with throughout the campaign understood what was at stake on both sides and weighed the matter carefully, and for a long time, even as far back as Proposition 22 [from 2000, which prevented California from recognizing same-sex marriages] and earlier. Indeed, many of us disregarded the call from church leaders and voted against the measure.

Finally, with regard to the $190,000 amount cited in the story, I think something needs to be clarified: That amount appears much too low to be a sum of the total contributions of all individual members. As [Kel] Munger noted, these were costs associated with travel and lodging. Ignoring the contributions of members’ volunteered time, the actual cash donations were probably at least 10 times that much.

Robb L. Robertson

Family court and child abuse

Re “Down by law” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature, February 5):

The California Protective Parents Association would like to thank R.V. Scheide for his recent article which detailed stories of a few of the countless children who have been placed with abusive parents when the family court judges fail to err on the side of child safety.

We know that child abuse is rampant in our country. Approximately one-third of women nationally and 42 percent in California report being sexually abused in childhood. Child sexual abuse is a crime. Most child sexual abuse is perpetrated by family members, particularly by fathers and stepfathers.

However, when a child whose parents are getting divorced reports sexual abuse, he or she may be disbelieved. The child’s mother is often accused of alienating the child from the father. The child may be placed into the custody of the very person accused of sexual abuse.

We know that this type of child endangerment is a well-documented phenomenon. Research by Geraldine Stahly, Ph.D., describes how parents go to family court to try to protect their children from child abuse and come out at the end of the process without custody. We know this happens, but we do not know why.

We also know that we must prevent the reabuse of children. Please write to your state assembly member and senator to ask that they initiate legislation to fix this frightening problem. You can find their contact information on www.leginfo.ca.gov.

Connie Valentine

It’s all in the family planning

Re “Less pollution, longer life” (SN&R An Inconvenient Ruth, February 5):

Thank you for this column’s item … dealing with world overpopulation, natural-resource depletion and family planning. This is an urgent message which each of us must read and heed.

Evan Jones
via e-mail

It was Greek to him

Re “My big, fat, Greek date night” by Greg Lucas (SN&R Dish, January 29):

Thank you for taking time to review our restaurant, the Greek Village Inn, although we felt the food has been misrepresented.

For instance, our saganaki is not made with kasseri cheese. It is made with imported kefalograviera cheese. This higher grade of cheese is made with sheep’s milk. Additionally, when Mr. Lucas described our avgolemono soup as “calorie rich … contributing to a cholesterol subdivision,” it was misleading and not the case at all. In fact, our avgolemono soup is a rich, housemade delight, and it is commonly known as “Greek penicillin” to our loyal customers.

There are a few other inaccurate things stated in this review by Mr. Lucas. Due to no request in nearly 11 years, we have never stocked a sparkling water, but we do offer the bottled still water [Acqua] Panna [Natural Spring Water]. Furthermore, as far as we can remember, carbonara has always been on Greek menus. The Italians may have invented it, but the Greeks perfected it! Lucas’ claim, “cholesterol metropolis,” is an incorrect statement as well, because there is no egg or bacon grease in the recipe we use.

Despite what was written, our Greek Village Inn wine list is stocked with some of the finest Greek wines available in California. Other varieties are not always available on a consistent basis, so they are hard to keep stocked. The Lolonis family wines are very well embraced.

Once again, thank you for the review and for the compliments about Anthony. He is a relatively new employee, and your glowing praise of him was well received, for our entire staff is expected to always give this quality of service.

Cathy Tsakopoulos-LaGesse


In last week’s Scene&Heard (“A Jammies wake-up call,” February 26), the winner of the Jammies award show was Dead Scott, not Northern Lights. We regret the error (“we” means specifically Josh Fernandez, who made the mistake and is at his desk crying and kicking himself in the face right now. Please forgive him). This has been corrected online.