Letters for May 10, 2012

Make room for bikes

Re “Straddle the saddle” by Lovelle Harris (SN&R Arts&Culture, May 3):

Thanks for all your coverage of May Is Bike Month. I hope there are even more bikes out on the roads this year than last year.

However, I was dismayed to read this quote from Zach Waddle, manager of The Bicycle Business: “I don’t agree with people riding bikes on J Street. Unless you’re on a super-fast road bike, cars get irritated with bicyclists on J.” Really? From someone in the bike industry? With friends like these …

I’m sure Zach is aware that under California law, bikes are entitled to ride in general traffic lanes on any street that does not have a bike lane, unless it is a highway. But I guess, if I followed the advice of your article, I would “carefully plan” all of my rides through Midtown in order to avoid “irritating” any precious drivers. Never mind that when I get in a car, I can simply take the most direct and rational route to my destination.

I’ll do the same on my bike, thank you very much. And sometimes, that means J Street. What about parallel streets? Well, I Street goes the wrong way and K Street dead ends at the Convention Center. Just how far out of my way do you expect me to go? Did you know that, based on California’s warped system of “environmental” review, a few seconds of added delay for cars is often considered a “significant environmental impact”? So don’t tell me I have to go several blocks out of my way every time I get on a bike.

Drivers, guess what: There are two other lanes! Use them! Look around, practically all of the public right of way in this entire city has been designed to suit your needs. Time to make room for a few of the rest of us. See you on J Street!

Rob Cunningham

Ride, don’t die

Re “Straddle the saddle” by Lovelle Harris (SN&R Arts&Culture, May 3) and “Biking rules” by Rachel Leibrock (SN&R Popsmart, May 3):

Good article! Riding a bike as an adult should be as much fun as riding a bike as when you were a kid. You are much older now and, hopefully, a little smarter. Understand that a bicycle is still a vehicle, and, in order not to get run over, should be treated as such.

When I went to school at UC Davis, many years ago, the first thing that was taught to us was that we need to obey all the traffic laws—the same ones that are used for cars. We don’t ride on the sidewalks, we ride on the streets, going with traffic, not against it. We stop at stop signs or stoplights, not run through them. We signal lane changes with hand signals. We get in line with the cars making left hand turns and go when it is our turn. We use lights at night. And we register our bikes, so when they find our stolen bike, we can get it back.

The [Department of Motor Vehicles] provides pamphlets for bicycle riders free of charge, so everyone should pick one up once in their life, or maybe start printing some rules and regulations in your articles, or make an article about bicycle etiquette—not just for others walking on the sidewalks, but to keep you from getting killed.

Mark ValenzuelaSacramento

What Target Excellence does

Re “Off target” by Raheem F. Hosseini (SN&R Frontlines, April 26):

Target Excellence has worked in the community for the last 15 years. We have provided services at Jedediah Smith Elementary, Health Professions High, and the Marina Vista apartment complex to name some. This summer we’ll be holding a summer-service learning program at the Southside Park Clubhouse. Students will work on a park beautification project, a summer teen program, a kindergarten readiness fair and a senior citizens’ program for the area. The $35 daily rental fee us based totally on the cost of having staff available to open and close the facilities plus a minor cleaning deposit.

In addition, Target Excellence also received a letter of thanks from the Southside Park Neighborhood Association in April for assisting them with their Easter egg hunt.

Target Excellence is fully committed to providing free after-school programs to keep our children safe, inspire year-round learning and help working families have high-quality, supervised care. When community leaders work together it, makes a difference in children’s lives.

Keith Herron CEOTarget Excellence

Twenty years of failure

Re “Here we build” by Paul Friedman (SN&R Guest Comment, April 26):

Apparently, [Paul] Friedman does not know that the Mayor [Kevin] Johnson and developers already have a downtown-revitalization project that has been going on for 20 years now—and it is still failing. That revitalization is called the Downtown Plaza, with endless millions given to developers and chain stores. It pushed out local successful businesses, gave developers free money and gave away millions of local profits to national stores.

I forgive Friedman because he is only a fan. He does not need to worry or understand why Sacramento does not have the billionaires and the healthy economy to support more developments and a sports arena. One more Starbucks will make him happy, with no regard to local issues.

David Soohoo

No girl trouble at all

Re “Girl trouble” by Rachel Leibrock (SN&R Popsmart, April 26):

I thought the whole point of the show Girls is to satirize how shallow, self-absorbed and uninteresting upper-middle class white people are. I think the show is pretty brutal at times but really funny. I couldn’t help but think during the sex scenes—which are pretty realistic for TV, and icky, too—“Please don’t let these people reproduce!”

As far as the show being too white and straight, let some up-and-coming black or gay writer come up with their own show that shows the side of black America or gay life that we don’t see every day. The truth is, we don’t mix all that much—check out the patio at any popular bar in Midtown, and you can see that. I like Girls.

Dane Henas

Different accents, same nation

Re “After apartheid” by Maxwell McKee (SN&R Stage, April 26):

I saw this show opening weekend and my opinion closely mirrors that of the author of this review. Overall, I enjoyed the performance, and [Alana] Matthews was fantastic!

I do want to clarify a point about the accents. While [Carolyn] Gregory’s character was written to be English, Jeff Bagley’s character was to have been an Afrikaner (Boer), with a strong Dutch influence. As Dawid would have spoken Afrikaans as his first language, the expectation should have been that the three main characters had extremely distinctive accents representing their three different ethnicities.

Flo Griffin