Letters for May 11, 2006

Her heart’s still in NOLA

Re “Return to New Orleans” by Noel Neuburger (SN&R Feature Story, May 4):

“I can’t remember a single day in all these years when I didn’t think of myself as a New Orleanian.”

I second you [writer Noel Neuburger] on that and could not have said it better. I may live in Sack-o-tomatoes, but my heart is firmly lodged in NOLA (Conti Street, to be exact). Never realized so many people here used to live there until Katrina showed up.

I’m glad your family is OK. Nice to see Leah Chase also. Thank you for sharing your photographs and story.

Angie Woodward

Clinton for U.N. head

Re “It ain’t funny anymore” (SN&R Editorial, May 4):

It was never funny! It wasn’t funny when Nixon said, “I’m not a crook.” It wasn’t funny when Ford pardoned Nixon. It wasn’t funny when Jimmy Carter lusted in his heart (well, maybe just a little). It wasn’t funny when Reagan couldn’t recall. It wasn’t funny when Daddy Bush said, “No new taxes.” It wasn’t funny when Bill Clinton sold nuclear secrets to the Chinese, … and anyone with half a brain (oh, I’m sorry, media excluded) knows that “W” has never been funny.

I suppose I could go on and list every blunder made, much like your editorial, and offer little besides anecdotal evidence of W’s incomp-uh-tence. Yes! We all know, we’ve all heard, W’s the smartest dumb guy in American history. But what do you, SN&R, offer as an alternative? Hmm? Yes, we all know it’s not working—that is, whatever the Bush machine is doing—but what do you suggest we do, besides whine or “picket”?

Well, I have the answer. Bill Clinton. That’s right. Bill Clinton as head of the United Nations (or a similar-type organization). Sure, many right-wing wackos would gag (that’s right, I said “gag”) and cry that he got us into this mess. Whatever. But I do know he’s the only one who can get us out. He’s the only one who can mobilize everybody to, in a Rodney King sort of way, “all get along.” The “tri-lats” would be happy. The “one-world types” would be happy. Even the media would be giddy. Damn, I’m good!

Richard Copp

Writer not the best role model himself

Re “[Stop] Hating Barry Bonds” by Donnell Alexander (SN&R Feature Story, April 27):

“[It] never occurred to me that I might have to stab a person until I became involved with Barry Bonds.” Just a reminder that you actually printed this in your paper. Nice message. I’ll be sure to teach that one to the kids, along with how to blame someone else for my own financial issues.

“[And] my son, who associates Barry with the time in 2003 we didn’t have enough money to get into the zoo.” Where did he get that idea?

Mr. Alexander might want to not worry so much about how Bonds reacts to his father’s career and take a look at how his own children are reacting to his “accomplishments.”

“I held forth my middle finger and mouthed the words ‘Fuck you.’”

Good role model.

Chris Hall

Build the moats in the right place

Re “What news story are you sick of?” (SN&R Streetalk, April 27):

I’m just hoping that while everyone is requesting “moats” be built around America, filled with “gators and sharks,” that they remember who the bad guy is. It’s not the Mexicans who are the problem here; it’s corporate America (again).

Janna Welk

So much for good parenting

Re “Tools of the man” (SN&R Bites, April 27):

I find it reprehensible that a small child, 6 years old, obviously has unfit parents who allow her to participate in gay-bashing. Day of Silence was rightfully allowed by the Sacramento City Unified School District board to call attention to the plight of GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) students, who are harassed everyday by their so-called “peers” at school, and I’m glad it passed!

I have gay friends who are students, and all students have the right to a harassment-free education, whether gay or straight, academics or athletes, etc.

How’s the song from South Pacific go? “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”? It was obvious that this child was indeed carefully taught to be disrespectful to anyone not exactly like her “parents.” I wonder how she would react to Muslim children in her school. Never mind; I think I already know, seeing her reaction to GLBT students.

Alex Brown

Not all in my neighborhood!

Re “Not in my neighborhood” by Chrisanne Beckner (SN&R News, April 27):

Sometimes neighborhoods win one. [Glennah] Trochet and Sacramento Self Help Housing should not have tried to locate their social service in the Alkali and Mansion Flats neighborhood in the first place. Staff and providers conveniently have such short memories! A little refresher history for them:

Nearly 10 years ago (where were Trochet and Self Help Housing then?) the county, with city agreement, solemnly promised that as a condition of approval to locate the 10-acre Social Services Complex on North B Street, there would be no more siting of social services in the already over-concentrated central city. “Scouts’ honor! No more!”

Shortly after, afflicted with amnesia, defiance or confidence from always getting their way, a social service attempted to locate in the Washington Neighborhood Center, then another in the YWCA and then the Steps “ministry.” And how many others since?

Such a care center can be located anywhere, including next-door to the out-of-central-city homes belonging to the Self Help Housing director or any of the other providers’ directors and staff.

Dale Kooyman

Is it free publicity …

Re “Move it or lose it” by Amanda Dyer (SN&R News, April 27):

It’s not surprising that James “Roots” Ortiz and Kimba Kabaka, owners of the Roots-N-Kulchah food truck, would try to play the race card simply because the city of Sacramento has begun enforcing city codes regarding mobile food vendors. We all know the routine: Claim racism and discrimination so you can get preferential treatment.

What about all the ethnic restaurants in buildings doing business in Sacramento that must also obey city regulations and codes? No doubt restaurants that pay to advertise in SN&R would like to claim racism and discrimination like Ortiz and Kabaka have done, so that they could also get free publicity in SN&R.

G.D. Sachuman
via e-mail

… or discriminatory enforcement?

Re “Move it or lose it” by Amanda Dyer (SN&R News, April 27):

The city revenue manager says that cracking down on violators “doesn’t have anything to do with the background of the people.” I question that, although I don’t think the favoritism is racially motivated in these cases.

Consider this: Sections 15.148.660 and 15.148.670 of the same Sacramento City Code that is being used to go after small-business owners like [Kimba] Kabaka, [James] Ortiz and [George] Azar prohibit “'A’ frame and portable signs of any nature” and “(pole-mounted) signs or posters … visible from a public way.” But I’ll bet that long after City Hall has ridded our “public ways” of violators with names like “Roots-N-Kulchah” and “La Mex Taqueria,” names like “Camel,” “Winston,” “Coca-Cola” and “Pepsi” will continue to be displayed illegally outside convenience stores.

Favoritism toward corporations with wealthy backgrounds would certainly explain City Hall’s targeting of a few small businesses for sitting stationary for a few minutes past their allotted 15 while turning a blind eye to illegal signage belonging to many huge corporations, which remains stationary in the same places for weeks or months.

This double standard isn’t just a city problem. The same signs are illegal throughout Sacramento County. But while the county has repeatedly conducted highly publicized campaigns about County Code Enforcement to rid the county of illegal roadside vendors, the posting by wealthy corporations of illegal advertising signs throughout the county remains rampant, unchallenged and unmentioned by county officials.

Gary Sawyer

Plenty of grotesqueness to go around

Re “Death is the new sex” by Kel Munger (SN&R Arts&Culture, April 27):

Sandra M. Gilbert refers to closure for survivors of murder victims as misguided, sometimes including executions of killers, which she says is “grotesque.”

Having your young son die from a single gunshot in the chest and die instantly is grotesque. Investigators taking hundreds of pictures of your son in a pool of blood is grotesque. Your surviving sons having to clean up a crime scene in your home where their brother died is grotesque. Survivors having to live daily without their beloved is grotesque.

We survivors don’t seek closure, only justice. Someone stole my son’s life from him and his family, and the murderer should pay. This article came out on April 27, which would have been my son’s 19th birthday, had he not been murdered.

I was given a beautiful gift of poems this week from a woman who also lost her son to violence and recommend it to all interested in seeing inside a grieving mother’s heart: Lisa Blen’s Poems of the Grieving Soul.

Barbara Ramirez
via e-mail