Letters for May 20, 2010

Letter of the week
Future is nuclear

Re “Do better” (SN&R An Inconvenient Ruth, May 13):

Three-Mile Island was not a “partial meltdown”; it was a minor containment leak. The total effect of the leak was a negligible increase in cancer risk among a small handful of people. And that’s with nuclear technology as it existed in the ’60s or ’70s—and it’s only improved.

Chernobyl was a combination of incompetent design and operation, exactly the reasons American nuclear plants are built to exacting standards and run by highly trained experts.

I find it amusing that you mention your doubts about the safe storage of nuclear waste, while also not citing any failures of said containment, even those of the potential or minor variety. I’m pretty certain that if you look at the numbers, more people died during the construction of the Hoover Dam than have ever died from radiation leaks from nuclear-waste repositories in the United States.

The fact is that nuclear power represents one of a very small number of viable, wide-scale alternatives to fossil fuels. It’s clean, efficient and safe. It is, very possibly, our future.

Derek Katz

Hutterites read

Re “Drunk flowers” by Violet Cooper (SN&R Homegrown, May 13):

Hey, I just wanted to tell you I am a Hutterite and I read your article. Ha-ha. You mentioned in your article no Hutterite will see the article.

Tim Waldner
via e-mail

Over-rating Oprah?

Re “The cult of Oprah” by Rachel Leibrock (SN&R Popsmart, May 13):

I’m not sure if the title of your article was aimed at getting attention, but it sure did catch mine.

After all that is said, I think you’re giving Oprah too much credit.

Is she really that kind of influence on the mass population?


Immigrants produce presidents

Re “How insulting” by Gustavo Arellano (SN&R ¡Ask a Mexican! May 13):

It appears that those who would lose out when all wabs become citizens would be the legalized foreign-born and African-Americans, those usually relegated to the bottom of the economic scale (as well as pochos). Incidentally, my ancestors came here from Ireland and were despised as paddies; could only get the worst jobs, no schooling available for them. The Irish went on to produce gringos como Juan Kennedy.

Martin O’Ryan
via e-mail

Land Park is public, pal

Re “220 tea bags” (SN&R Letters, May 6):

I’ve long heard the “reasonable” protests of the residents of Land Park against every idea that anyone ever proposes. This neighborhood is the epitome of hypocrisy and NIMBY-ism in Sacramento over the 30 years I’ve lived here.

When I first moved to Sacramento, a professor friend of mine who taught at [Sacramento] City College, Gerald G. Smith, told me of how Land Park residents hated the zoo because they didn’t like hearing the lions roar at night. I thought he was kidding, and then found out, sadly, that he wasn’t.

When the 1991 Rail Fair put Sacramento on the international map, it was proposed to run the railroad museum’s railroad to Freeport—through Land Park—and the resulting outcry from people who had bought homes next to the right of way squelched that proposal. Whenever West Sacramento hints about wanting another bridge over the river for local, bike and perhaps streetcar traffic, the residents of Land Park predictably wax apoplectic and they squelch the proposal, ultimately guaranteeing that any such bridge will eventually be built not with community input, but by a court order.

And now Craig Powell and his group oppose the long-overdue expansion of the zoo, and they pose as heroes by saying they’re doing it for the little people, those folks of “modest means.” What’s between the lines is that Land Park residents are somehow better, and perhaps that’s because they’re not modest about their means.

I beg to differ with Powell and the denizens of Land Park he represents. Land Park is not their private garden that’s paid for and maintained by all those people of “modest means” the same way the gardens of European nobility were paid for by the serfs. Land Park belongs to everyone in Sacramento, and an awful lot of us want to see a bigger, better, more humane zoo. We want to be able to take an old train from Old Sacramento to get there, or maybe we want to take a bike ride to West Sacramento across the Sacramento River bridge that needs to be built at Sutterville [Road] and [Interstate] 5 or at Broadway and Miller Park.

And maybe, just maybe, the elitists who want to keep the jewel of Land Park to themselves might someday decide to share it with the rest of us who pay for it.

Peter Finn

Save the planet, drop the pop

Re “Pop drop” (SN&R Editorial, May 6):

Thank you for this editorial, which relates global population growth to existing and impending global environmental stresses.

The large (almost 7 billion) and growing (200,000 more people a day) world population has everything to do with environmental quality. Environmental supply-side successes such as switching to renewable-energy sources will be short-lived if we do not also include efforts to address the demand-side issues of global population growth and unsustainable consumption patterns.

Your editorial will be a valuable tool in raising public awareness. We must repeatedly attempt to remind the public and decision makers that existing population growth and consumption patterns make it ever more difficult to address land, air, energy and water issues.

Evan Jones

Lovely poem

Re “Puta Nesca” by Elizabeth Bynum (SN&R Poet’s Corner, May 6):

“Puta Nesca” is an emotionally moving little gem, reminding us of the tenuous ties that bind us together and of the importance of small, generous gestures.

Kris Morella
via e-mail

Nothing funny about racism

Re “No love, born free, red dawn, all gone” by Jeff McCrory and Andrew Bell (SN&R Sound Advice, May 6):

Other people were confused about the Adam Carolla thing. I was a fan of Loveline, too. But I had no problem getting into the Digital Martyrs set, not just because I’m Filipino, but because what Adam Carolla did was wrong.

It’s different when you are actually from the group of people he’s talking ignorant sh*t about. Someone left a comment on Ubo Mag’s site saying that those who were not “Pinoy” weren’t feeling that song. Racism is racism.

I understand Adam Corolla is a comedian. So was it OK for him to speak of my country the way he did? Was it OK for Michael Richards to blatantly scream out the “N” word during his stand-up act, because he’s a comedian?

If it is OK, it’s a sad, sad world we live in.

Nina Rebultan