Letters for May 21, 2015

Remember the evil

Re “Bin laden, redux” by Nick Miller (SN&R Editor’s Note, May 14):

In regards to Seymour Hersh, it sounds like your hero has been un-heroed. I'm sorry. Maybe the world needs to remember how evil people can really be.

Jeena Watson

via email

On your vaping ads

Re advertisement in SN&R on vaping (SN&R Summer Guide, May 14):

When you only have one daily newspaper in Sacramento, it is refreshing to have an alternative weekly. I look forward to getting city government and local business information that the local paper will not cover, which in my opinion is because the paper is “bought and paid for” by local developers and private businesses.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I turned to pages 16 and 17 and saw two full-page ads for a Sacramento-area vaping company. The author of what can only be called an “editorial” (since there is nothing noting that it is an advertisement) tells the reader of the positive aspects of vaping when trying to quit smoking cigarettes. The author then argues that “if we start being taxed like the government taxes large tobacco companies, it can push us out of the market because we won’t be able to compete.” My question is, compete with whom? The large tobacco companies? The “dealers of death”? Many of the same arguments the author uses to defend his selling of this addictive product sound eerily familiar to what Big Tobacco told us years ago.

Oh, by the way, does anyone at SN&R find a problem with the fact that right beside this “editorial” was a full-page ad for vaping stores? In other words, SN&R gave two whole pages to selling an addictive nicotine product. I thought only our daily paper was this beholden to local special interests.

Michael Shaw


Editor’s note: The story in question is a paid advertisement, not an editorial piece, and is labeled as such in the top-right corner on page 16 of the May 14 issue.

Keep Delta culture, too

Re “Twist in the tunnels” by Alastair Bland (SN&R News, May 14):

More than fish and ecosystems are at stake in the battle to stop the Delta water grab. Chinese pioneers built the first Delta levees and helped carve some of the richest farmland in the world from vast swamplands south of the capital city. The town of Locke’s 100th anniversary this year celebrates the accomplishments of the first generation of tenant farmers, farm laborers and labor contractors who populated a string of vital towns up and down the river: Courtland, Walnut Grove, Locke, Isleton. From 1872 well into the 20th century, white mobs from Seattle to San Diego brutalized Chinese immigrants in a paroxysm of violence known as “The Driving Out.” The Sacramento Delta was the only place in the West where Chinese and whites coexisted peacefully. By draining the Delta and shipping the water South, the remnants of these Chinese communities and the lands they helped shape will be decimated by a new scourge: “The Drying Out.” Let’s not forget the “culture” part of agriculture.

Jeff Gillenkirk

via email

Bee, fair

Re “Feed the buzz” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R News, April 30):

I would like to take issue with the letter writer who declared that readership is abandoning The Sacramento Bee due to its left-leaning viewpoint in a conservative marketplace. I believe the Bee is balanced and informative and the demographics of the Bee’s distribution area is itself equally balanced in its political views. The results of area elections should be a good indicator of that. No overwhelming majority of right-leaning politicos winning office that I can see.

Hopefully the letter writer and everyone else subscribes to a newspaper of their choice. A reliable source of fair, balanced reporting is absolutely vital in a democratic society.

Diane Owen

Elk Grove