Letters for May 28, 2009

Letter of the week

How to make Sac blander

Re “Boxed out” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, May 14):

So the city of Sacramento is now trying to remove alternative-media news racks from the K Street Mall. First a ban on show fliers on telephone poles, now this? You know, for a town that wants to be considered a “world-class city,” Sacramento’s city planners sure do micromanage this place like a suburb.

Here are some more ideas to bland this town out:

1. Require all businesses selling coffee to have logos with a green-and-white color scheme that feature mermaids (we loves our mermaids!).

2. Every building in the city proper shall be painted beige. If a color is absolutely required, said color shall be a dull variance as if to look sun-bleached and unexciting.

3. Every city block will be required to have at least three (3) street-level paved and half-empty parking lots.

4. Only bark nuggets, easy-to-scatter pebbles, “sad” plants and/or yuppie-wife art as decorating devices.

5. Old buildings with rich, interesting character shall be razed in order to make room for new office buildings made of stucco, wire and plasma-screen televisions.

6. Businesses and/or public events that capture the imagination and make one stand back and say “That’s pretty cool” shall be outlawed and replaced by “classy” businesses/events requiring gates, security guards, barbed wire/velvet ropes and all in attendance to dress like said event is a prom.

7. Persons watching a music event in a live-music venue we have not yet annexed, shut down, taxed out or mired in legal mumbo jumbo (a.k.a. “red tape”) shall stand at a minimum of 10 feet from said band or the stage upon which said band is performing. Movement and/or enthusiasm for said band’s performance is not required, especially if said band is from out of town.

8. Person(s) operating vehicles designated as “truck(s)” shall be required to have said truck(s) on “extremely large” and “ridiculous” wheels. A hand-painted Confederate flag on the tailgate is optional, though Famous Stars & Straps, TapOut, Yes on 8, and Spitfire Wheels “Flamehead” stickers are on rear windows are not.

9. Person(s) operating Harley-Davidson motorcycles will be required once every weekend to descend from their suburban dwellings and ride roughshod through Midtown neighborhoods under the guise of a “toy run.” It is also required that said rider’s motorcycle be “annoyingly” and “obnoxiously” loud so as to interrupt casual conversation of pedestrians or people in their homes watching the season finale of Lost on their TiVo(s).

10. All businesses are required to appeal solely to “douche bags” and their be-tramp-stamped arm-candy escorts only. Said customer base shall be required to arrive at said business via stretch Hummer, stretch Chrysler 300 or stretch Escalade and must reek of musky cologne and shave their facial hair into a skinny strip on the perimeter of their chin. DJ music will be enjoyed.

This is how Portland, Santa Monica and every other city we try to ape got where they are today, right?

Collin Crisp

Bravo, gadfly and reporter!

Re “Beyond driven” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature, May 21):

While a car is a reasonable expense for a public servant—c’mon, they have to get to meetings—it’s no surprise that, in a culture of “take all you can,” our legislators have decided to push the envelope and take all they can.

We might argue about some of these expenses. Surely, Bluetooth capability can be explained as a legitimate expense to help the legislators stay in communication while commuting—and do it legally with hands-free devices. Fancy wheels? Give me a break. Anyone old enough to get elected to the Legislature ought to be leaving those kind of frivolities to the “pimp my ride” younger set.

Still, what worries me is that, without a serious gadfly and a newspaper, we’d never have known about this waste of our money. Sure, we all suspect that public servants are ripping us off (witness the recent resounding “no!” votes), but how will we ever prove it? Supposedly, we’ve got elections to get rid of the riffraff and no-goods, but how will we know who they are if not for citizens like David Palmer and reporters like R.V. Scheide? It’s not that we wouldn’t care. We just wouldn’t know. Bravo, Mr. Palmer, Mr. Scheide and SN&R!

Mary McKay

They should wash ’em, too!

Re “Beyond driven” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature, May 21):

I’d like to know how much we’d save in total police hours spent at a car wash (not to mention how much the taxpayers are probably spending for such service) vs. what it would cost for them to wash their own cars.

As a soldier, I washed my own truck. Is there some massively important task the officers cannot perform if they are forced to—gasp—clean their own vehicles?

Mike Gabriel

Does K.J. have his own Rove?

Re “Case closed” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, May 21):

This is just another example of the [Mayor Kevin] Johnson camp not taking any responsibility.

I think it is kind of funny that even with all the allegations, all the problems, all the proof, Johnson and [Steve] Maviglio still [claim to] have done nothing wrong. You guys are squeaky clean, right? Why isn’t Johnson in prison? Is it that his poker face is too good, or that he has his own Karl Rove (Maviglio) at the helm?

Who has the courage to do the right thing? Maviglio is trying to discredit the investigator and investigation. K.J. needs to resign now. Why put Sacramento in jeopardy in a poor attempt to save face? Do you really love this city? Or do you “love this city” for all the wrong reasons? Let us remember Kwame Kilpatrick.

Jeremiah Mayhew

So much for a ‘free’ country

Re “Marijuana’s tipping point” by Phillip S. Smith (SN&R Frontlines, May 21):

Pot [decriminalization] should be a decision left open to the states, and states should be capped on what sentences can be given to end users of marijuana. It’s a ridiculous notion to say that because a person chose to “toke up,” we taxpayers should spend $34,000 a year to lock them away.

I am entirely offended by the current situation, and I think the whole country should be pissed off by such injustices. One thing you don’t hear as often because it’s not really true anymore: “It’s a free country.”

Wes Day
via e-mail

Check the ER

Re “Marijuana’s tipping point” by Phillip S. Smith (SN&R Frontlines, May 21):

Visit any hospital [emergency room] on Friday or Saturday night, then explain to me why pot is more dangerous than alcohol.

James Cadle
via e-mail

Plea for peace

Re “Marijuana’s tipping point” by Phillip S. Smith (SN&R Frontlines, May 21):

Can’t we all just get a bong?

Name withheld by request
via e-mail

Music and smarts

Re “Your brain on music” by Nancy Brands Ward (SN&R Feature, May 14):

Your article evoked memories: Mom was a classical pianist; Dad, a concert master. A cousin sang opera. Mom was her high school’s valedictorian, a prestigious university honors graduate. My aforementioned cousin has a master’s degree and was a Fulbright scholar.

A not so fond remembrance: Years ago, a Mensa neuroscientist questioned the creativity of Mozart and other musical geniuses. From that malcontent fellow’s perspective, a gaggle of simians (randomly, over time) could compose such classical works. He’s Looney Tunes; banish him to The Planet of the Apes (where he’d have to engage in gorilla warfare). Hopefully, his captors would torture him, using raucous martial music!

David A. Tozier
Rancho Cordova

Justice for Kurt

Re “Moot court Nirvana” by Jackson Griffith (SN&R Frontlines, May 7):

This is not a B.S. e-mail, and I want to express my kudos to the author and my excitement.

I find it excellent that this article was published.

I believe there is a story about how many online “Justice for Kurt” groups there are who are not convinced Kurt killed himself. I keep in communication with Kurt’s grandfather, and he is just an absolute delight. Of course, he is in a predicament that has not been public knowledge, which relates to the family dynamics and how Courtney Love manipulates and helps to control the families and the flow of information and the direction that information goes, both within the Cobain family and outside of it.

Kurt was a gentle soul whose music and artwork touched millions and because of that, he at the very minimum deserves justice so that we as fans, friends, family and simply those who abide by the law can have closure.

What if Kurt Cobain was your son?

Dave Ashley

Uh, dude, you’re killing your cilia

Re “Tobacco—strong enough to kill colds” (SN&R Letters, May 14):

I know people can be idiots. It is not hard to understand. However, it still dumbfounds me when someone attempts to discredit the “common knowledge” regarding the dangers of smoking and extols the supposed health benefits of a product that is clearly and internationally known to kill people.

The reason the author believes smoking kills his cold is because, when smoking, the small organelles residing on the surface of cells found in the throat and nasal cavities, known as cilia, are either paralyzed or die, thus cutting down on the cough reflex. Upon quitting, these organelles regenerate rather quickly, usually within three days, and jump into overdrive trying to get contaminates out of the lungs, forcing the former smoker to cough much more than usual.

It is important to know how our drugs affect us, and I hope this newfound revelation will help the author understand the phenomena he has experienced and make a real educated decision.

Nick Young
El Dorado Hills

Driven to correct

There were several errors in the “Driven to excess” graphic in “Beyond driven” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature, May 21). Jim Costa represented the Central Valley as a state assemblyman and senator, as did Roy Ashburn. Jim Battin served in the state Senate from 2000-2008. We apologize for the errors.