Letters for November 25, 2004

No Moore

Re “My first thoughts about the election” by Michael Moore (SN&R Essay, November 11):

I am so disgusted with the Michael Moore column. How dare you use these soldiers for your own political gain, Michael Moore? I think that you should be made to go fight the war, and maybe you would understand.

My son, Sgt. Cory Mracek, is one of those listed in the soldiers lost. He was very proud of what he did, and we are very proud of him and all the others.

You think that you are so very important, Mr. Moore, but I think you should go to Iraq and live with your terrorist friends. Do not ever use my son’s name for your gain. I despise you and what you stand for. My son was glad to serve his country, and even if he knew he would lose his life, he would probably volunteer to go back again. My son accomplished more in his 26 years of life than you will ever accomplish. Most of the military and their families, even those of us that have lost children, believe in what they are doing and in President George W. Bush.

I dare this newspaper to print my letter. Let’s see if you have the guts to put something in your paper that you don’t agree with.

Shame on you, Michael Moore, and the Sacramento News & Review.

Pat Mracek
Hay Springs, Neb.

People aren’t trash

Re “Can’t see the river for the trash” (SN&R Guest comment, November 11):

Marie Wilson’s column about the American River Parkway is a callous treatment of the plight of the campers along the river.

Lumping homeless people together with the trash, she argues that removing them all would make the American River pristine once more. She also sloppily implies that homeless people committed the crimes she mentions, offering no evidence supporting that connection. According to Wilson, a special zone of law enforcement is necessary to remove campers and make the American River safe for dog walkers.

But there is a better solution than burdening police further. If there were enough shelters in Sacramento, homeless people would not be forced to camp along the river. Homeless people already face enough intolerance in society at large without proclaiming certain zones as “no tolerance.”

Julia Silvis

No offense, but editor is a nut case

Re “The predator within” by Tom Walsh (SN&R Editor’s note, November 4):

What a very emotion-stirring little piece Tom Walsh wrote. In five paragraphs, I am now not sure if he is a great short columnist or a nut case.

That is not meant offensively. It is just hard to believe that someone could be so flippant when commenting on the rough life of a convicted sex offender. He met one man, in another state, who is chemically castrated and in therapy and fresh out.

Keep fishing in California. The violent offenders, the child molesters, the men (and women, too) who have created a life and almost a religion out of having relations with children, are out there. And, unchecked, they are continuing their chosen lifestyle.

I just tried to find out how many registered offenders are in my neighborhood. I can’t. I found out that there are over 50 in my zip code and over 100 in the zip code where my child is in daycare.

I am not paranoid, but if I was, would it be unnecessary? One victimized child is too many.

P. Shannon
via e-mail

Should he just give up?

Re “Branded” by Chrisanne Beckner (SN&R Cover, November 4):

Reading your article in the November 4 issue really put the issue of Assembly Bill 488 in my mind.

Since I was convicted of Penal Code 288(a) [lewd and lascivious conduct] in 1989 and released from state prison in June 1991, I have tried to piece my life together. I was 21 at the time and trying to play straight to appease everyone. I did not want to admit I was gay, so I took the plea bargain rather than admit I was gay.

While I was locked away, I was able to come to terms with my sexuality. I became chairman of my yard, had a dorm for my self-improvement group and started to educate the inmates. I also raised money for the Little League while I was locked away.

Since being released, I have worked very hard, taking jobs that did not ask the question “Have you ever been convicted of a felony and if so …” Many employers just overlooked me, even though I was more than qualified for the job.

I have really tried to improve my life, as well as life for others since I was released. I started a volunteer project that I have been doing for over seven years. I have been on the TV, radio, etc. Should I just drop the project that is greatly needed or continue?

I have been with my partner, who works for the police department, for many years. Should I discontinue our relationship for fear of him being targeted due to association with me?

Should I move to another state or country, sell all my assets and retire?

Harrison Cooper
via e-mail

Seeing both sides now

Re “Branded” by Chrisanne Beckner (SN&R Cover, November 4):

I would like to say first that you wrote a very interesting article. This is not an easy subject to talk about.

I myself was molested when I was 8 years old, and it was not easy to get over. The person lived two doors down from us and talked to my mother all the time. He was always polite and always friendly. My mother never suspected him of being a child molester.

The incident that I went through was rough, and it took me a long time to get over. I am a supporter of Megan’s Law, but I do have to say that I agree with points in your article. Some people will take this to extremes and make it really hard for offenders who are trying to be better and to live normal lives. But, on a whole, this idea is a good one in my opinion.

Thank you for writing your article. It gave me more to think about. I believe it took guts for Delmar Burrows to tell his story, and I really hope he keeps on with his rehabilitation.

Thank you also for not just putting out a one-sided story.

To this day, I am scared to see the man that molested me, as he still lives in my old hometown, but I still pray for him. It’s a fine-edged sword, though; not all offenders have the same outlook as Delmar does. But maybe your article will shed some light on that.

Stephanie Byrnes
via e-mail

First the sex offenders, then religious groups

Re “Branded” by Chrisanne Beckner (SN&R Cover, November 4):

I read your article on sex offenders. It is amazing, the media’s slant on this issue.

The reporter tried to write a balanced article but, of course, did not. Trying to use the “worst of the worst” in defense of the sex offenders immediately cuts the legs out from under them.

Why not interview the 18-year-old who slept with his 17-year-old girlfriend, or the nonviolent guy who just got caught up with the wrong person, who are now branded as sex offenders for life? Again, another law in California is being used in a way not intended by the voters, as with the “three strikes” law.

The reporter should interview someone who can talk intelligently about the subject and find out how these laws—Megan’s Law and online posting—violate the constitutional rights of citizens of the United States. Our legislators are completely bastardizing the laws and protections our founding fathers gave us. Our government officials have violated the rights of women, blacks and gays. Now, it’s sex offenders; tomorrow, it will probably be some religious group.

I agree that some sex offenders are dangerous; most are not. To pass laws like this is not only unjust; it’s unconstitutional.

Name withheld by request

It’s the noise, stupid

Re “Hell-bent or heaven-sent?” by Amy Yannello (SN&R News, November 4):

If local bikers want to overcome their outlaw image, they should stop being outlaws! Those loud motorcycles that disturb so many people have long been prohibited by California’s Vehicle Code.

Do you really believe people dislike bikers because they have “beards and tattoos and are big”? Speaking as one person who loathes having these scofflaw noise polluters roaring through my neighborhood, I couldn’t care less if they have beards or tattoos—it’s the noise!

Too many bikers seem to think they have the right to disturb everyone within a quarter-mile radius everywhere they go. Some bikes are loud enough to set off car alarms, adding to the obnoxious noise blight that they create. It’s laughable that they think of their gatherings as “peaceful assemblies.”

Julie Kelts